LinkedIn Versus Facebook

LinkedIn and Facebook are both good for business, but which is better?

Aliza Sherman
March 19, 2009
Episode #045


Hi there, The Digital Marketer here, ready to help you put the power of the Internet and technology to work for your business.

I've had a LinkedIn account for years, but I'm only a more recent convert to Facebook. I've learned over time that LinkedIn is only as good as the effort you put into it; however, that's true with any social network. When it comes to business networking and marketing, is LinkedIn still the right choice or is Facebook taking over?

The first thing to note as you compare LinkedIn to Facebook is that LinkedIn started out as a professional networking site and Facebook started out as a site for college students. Those college students have now entered the workplace so the transition Facebook underwent to open its doors to the general public meant they automatically had a lot of young professionals by default.Soon the popularity of Facebook and its many applications and features began attracting others, particularly businesspeople. Facebook added its Pages feature for commercial and nonprofit entities, something I'll talk more about in a future show.

How Does LinkedIn Work?

Now let's take a closer look at LinkedIn. LinkedIn operates on the theory that anyone you need or want to meet is less than six degrees away from you. That means someone you know probably knows someone who knows the person you'd like to contact. LinkedIn provides an easy way for you to contact that person and have your message passed along to people who know each other until it gets to the person you're trying to reach.

LinkedIn works best when you're connected to people who you actually know and have a relationship with because those are the people most likely to pass along your message. LinkedIn is like an engine for warm leads and introductions. Other things you can do on LinkedIn include

  • build an extensive resume of your work
  • add a status update that is seen in the news feed of all of your contacts
  • integrate your blog feed or Slideshare presentations or a number of new applications including Tripit to show your business travel
  • ask and answer questions of the larger LinkedIn community
  • set up or join LinkedIn Groups for like-minded discussions
  • ask for recommendations or recommend someone you've worked with in the past.

If you're familiar with Facebook, you might recognize some of LinkedIn's features. It seems pretty obvious that LinkedIn added features such as status updates, news feeds, and applications based on their popularity on Facebook.

How Does Facebook Work?

Facebook tends to be more of a social network, and its use as a professional networking tool is still relatively new and undergoing transitions as the company continues to update their interface and change their policies.Some of the main things you can do with your Facebook account that can be useful for business include

·reconnect with old high school and college contacts for potential business networking

  • create a Facebook Page to build a fanbase that can receive strategic marketing announcements from you
  • start a Facebook Group for discussions
  • add Facebook Events to the Facebook searchable calendar to expand your event's exposure
  • recruit people to support important issues through the Causes application
  • integrate your social media with applications for Twitter, Friendfeed, blog feeds and more.

Facebook does have a great deal of entertainment features and applications that can be addictive time-wasters. Still, these days, you'll find more people on Facebook than pretty much any other social network in the world. Facebook also includes international members which is helpful if your business is global. There is something to be said for that kind of people power.

So Which Is the Best Business Network?

When it comes to professional networking online, the best tools are the ones that help you achieve your business goals. They should also be easy enough for you to use so you aren't losing time and money trying to climb a steep learning curve. I think that choosing between LinkedIn and Facebook can also come down to preference. Some people still feel Facebook is just not professional so LinkedIn is probably a better solution for them. So far, I've received more paying customers through Facebook than LinkedIn, however, I would never think of going without my LinkedIn account.

Bottom Line: If you can set up both a LinkedIn and a Facebook account, I'd recommend going with both. But if you really, really have to choose just one for purely business networking purposes, I'd have to say LinkedIn is the still right choice. For now.

Contact Me

That's all we have time for today. Visit the show’s website at digitalmarketer.quickanddirtytips.com for links to all of the sites mentioned in the show plus a few extras. If you'd like to ask a question or request a topic for The Digital Marketer, e-mail me at digitalmarketer@quickanddirtytips.com or leave a message by calling 206-339-6279.

The Digital Marketer's Quick and Dirty Tips for Building Your Business With Web Tools is part of the Quick and Dirty Tips network at quickanddirtytips.com. 

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LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/

Aliza on LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/in/alizasherman

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/

Aliza's Facebook Page - http://tinyurl.com/alizafanpage

Slideshare - http://www.slideshare.net

TripIt - http://www.tripit.com

Online Community image courtesy of Shutterstock