Social PPC For B2B: Who Does It Best?

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Earlier this week, I read a thought-provoking article over at FBPPC, written by Robert Brady. In a nutshell, he says that while everyone thinks of LinkedIn as the place to run social PPC for B2B, it doesn’t perform as well as Facebook – which is traditionally thought of as the place for teens to hang out and for college kids to post drunk photos, not to reach B2B decision makers.

Robert ran an analysis of platform features, and found that Facebook’s targeting was as good as LinkedIn’s for most categories, and better than LinkedIn for age and gender targeting.

Additionally, anyone who’s tried to use LinkedIn’s PPC interface has no doubt been frustrated by its lack of sophistication and usability. It still shocks me that LinkedIn’s interface is so terrible. For the CPCs they charge, you’d think they could fix their ads UI.

And performance on LinkedIn PPC has been pretty sad lately, too. Here are actual figures for one of our B2B clients from last month:

social PPC performance

LinkedIn is at the bottom of every category: fewest clicks, fewest new followers, and highest cost per engagement. Not a resounding endorsement for the power of LinkedIn to reach the B2B audience.

And look at Facebook. Way more clicks, more new followers even than Twitter, where we ran a “grow followers” campaign. And a cost per engagement that’s well below both Twitter and LinkedIn. We’ve started putting more money toward Facebook in this case, since it’s kicking everyone else’s butt.

An article a few months ago on the Econsultancy blog agrees. Their analysis shows why Facebook is superior to LinkedIn in several categories, including reach, audiences, and mobile.

There was a time that I wouldn’t even consider using Facebook Ads for B2B. But they’ve really stepped up their game, leaving LinkedIn in the dust.

What do you think? Is Facebook the king of B2B social PPC, or is there hope for LinkedIn? Share in the comments!

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  1. I LOVE LinkedIn ads. Sure the CPC are way higher, but they convert to opportunity and deals WAY higher, well more than to offset the higher CPCs. Plus the targeting for B2B is amazing — I can’t even get close to the same targeting in Twitter or LinkedIn (hence the better conversion). I spend about 15x more on LinkedIn than Facebook and Twitter combined and 5x more on LinkedIn than AdWords. I wrote about my learnings with LinkedIn which you may find useful: I have a goal of doubling LinkedIn spend in 3 months — plan to use their new LinkedIn Display Network product.

    • Melissa Mackey says

      Interesting, Dave. I suppose it depends on your business and the types of businesses you’re targeting. We’ve found LI to work better than FB for enterprise clients (although it’s expensive as heck), but FB is better for small businesses. As with most things PPC, your mileage may vary!

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