LinkedIn vs Facebook: Targeting for Recruiters

In your mind, you can picture who you want to see your social media ad, but you may not be quite sure how to target them. Fine-tuning your ability to place your message in front of the right audience when they’re motivated to act is as important as the content you’re sharing. Create the ideal marketing message and match it with the proper people at the crucial decision-making moment and you are in a position to drive action. As recruiters, which of the primary social media channels (LinkedIn vs Facebook) gives you the best targeting options and how specific can they go?

Targeting Tools

LinkedIn’s ad targeting tools come with unique benefits, like simply being on LinkedIn in the first place. This platform has more than 700 million members in their worldwide network, advancing their careers and connecting based on who they are and what they do professionally. Because of all this, members have ample incentive to keep their profiles current and accurate, giving marketers fertile ground to engage influencers, C-suite members and decision-makers by the tens of thousands at scale.

But with such a vast audience to choose from and so many variables to consider, where do you start? And how do you zone in on what can seem like an ever-moving target?

 Once you have determined what you want to accomplish with your ad campaign, you can start building your ideal audience. LinkedIn has a quick-start guide available to help with this, providing a variety of tips for helping you define who sees your content. 

You can estimate your audience size by using Forecasted Results. Any campaign must target at least 300 members, but by using these tools, you can figure out what the optimal scale should be based on the type of campaign you’re running. 

Perhaps you want to break down your audience a little further. Segment breakdown displays professional attributes that LinkedIn members provide in their profiles. We’ll dig into some of those in a bit, but as you make your targeting selections, your selected audience will update accordingly.

Targeting Options

The distinctive power of LinkedIn’s targeting options for matching messages to mindset can be a literal game-changer for your ads, helping you consistently reach the most relevant audiences when they’re more engaged. Using more than 200 characteristics to help tailor your targeting, each ad created is bound to be a slam-dunk

Some of the different targeting facets include:

Location and Language: Define the Location and Language of the members you’d like to reach. Out of these two, location is the only mandatory field, which can be based on the Location included in their profile as well as their IP address.

Job Title: When members update their profile with a new role, job titles are grouped by LinkedIn’s algorithms and organized into standardized titles to help lock in on the most relevant members to your content.

Job Function: These are based on the standardized groupings of the job titles entered by members.

Seniority: For some campaigns, targeting by job seniority can be an effective way to reach those with influence over a hiring decision.

Years of Experience: LinkedIn calculates this by adding together the duration of each individual job experience a member has listed, not including any gaps in experience or overlapping positions.

Skills: Skills are highly relevant keywords found within a member’s profile and skills section that indicates expertise in a particular area, and include those explicitly added by members in their skills section.

Company Information: Focus your campaign on high-value targets, expand your reach and share the most pertinent content with those you want to do business with.

Targeting Elsewhere

How does this LinkedIn’s ad targeting compare to Facebook’s? It really depends on what you’re hoping to accomplish. Consider these two facts: 

Details. People are not as diligent about entering accurate job information on Facebook. You’ll often see vague or inaccurate titles, workplaces or work histories there, such as “working at company X” on Facebook whereas they enter their exact role, history and seniority on LinkedIn.

Level of Targeting. You can target people working at a certain company on Facebook, as long as the group is large enough. However, you can’t target based on their position or seniority or even years with the company. LinkedIn is much more powerful for this.

Because most people view LinkedIn as a digital resume, they are more likely to update their profiles more frequently and keep the information complete and accurate. However, Facebook definitely has LinkedIn beat in regards to actual daily usage and sheer volume. According to the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of U.S. adults use Facebook and, of those, 74 percent visit the site at least once a day. Compared to LinkedIn, where 12 percent visit LinkedIn daily and 23 percent visit several times a week. Only nine percent of U.S. users visit LinkedIn more than once a day (we see you, recruiters!). 

When you’re considering an ad campaign, there are a lot of factors involved in determining which channel(s) would be best. Depending on your goals for the campaign, LinkedIn may be the best choice because of its deep and accurate targeting options; or, perhaps Facebook is the answer due to its high usage and more personalized demographic options. Or, you might be best served on another platform entirely. 


Whatever your goals, our dedicated marketing team at Recruiters Websites would love to have a conversation with you about how we can meet them. Don’t let the name fool you; we do so much more than websites, and we can’t wait to help your firm thrive.

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Sam Prost

Sam Prost is a digital content writer with five years of experience who uses her upbeat and creative energy to write fresh, fun and custom content for our clients.

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