Facebook is by far the world’s largest social networking site, but few people consider using it as a platform for forming business connections. People usually use LinkedIn for business networking instead, despite the fact that the site only has about 20% as many users.
Can Facebook Rival LinkedIn for Business Networking?
A number of experts argue that Facebook can be a very effective medium to form business connections due to its large user and highly diversified base, but is it comparable to LinkedIn?
A recent infographic from Richard Madison, the marketing director for Brighton School of Business & Management, may shed some light on the discussion:
Here are some useful statistics from the infographic:
- Facebook is generally believed to be a social media site for younger demographics. However, Madison’s research shows that Facebook users are on average-older than the users on LinkedIn. 80% of Facebook users are over the age of 35, compared to only 66% of LinkedIn users.
- Businesses are much more likely to promote themselves on Facebook than LinkedIn. There are 25 million business pages on Facebook, while only 4 million businesses have pages on LinkedIn.
- Facebook ads are more cost-effective. While Facebook advertisers need to pay a dollar more per 1,000 impressions, the click-through rates on their ads are fifteen times higher than those of LinkedIn advertisers.
Facebook is often an overlooked platform for business networking. Although Facebook lacks some of the primary business marketing features available on LinkedIn (such as the opportunity to showcase curriculum vitaes (CVs) and easily connect with recruiters) it allows people to connect with a much broader base of users, many of whom are savvy business owners.
Facebook is also developing new apps to simulate many of the features available on LinkedIn, such as sharing CVs with interested recruiters and employers.
A recent study from Jobvite found that a growing number of job seekers are turning to Facebook to find work. The report showed that most recruiters still favor LinkedIn as a platform, probably because they have been three times more likely to find talented employees there. However, more recruiters may turn to Facebook since more job seekers are using it.
LinkedIn has historically been the social networking site of choice for business networking, but research from Madison and Jobvite indicate that may change in the future. Will Facebook become the dominant site for building business connections?