Social media is a critical part of today’s business communications. Successful social media marketing is about establishing a presence where your customers are. As an account based business model, the promotional distributor’s logical place to be is LinkedIn, the professional network.

However, as numbers show, the social media platform with the largest number of users, by far, is Facebook. It is clear that people from all walks of life are spending a great deal of time on that platform. People are in fact, in and out of Facebook all day, accessing it mostly from their phones. It seems like a good idea to have a business presence on there, and you probably have a page already.

The fact is, most people, including decision makers with whom you want to connect, are active on Facebook.  Your prospects and clients expect you to have an active business Facebook page.

However, simply because many people are on Facebook does not mean it’s the best use of time and effort for businesses. When asked, most business people use Facebook for personal use, and LinkedIn for professional use. So, those decision makers are active on Facebook, they are using it to connect with friends and family, not for business.

But in today’s connected world there is no clear-cut line between the professional and personal aspects of our lives.  Some business contacts will go check you out – and connect – on Facebook.

Having a current Facebook page will allow your prospects and clients to get to know your company at a more intimate level. Sort of letting them inside your “break room”.

But the bulk of your effort should go into networking on LinkedIn. While it may have fewer users, the professional mindset and ability to network with other people who are on the site for the same reason, make it a much more valuable tool for B2B companies such as distributors.

Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn offers far better tools to promote your business, and yourself as a professional.  You want to learn about these tools and how to use this network to its full potential.

You Need Both

In conclusion, you want to have a presence on both. But on purpose. Do all your business networking and prospecting on LinkedIn, and keep your Facebook page fresh using the scheduling tools that allow you to spend less time on Facebook. When you go in to check your personal profile, the notifications feature will show you if there is any activity you need to manage. 

It is easy to get sidetracked when you go into social media networks and end up wasting lots of precious time. That’s why planning ahead is a must if you want to leverage Facebook and LinkedIn as a marketing channel. There are many tools and resources available for you to automate publishing you should take advantage of.

Social media can be a huge waste of time. Most people are doing it wrong and getting little to no results from their efforts. That means, if you do it right, you’ll be way ahead of the game. Get help if you need it, but don’t let this opportunity pass you by.