Advertising: Facebook vs. LinkedIn

March 21, 2012

Update (7/17/14): Some of this information may be out of date.

A great way to target people is to place ads on social networks where the most people can be found. Ads on LinkedIn and on Facebook can be successful when worded effectively, targeted correctly, and timed well. Here are a few comparisons of the two services.


Both platforms show your audience size as you set your parameters.

  • LinkedIn ads can be targeted by geography, workplace (company name, industry, size), job (title, function, seniority, group), gender, and age.
  • Facebook ads can be targeted by geography (currently in more detail than on LinkedIn), interests, connection level to your page, relationship status, language, education level, workplace (except colleges and universities), gender, and age.


On both Facebook and LinkedIn you can pay by cost per click (CPC) – when individuals click on the ad – or cost per thousand impressions (CPM) – when your ad is shown 1,000 times.

  • The price of Facebook ads differs depending on your targeting criteria. Once you target the ad, Facebook will suggest a price. In pay-per-click ads I have created, I've seen prices from $0.21 to $0.50 per click.
  • On LinkedIn, ads cost a minimum of $2.00 per click or $2.00 per thousand impressions. The minimum daily budget is $10 per day. LinkedIn also charges a one-time $5 fee that becomes an ad credit.

On both social media platforms you will give a 'bid' price. Your ad is competing for space with other ads that are targeting the same audience. The higher you bid in the suggested range the better chance you have of your ad being displayed. Keep in mind that you will only pay if your ad is shown/clicked on (depending on if you are paying CPC or CPM).


  • On Facebook you can set a day and time for the start and end of your ad campaign (a date range). This will be set in Pacific Time. You cannot show ads at specific times.
  • On LinkedIn you can determine a date range. The ads reports use Universal Time, so impressions and clicks may not match up with activity from your own time zone.


  • Facebook ads are located in the right-hand margin.
  • LinkedIn ads can be located on the profile page, home page, inbox, search results page, and groups. Usually I find them located in the right-hand margin and at the bottom of the page. Up to three ads are shown in each placement on the website.

More information

Posted By
Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Stephanie Hatch Leishman

Former MIT Social Media Strategist

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