Case Study on LinkedIn Ads vs Facebook Ads

5 Min Read. |

In last few years, growth rate of social media has been monstrous. Size of active users is growing at phenomenal rate and easy availability of internet and smart phones will only increase it further. Due to the huge number of users on social networks, it necessary for the companies to make their presence felt on these platforms by engaging with the users through content, contest, sweepstakes, great deals, etc. Therefore, companies are giving special attention to social media to engage with their targeted audience. In this, sponsor ads are very useful, these are paid ads. You pay Facebook and/or Linkdin to run ads for particular time periods targeting specific set of audiences. Given below is a brief introduction of these ads:

Facebook Ads: These are paid ads, run under “sponsored” tag either on the left right side of the homepage or on Facebook profile page. To target ads Facebook use profile information of the users like age, location, education, interests (Favourite music, movies, sports etc.). This helps advertisers to set targeting filters to select group of people which will see the advertisements. The cost of these ads depends on the targeting. Narrower you target, higher will be the cost per click when compared to wider criteria.

Linkedin Ads: Linkedin is different from Facebook, it is a professional network having different set of audience like business owners, top professionals, executives and influencers across different industries. Linkedin provides self-service advertising platform, launched in 2008, to help advertisers to design their own ad campaign. Similar to Facebook, it also allows creating target group using job titles, skills/interests, job roles, etc; helps in defining bids and measuring performance of ad campaigns.

Since, the users and nature of both the platform is very different from each other, one has to be prudent in using them effectively. One must evaluate few things like nature of your business or product, end objectives, cost of acquiring customer or lead through these ads and cost.

So, which is better Facebook or Linkedin in terms of reaching out to targeted audiences? Which is more ROI generating for businesses? Few questions which need attention and due diligence.

Hence, to get the answers of above questions, let’s discuss a case study done in 2010 by Andrea Vahl to understand the performance of Ads on Facebook and Linkedin in their niche in terms impressions, clicks, click through rate (CTR) and avg. cost per click (CPC).


Andrea Vahl – a Social Media Consultant and Speaker – ran a test of two ads on Facebook and Linkedin in 2010 to known which social medium is better for advertisement. It was Facebook Ads versus Linkedin Ads

In 2010, Linkedin had three types of ads – Banner Ads, Media Box ads and DirectAds. For obvious reasons, she went for DirectAds which were cheaper than other two. These are text ads having headline, description and a 50×50 image (optional).

The objectives for running these ads were:

  1. Difference in cost of running ads on both social media.
  2. To measure the conversions in terms reach, impressions and clicks.
  3. Value for money.


She created two similar campaigns in Facebook and Linkedin. Though, she was not able to replicate these ads exactly in terms of look and feel because one was an event in Facebook and other was a sales page advertisement in Linkedin. Meanwhile, the wordings for these ads were kept exactly same. The ads were about a Facebook Bootcamp event – a six-week program organized by the company for newly joined engineers, designed to engross into their code base, flexibility in choosing project and promote habits which are beneficial for the organization. These ads were targeting Denver area.

After creating ads, when bids for per click were to be set on Linkedin, a bid of staggering $4.23/click was recommended by the campaign manager tool. Since, cost per click was high, it was expected that these ads should get some quality clicks which can be turned into leads. However, result was not as per expectation – you will know it later in this blog.

Cost per click was still $3.25 after going with the suggested bid which was costly.

Whereas, recommended bid for Facebook Ads was $1.25 per click which was much lower than Linkedin. These ads were run for about 3 days and then analysis of the performance was done after these days.


The main aim to run these ads was to understand the difference between Linkedin and Facebook ads in terms of costs and conversions which was pretty clear after comparing their performance.

LinkedIn Ad:


Facebook Ads:

FacebookBootcampadHere is the summary of the outcome generated from these ads on both the social mediums:



Impressions 212,632


Clicks 74


Avg. Cost per Click $0.31 $3.25
Total Spent $65.09 $74.78
Conversions 7 0

If you look at the chart, it seems Facebook is a “winner with distinction” of this contest. Facebook provided three times higher reach in terms of targeted audience at the cost of less than half a dollar when compared with the Linkedin’s ads performance. Out of 74 clicks, 7 got converted whereas in Linkedin none of the clicks made it to final conversion.

Facebook Ads seems to be providing more value to the money spent compared to Linkedin Ads.


Though, in above case, Facebook Ads seems to be the absolute gainer but one has to understand that both the mediums are entirely different from each other. Nature of both the leading social platforms is different, Facebook Ads more on creating awareness or fan base and reaching out to targeted audience which should be engaging whereas Linkedin Ads are more effective for B2B advertising. Therefore, targeting of these social platforms must have different strategies and objectives.

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