Facebook vs. LinkedIn: Which is better for business?

We test two top social networking sites with six business problems

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4. Solicit ideas and discussion from team members

This is it: You've been given your first really big project — a new way to encourage active interaction by your company's subscription base. It's been approved and budgeted by "the powers that be," and you really, really want this to succeed. You've mapped out your initial schedule, you've chosen your team members, and you're ready to go. The next step? Use your new team to generate some solid, imaginative ideas on ways to get subscribers interested.

Facebook

This is the kind of thing that Facebook was created for — bringing together groups of people to discuss, debate and share information online. To create your own group, just click Groups on your Profile page and then on the page that appears click the Create a New Group button and follow the instructions.

It's simple to create a Facebook group.

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Make sure to make the group private, so that the only people who can join are people you invite. Once you create the group, invite everyone on your team to join. You'll then all have access to your private discussion boards, lists of upcoming meetings, message posting, shared photos and videos, and more. — Preston Gralla

LinkedIn

LinkedIn doesn't have much to offer for this kind of team communication. It does offer Groups, but it's just a way of improving the efficiency of using LinkedIn's other features: You can limit your searches to members of a group you belong to, join or start a group of people with the same interests or backgrounds (such as fellow alumni), and other similar tasks.

LinkedIn's Groups is designed for individuals.

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The site's FAQ spells it out: "LinkedIn Groups is designed specifically for the individual and not as a groupwide communications tool. Therefore, there is no way for an individual user to send broadcast messages to all members of the group."

Once you are a part of a Group, though, all the members are in your Contacts list. When you send a message via LinkedIn, you can address it to multiple contacts, just as you can in a regular e-mail program. But there aren't many advantages to that — you can't create a mailing list, and your contacts are just going to get an e-mail from LinkedIn with the contents of the message anyway. Using the site doesn't add any efficiencies to the communication process. — Jake Widman

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