The conclusions below are not based on millions of dollars of pay per click (PPC) advertising, but merely a few thousand.  Admittedly, much more experimentation should be done in order to be sure of the conclusions, but none the less the initial results below are quite eye opening indeed.  Also, note that the below results are based on B2B models only.  The results may prove to be different with B2C campaigns.

Pay Per Click Methodology

Social Media PPCWhen planning a PPC campaign in Google, Facebook, LinkedIn or any other platform it is very important to determine a testing methodology.  The methodology deployed on the below examples utilize three ads per ad group in order to optimize the click-through rate (CTR) of the campaign.  Additionally, the strategy was to target very specific demographics and/or verticals and not “shotgun blast” the campaigns all over social media.

Facebook PPC

Facebook advertising has a very unique user interface (UI), setting up a campaign is easy and the demographic reach estimates are excellent.  However, reporting as compared to most other PPC platforms is less intuitive and comparing test data between ad groups isn't easy to do.  If the advertiser is used to the Google Adwords platform analyzing Facebook test data in a robust way may seem a little uncomfortable.  Advertisers can choose a PPC model or a cost per thousand impressions (CPM) payment model for a campaign.  After several tests, demographic adjustments and copy updates CTR’s never rose above one percent.    

LinkedIn PPC

Like Facebook, LinkedIn ads are very easy to set up and the UI is very easy to use.  Once the campaign is up and running the data reported by LinkedIn is fairly gracile compared to Google Adwords.  However, the data suffices when determining test results and examining the data seems more efficient than Facebook due to the way it is presented.  Ad spend models are identicle to Facebook - PPC or CPM.  The great thing about LinkedIn for B2B marketers is that it’s very easy to target industry verticals and decision makers.  After monitoring campaigns utilizing the same testing methodologies as Facebook CTR’s consistently hovered between 20% and 30%.

Conclusions

Comfort with a UI is a matter of opinion and advertisers will have to come to their own conclusion, but LinkedIn seems to have a better user experience.  Both platforms make it very easy to set up an ad campaign and the demographic selection is impressive too.  Facebook marketers have access to almost 600 million users as compared to LinkedIn’s 100 million.  However, the ability to target industry verticals and specific decision makers makes LinkedIn advertising much more appealing to B2B marketers as compared to Facebook.  On the other hand, for B2C marketers Facebook’s larger more casual audience may result in a more successful campaign depending on the value proposition and targeted demographic.  For help with organic social media marketing feel free to download our LinkedIn marketing cheat sheet and Facebook marketing cheat sheet.

Topics: Facebook, LinkedIn, chad pollitt, ppc, Google Adwords

Chad Pollitt
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