LinkedIn VS. Twitter: Which Advertising Buy Is Better For Small Businesses?

When it comes to buying Social Media advertising for small businesses, there are many things to consider. We took the time to compile the basic information, fill out sample ad campaigns, and estimate cost, and, overall, we have found LinkedIn to be the more well-rounded solution for digital/web marketing. Though more expensive, the interface is cleaner, the environment is more professional, and the campaign is easier to customize. Twitter also measures cost by follower, rather than click/impression (CPC), which costs less overall but makes the campaign more likely to fail.

Above: The LinkedIn Interface for Campaign Monitoring

   LinkedIn also offers two new tools (as of March 2014) called ‘Content Marketing Score’ and ‘Trending Content’; the latter of which is a simple knock-off of Twitter’s trend/hashtag system, but works the same way within the exclusive domain of LinkedIn. Content Marketing Score measures the unique members engaged in relation to the active target audience of your content with a numerical value, giving you a consistent read of how far your current marketing tactics are going to reach your target audience.

Twitter, however, is far from useless. Twitter better serves the need of analyzing and building on trending topics, and is the more widely known (and used) form of media dispersal, both business and social. Written properly and timed correctly, you can tie a business to an already trending topic (or, with slightly more difficulty, launch and trend your own topic) to turn an existing market to your favor.

Twitter is understandably secretive about the specifics of its internal process, but has explained that trends are determined by an algorithm measuring an above average mentions of a topic in a short period of time, NOT an overall number of mentions or hashtags. It is therefore easier to create a trend by releasing a blast of information on a topic when not many other companies or organizations are trending that topic at the time (non-peak timing).

Third party web services such as simplymeasured.com will charge a monthly fee to monitor all forms of social media at once for hashtags (trending topics and mentions) relative to your business, and alert you of the opportune moment to tie your business in to the trends of the day.

Statistics of Twitter Trends:

Top 10 Trend: 1,595 mentions per hour

Bottom 10 Trend: 366 mentions per hour

Facebook, which has recently adopted the trending feature/tool, uses a similar (if not exactly the same) algorithm to diagnose and analyze content within its own domain, which is why third party services like simplymeasured are useful for monitoring several different domains at once.

With regard to ad space, Twitter’s immediate cost is the lower one. However, overall, LinkedIn is the clear winner; offering a more specified market customization and a more direct link to your target audience, as well as a more concise measurement of your tools. Twitter will promote your ads based on your budget, but the bang for buck will not go quite as far. It is more profitable, in the long run, to use LinkedIn for ad campaigns and promotions, and to use Twitter for the micromanagement and incorporation of trends and hot topics into those promotions and ads to further their reach and their impact.