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Google vs Facebook

With the advent of Google+ evidently Google sees Facebook as its biggest threat, but is it? Certainly Yahoo, Bing and MSN are almost nowhere to be seen in the English speaking world (although Yahoo is big in Japan and Badu in China).

While Facebook has now overtaken Google in terms of Page Visits in the US, in terms of revenue it is still less than 10% of Google’s. One key reason for this is that advertising on Facebook is more problematic.

Google Adwords is really just a technological extension of classified ads which have been around for more than a hundred years and successful sales are based on techniques that have been built on all those years of experience. On Facebook a different approach is necessary.

Google is a solutions based platform. It is there to answer your questions. Facebook is about conversations where you might ask questions, but not all questions. For example, if you have smelly feet, would you ask your 256 Facebook friends what to do about them? No you would go to Google.

Google is the new Yellow Pages, where you go when you are ready to buy, Facebook is a party site where no-one wants to hear about your problems. If you did have smelly feet, you might ask one or two friends about it, face-to-face.

On Google your ad headline might be: Cure Smelly Feet Fast which would take you to a website and to an order page.

On Facebook, no-one is asking that question, but if you knew that this was a significant problem for middle aged men who by co-incidence liked action movies, your ad might be:

How Arnold Schwarzenegger overcame foot odour (Disclaimer, I am sure Arnie does not have this problem.) This would then link to an article that presents Arnie’s story with some kind of opt-in and email follow-up as people who click on this ad, unlike the Google clicker, would not have been actively searching for a solution even though they had the problem or else they just loved to read anything about Arnie. This is a far more indirect form of marketing, and one that requires far more sophistication than Adwords.

Facebook is more a consumer market than a B2B market- not that B2B can not work, it is that it requires more research and planning. Facebook might also be a good option if your Google ad space is hyper competitive.

Google has basically replaced Yellow Pages, but Facebook has not replaced Google….yet (or any time soon).

All you need to do now is to Empower yourself and take action … 

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