Facebook has received a lot of media attention recently due to its advertising opportunities for small businesses and Google have been leading online advertising for a long time now. Advertising on Facebook has different advantages and a completely different approach to Google advertising but both are needed to create an overall online brand presence for a startup or small business. There are a lot of differences between the two, but there are also similarities too.
- Both Facebook and Google have a huge potential audience for businesses to reach through advertising.
- Both primarily PPC (pay per click) advertising.
- Facebook and Google offer both paid advertising and free advertising e.g. Facebook Fan Page, Google+ Business Pages.
- Facebook allows unique targeting in the form of creating messages specifically made for Facebook fans of a certain page or group.
- Facebook allows businesses to connect with a user on a social and personal level in a friendly space whereas Google is what people use to search for something specific and to make a purchase.
So… Who wins?
Facebook does hold the advantage for intimate data and connecting socially in regards to movies, books and tv shows however with Google+ improving every week, consumers are using it out of convenience as they can stay logged into their gMail account while on Google+, YouTube or even surfing the net.
Google does still hold the advantage when it comes to web searches (obviously) as Google is the worlds largest search engine. Not only that but Google Adwords is the perfect tool to use when it comes to driving clicks and conversions for products. Facebook has yet to really prove its worth beyond hanging out and chatting with friends. Reports suggest that Facebook’s click-through-rates can be 1,000 times LOWER than Google campaign click throughs with the same intent. This shows the lack of trust Facebook users have in advertising over Google.
Unfortunately, with Facebook only offering traditional ad displays, it cannot compete with Google ads offering a large number of advertising options such as Google Adwords offering geo-targeting and other additional features. The bottom line is that while as a startup or small business, turning to Facebook to advertise seems the easiest option because you have used it personally will not actually help you maximise your online opportunity. Facebook does develop brand awareness and messages for niche markets but for focus and a wide range of features, Google will always be the number one for online advertising.