- The social media world
We can define Social Media as a platform which enables people to interact and socially connect to other people in the society and around the world. It is the medium through which we communicate and share our opinions on everything under the sun. It can be a casual network connecting family and friends like Facebook or a professional network allowing us to connect with professionals all around the world, like LinkedIn.
The world's most popular and free social networking site, Facebook enables users to connect with friends and family by sharing photos, thoughts and other items of interest. The site is entertaining and a regular daily stop for many users.
LinkedIn emphasizes a user's professional connections. Users create profile pages that have a structure similar to a resume, in which they summarize their career, advertise their particular skills and list their education and employment history.
- Growing importance
It has been observed from the research that every nine out of ten companies in United States are implementing marketing practices through social media. Professionals consider LinkedIn more important than any other social media network.
- Facebook vs LinkedIn
While the two may look similar in some aspects, there are very key differences between the them. LinkedIn is a Professional Social Network. Whereas, Facebook is a social media platform.
- What is Facebook?
Founder Mark Zukerberg created Facebook in 2004 while a student at Harvard designing the site as a means for other university students to communicate and to socialize online. Its design is based on the principle that people like to communicate with each other, so all its features and capabilities are built around “hyper sharing.”
- Facebook – A True Social Platform
Some of us have tried to mix professional and personal connections on Facebook, but it’s tricky. If you have a personal trip to Europe and share your family photos, do you really want all your professional acquaintances to see them? Likely not - hence the need for professional networks like LinkedIn.
- From where does Facebook earn?
Facebook’s credo is “helping people communicate” so the company has developed an application platform that enables many other types of business models. One potential huge opportunity, for example, would be travel applications. The company generates nearly 10% of its revenue from games and is likely to attract many new applications which empower sharing of the network. And this is why Facebook's business model is focused on advertising (a $350-400 billion market). Unlike LinkedIn, Facebook appears to have no plan to offer "premium services" - so the company is highly dependent on its ability to sell and deliver compelling ads.
- Facebook as a recruiting tool
In corporate recruiting, there are dozens of applications that help recruiters leverage Facebook to post job ads, promote positions within a company, and create career pages. A research by Forbes shows that corporate recruiters today are less trusting of Facebook as a recruiting tool, largely because Facebook recruiting tools are less mature and generally provided by smaller companies.
- What is LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a professional network, which has monetized its connections through its tremendous power as a corporate recruitment platform. LinkedIn has become the “virtual rolodex” for business people. Foe example, When I meet someone professionally and I don’t get their business card, the most likely way for me to locate them is to find them on LinkedIn.
- The recruiting industry and LinkedIn
The recruiting industry is a $120 billion industry and is highly fragmented today. Today LinkedIn is going down a path to capture more and more of this business as the company continues to develop richer and richer data tools to help people find jobs, and jobs find people. LinkedIn derives more than 50% of its revenue from hiring solutions. Also, most of its users are either White Collar professionals or college students. The average age of the users is 35+ years.
- LinkedIn's #1 position
LinkedIn’s strength in this market is its “#1 position” as the professional network in the world and its strong data analysis skills and capabilities. LinkedIn, as a premium service to corporations, has a more traditional B2B business model. Thus, LinkedIn’s business value is driven by its ability to grow, monetize, and expand this professional network. LinkedIn is a magnificently well-run company, filling a huge need for professional networking and recruitment. We all change jobs on average 7 times in our lifetime, and many of us change careers many times as well. Every time we do this, we undergo tremendous stress trying to find contacts, develop new friends, and open new doors. This entire process is greatly aided by LinkedIn, and we are willing to pay for this help. And recruiters, who many of us may not directly relate to, spend more than $3500 per position to fill every single job.
- Requires more crowd
Remember that the world is rapidly getting younger. These younger workers grow up on Facebook and Twitter and may not have found LinkedIn a useful tool. The company now has a more aggressive college recruitment program and it is critical for LinkedIn to very aggressively market itself to college students in order to continue its growth.
- The difference
While many of the financial analysts compare these companies against each other, they are really very different. LinkedIn is much more of a corporate business and professional tool (today) – which has proven itself in the world of corporate recruiting while Facebook is a huge social networking platform connecting millions over the globe.
- Blue collar jobs
As far as reaching out to hourly workers, blue collar workers, and non-professionals, today it's not clear that LinkedIn can (or wants to) extend itself in these directions. The entire website is designed as an “information rich” system, not a “photo and personal sharing” system liked Facebook and other networks.
- As a marketing tool
If active users alone were the determining factor in which social media platform is most worthy of your B2B marketing efforts, it would come as no surprise to hear that Facebook should be your top choice. Facebook is for everyone, while LinkedIn is for professionals. Facebook currently has 2.2 billion active users while LinkedIn has 575 million total users only.
The most successful marketers today agree that sharing a compelling story will engage their audience in ways that sharing straight data never can. Unfortunately for LinkedIn Groups, this has proven to be a serious disadvantage as compared to Facebook. Within a LinkedIn group, members can post discussions, job listings, links, and can select an icon. Facebook group members however, can share photos, videos, create events, host live webinars, tag other members, check-in, and even share how they feel. So, it totally depends on the need of an individual.
Thus, LinkedIn's recruiting tools are smoothly integrated, marketed and sold exceedingly well, and very powerful. But the writing is on the wall, just as LinkedIn has become “The global network” for white collar professionals, Facebook has become “the global network” for others. Both are amazing businesses, run by highly talented leaders and both have the potential to grow tremendously into the future.