Social Networking: LinkedIn vs. Facebook

Social networking for businesses

Earlier today, I had a short conversation with my uncle, he loves technology, but has yet to really dive into the online, social media world.  He stated that he’s ready to jump into Facebook, lay low, and to basically see what it’s all about for a while and then maybe chime in here and there.  As for LinkedIn, he couldn’t quite understand what all the fuss was about and why he should really continue being a part of the community.  So what is the real difference between Facebook and LinkedIn?  Which one should you choose, or both, and why?  And why is it important?


According to Wikipedia, on September 26, 2006 Facebook went public, allowing anyone 13 years of age and older to join the site.  Since that day, teens, young adults, moms, dads, grandma’s and grandpa’s have been steadily joining the site.  While every person I’m sure has their own reasons for joining the site, I’m sure they include the ability to stay in touch and stay up-to-date on what’s going on with their loved ones, and friends.  Facebook is the personal social networking of choice for many people.  With few restrictions, the ability to seek out friends, brands, causes and interest groups, it’s great for those of us on the go who still want to know that Tommy hit a home run at the game, and Sally landed her new job.


LinkedIn really has no place for your kids softball games. LinkedIn is the professional social network of choice for many people.  It allows you to connect with professionals, colleagues, coworkers, and others you meet while networking.  It’s a great place to gather ideas, connect with like-minded people and to find potential career opportunities.  LinkedIn is set up like a resume, keep it professional, polished, and make use of all the features that the site has to offer.  LinkedIn groups are a great way to start connecting, LinkedIn answers offers you a way to find great information and to share your expertise, and while LinkedIn does have status updates much like Facebook, it’s best to keep those professional as well.

So to recap…

Why Use Facebook?

  • Connecting with friends and family
  • Keeping up-to-date with the same
  • Telling your personal thoughts, feelings
  • Chatting with friends
  • Following brands you like or are interested in
  • Posting personal photo’s and video’s
  • Sharing fun information

Why Use LinkedIn?

  • Connecting with colleagues, coworkers, and other professionals
  • An online resume
  • Potential career opportunities
  • Connect with like-minded people
  • To share your expertise and learn from others
  • To keep up-to-date with your professional contacts and network.

And finally, to really answer my uncle’s question –  LinkedIn isn’t just for connecting with those you know or those individuals within your industry.  Think outside the box.  What industries complement your own?  Why not connect with people in those  industries?  Join groups and find others who may share the same professional interests and connect with them.  There are many reasons to use both LinkedIn and Facebook.  Do what works for you.