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Aug
28

Is LinkedIn the New Facebook?

by Michelle Heathers on August 28, 2019

I’ve been in the B2B social media industry for nearly a decade, which means I’ve been up close and personal with LinkedIn and Company Page features pretty much as long as they’ve been around. 

During this time, we’ve seen the novelty of growing one’s online professional network skyrocket. LinkedIn has evolved to meet their growing userbase, completely transforming its features and advertising offerings over the years, to be into the universally-accepted professional powerhouse it is today. Fun fact: The estimated labor force in the U.S. is approximately 160 million people and as of January 2019 there are 154 million American workers with LinkedIn profiles. That’s 96% of the workforce in the States! 

In recent months, platform updates and algorithm tweaks that rival those of Facebook are making LinkedIn users more active and LinkedIn business’ presence more important than ever before—causing us to ask, is LinkedIn the new Facebook?

Newsfeed Algorithm Shifts

Yes, LinkedIn and Facebook serve totally different purposes for the average user. Find your adorable cat videos on Facebook, and tips to ace that next job interview on LinkedIn. However,  the way in which users post, engage and find content on LinkedIn has truly transformed to mimic that of Facebook, albeit with a professional edge. 

Just like on Facebook, LinkedIn’s algorithm looks for engagement as a key factor in determining when to show content in the newsfeed. In 2018, LinkedIn released details around how that worked—essentially, the more engagements your content received, the more it’s shown in the newsfeed. However, after realizing that this actually led to a decline in everyday users posting on the platform (since their content never got enough engagement to reach a wide audience), LinkedIn released a new update in June 2019. Rather than giving more weight to viral content, posts will show up higher in the feed if a user is more likely to join in the conversation.

LinkedIn’s algorithm follows the company’s new framework: “People You Know, Talking About Things You Care About.” 

The algorithm looks at things like who you’ve interacted with, worked with, and have shared interests with to determine what appears in your feed. Sound familiar? But taking it one step further than Facebook, it also gives preference to users who are likely to engage with content. So if you want your LinkedIn posts to be seen and to get engagement, you better return the favor.

Upgrades to LinkedIn Campaign Manager

Just in the past year, LinkedIn has enhanced Campaign Manager to now support carousel ads, lookalike audiences, video captions, square video, and most recently, conversion objectives—all features previously seen on Facebook Ads Manager. 

Objective-based advertising on LinkedIn allows social media managers to build full-funnel campaigns and optimize ads on this platform like never before. Just like on Facebook, advertisers can choose from a variety of options from Video Views, to Brand Awareness, to Website Conversions. Although, LinkedIn still has a one-up on Facebook with it’s Talent Leads and Job Applicants objectives.

Our team at BrandGlue has seen excellent results with LinkedIn ads over the years. With this success has come clients expressing interest in shifting more dollars to LinkedIn as the capabilities continue to grow and rival other social platforms.

Shifting Landscape for LinkedIn Company Pages

Long gone are the days of only posting the boring, HR-related stuff to LinkedIn. Now, it’s a place for discovery, thought leadership, and inspiration. To stay relevant and competitive, companies must create a consistent posting schedule, engage their top advocates, and invest in paid content—just like on Facebook.

And LinkedIn is encouraging companies to participate in conversations unlike ever before. The new Page Associated Hashtags feature lets brands discover and engage with users and other Company Pages, creating a true community. 

It wasn’t long ago when I would first turn to Facebook when researching a new brand or checking up on an old friend. But now, I find myself going first to LinkedIn for these digital knowledge quests. There has been a noticeable shift in my own personal behavior between Facebook and LinkedIn, and something tells me I’m not the only one.

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