I’m a heavy user of LinkedIn. I’ve been using LinkedIn for a few years; I connect with people daily, run my Legal Blogging Group, and network with professionals for business development and recruiting. There’s no question LinkedIn has added to the bottom line of LexBlog in a significant way.

Though I’ve been a member of Facebook for years, only this year have I started to experiment with it. Note that everything I do online started as an experiment. I’m not afraid of not knowing what I’m doing to find out what works and what doesn’t.

Facebook feels more social from a personal standpoint. I’ve reconnected with cousins I’ve not spoken with in 40 years. I share pictures from Mariners games. I enjoy hearing about the family activities of friends and close business associates.

But I’ll admit Facebook has all the appearance of becoming the central nervous system of Internet communication, collaboration, community building, and networking. AOL ruled the Internet in the mid and late 90’s, acting as the de facto entry to the net for everyone. Facebook, with its rapid growth and the features it’s adding, feels that way today.

So, the value comparison of a LinkedIn Group versus a Facebook Group by Ann Smarty at Search Engine Journal was a timely one for me. I need to figure out if I need to double down on my group building by adding a Facebook group, in addition to my LinkedIn Legal Blogging Group, to the LexBlog Network.

For The LexBlog Network and you as a lawyer, marketing professional, or law firm leader, LinkedIn is the hands down winner per Smarty.

  • LinkedIn discussions tend to be more focused, professional, and business-oriented than their Facebook counterparts.
  • LinkedIn is much clearer and clutter-free with its groups being the one networking feature of this type versus Facebook’s scattered approach of community pages, business pages, groups, etc.
  • LinkedIn better protects members’ privacy and guards against inappropriate posts.
  • LinkedIn features handy moderation and management tools, with more being developed.
  • LinkedIn’s networking and communications features send members digest emails, update members about any threads they’ve participated in, and highlight the influencers.
  • LinkedIn, like Facebook, displays your group contributions in the personal feed on your homepage which encourages more people to check out the group and accounts, resulting in a viral effect.

There’s no question I’m going to continue to play with Facebook. Making friends and nurturing relationships is the stuff that life is made of. From 30 years in business, I know that friendship drives business development.

For now, and recognizing there are only some many hours in the day, I’ll continue to spend my professional time and effort on LinkedIn.

  • I tend to agree Kevin it is clear right now that LainkedIn is the way to go professionally, but it seems in a small way Facebook is catching up. We have a few members of our service that are throwing all of their online exposure outside of their websites into Facebook.
    We shall See.

  • Fred

    I think Facebook is still a crapshoot for many b2b businesses because many don’t take advantage of list and some other features on Facebook. It is that fine line of balancing personal and professional profiles. Facebook has features to manage them on one account, but many of the mobile apps don’t support the ability to use lists in posting updates. I think you should experiment more with using Facebook, but it all depends on where your audience wants to interact with you. Of course you know that already. Good luck.

  • John

    I tend to agree as well … but for a different reason.
    I’ve been uncomfortable in mixing my personal and work lives/social networks. Not because they are secret but just because they don’tr mix in real life. I couldn’t put my finger on why but felt they were just not designed quite right.
    Recently I saw this (long) presentaiton from Paul Adams at Google – perfectly describes the problem: http://bit.ly/b6A03x
    I solve this by having my different networks on different tools. LinkedIn for business copntacts, colleagues and friends and Facebook for personal friends.

  • I have a different perspective to offer. I use Facebook more than LinkedIn. The reason… the Judges and other lawyers with whom I practice use Facebook and not LinkedIn. I post my blog (www.dallastxdivorce.com) to my Facebook profile. Judges and lawyers frequently comment on reading it and how much they appreciate it. I get a lot of my referral business from other lawyers, so it works for me. It puts me out there in front of my referral network in a way that shows me to be knowledgeable and authoritative. No one I know uses LinkedIn in a way that would result in referrals for me as Facebook does.

  • Great discussion! It’s a good point to think about where your audience is most likely to be, along with your goals of being out there in the first place.
    You can customise your Facebook Privacy settings, by the way, which can help with some of the concerns of the mix of social and business.