Facebook Goes After LinkedIn Ad Dollars w/ Job Targeting

Just last week, I wrote a post about LinkedIn Ads, as I’ve just begun to utilize the social network for some B2B advertising. It’s my opinion, without much campaign data yet to report, that LinkedIn ads offers a wonderful marketing channel for B2B, SMB advertisers– after all, one of the primary reasons people join the network is to virtually display their resume, meaning self-identification of one’s real company & job position. 

One day after Facebook’s estimated $19bn acquisition of WhatsApp, Facebook announced some sweeping new changes to their advertising targeting options, including– wait for it –job targeting.

While it’s potentially a big move for Facebook advertising, I wouldn’t be so quick to switch all your ad dollars over to Zuckerberg & Co’s wallets just yet.

The major value that LinkedIn advertising provides, at least from a targeting perspective, is that people using the social network are more likely to not only fill in the ‘job title’ and ‘company’ fields in their profile (since, well, it’s pretty much the reason for joining), the same cannot necessarily be said for Facebook. Many of my own Facebook friends either do not fill in their current job title, or instead provide slightly more “glamorous” positions, such as “Digital Rockstar” or “SEO God”– and many of these people work in this business. Others I know choose not to identify company/title for privacy reasons; for example, my youngest brother, and others I know on Facebook who teach, do not want their students to find them, and therefore, leave these fields blank all-together.

This can lead to some unreliable, incomplete audiences for Facebook job targeting. However, it’s not a reason to count the social network out of B2B advertising entirely– instead, I would recommend caution, and some testing, before deciding where to put the weight of your budget.

Facebook job targeting is not the only new targeting option the company premiered last week. Additional advertising targeting  now available on Facebook includes:

  • More precise location targeting, including the ability to target (or exclude) specific zip codes
  • Redefined interest categories
  • Recency targeting for engagements & marriages
  • Expansion of the Partner Categories audiences, which include off-site behavior such as mobile device preference & purchase behavior

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