The fourth IMU class was taught by Elyse Tager, a social media strategist and founder of Elymedia. She discussed the various uses and needs of Facebook and LinkedIn for businesses.

Assignment #4: Write a blog article that explains three benefits of creating a Facebook Fan Page and three benefits of creating a LinkedIn Group.
Which would you include in your marketing plan?

For clarity, I’m going to list benefits of a business person within a company creating their own LinkedIn profile, rather than a group for that company itself.

Facebook Fan Page Benefits:

  • Connect: with people (business partners, customers, etc) who are relevant to you and your company and keep them engaged. Engagement leads to conversations, conversation leads to conversion.
  • Metrics: of your fan page that are easy to read. You receive statistics on fan interaction, post quality, click-thru rate, and media consumption. These measurements give you the ability to make the necessary changes in order to increase engagement with your fans.
  • Events: easily set up events for group members and get a simple RSVP list, allow members to invite their friends, allows for discussion, allows for photo/video uploads of event – all great engagement opportunities
  • Ads: Facebook’s ad program is very user-friendly, and very targeted. You can target your audience very specifically for a very low price and then receive an estimated reach of how many people will see, and click, your ad.

LinkedIn Benefits:

  • Answering questions: by providing knowledge to others and displaying your expertise you are helping others while indirectly promoting your company. If you build up a reputation of great, or expert, answers in a specific industry or category, you are likely to gain visitors to your profile, visitors to your company’s group profile, and most importantly – connections.
  • Recommendations: by receiving impressive recommendations from others regarding your work, you are allowing others to promote you and your company to all of LinkedIn (depending on your privacy settings).
  • Shared Connections: after uploading  all your contacts from various databases and creating your network you are able to view shared connections (friends of friends) and even ask for introductions through your current connections. This is one of LinkedIn’s greatest features as it allows you to easily expand your network effectively.

Both of these platforms have their benefits, but which one should you use in your marketing plan? I think it depends on what kind of company you are and in which industry. I view Facebook as a better B2C channel and LinkedIn as the better B2B channel.

Facebook gives companies extreme potential in engaging directly with their fans and the customers who care about them most. It’s also done on a platform that hundreds of millions of people know how to use.

LinkedIn  is much more effective in building your professional contacts that will lead to improved business (eg. partnerships, joint ventures, shared connections, advice/knowledge sharing).

Personally, I’d use both.

Next class:  Viral Marketing and World Wide Raves!