Joel Gross

Facebook vs. Google Marketing

Fortune did a good post on a topic that I’ve been covering fairly extensively here on the blog.

Its just another example of how Facebook and Google’s epic warfare is moving to the surface and out from behind the curtains. I think the companies are still largely driven by personality cults centered on the founders, and as such, I perceive these fights to be a bit more high school and juvenile then what major corporations might usually do when faced with a strong competitor. Here’s an image, documenting my perception of Facebook vs. Google and Google vs. Facebook:

Google throat punches Facebook

Google Ads winning over Facebook Ads?

Invariably, this is only going to increase the pressure on the companies from their financial partners and stakeholders to ‘do something’ about the other one. Whether this means that Google is going to amp up its efforts to out +1 one the competition, or will try and leverage stronger social network creation internally remains to be seen. It is also curious to see if Facebook is going to be able to push their product offering more broadly without assuming the Google approach- buying more products.

And just so we’re clear, I’m not on either of these guys’ side. My business is largely dependent on them, and many of my personal activities involve their services, but I don’t particularly like either Facebook or Google. I think both have lost their ‘edge’ and their creativity in the process. Instead of being innovative, they either have to buy innovation or sue for it, which only hurts invention and advancement.

Coalition Technologies is interested in where we should guide our clients’ dollars and from some of the statistics that the Fortune article is quoting, we’ve been wise to caution them to extensively invest their marketing efforts with Facebook. Google still seems to have a clear hold on the online marketing dollars. Here is a few of them:

  1. The World Federation of Advertisers is saying that less than a quarter of companies that advertise with Facebook are happy with their ROI.
  2. Despite accounting for 20% of online advertising traffic, Facebook (and MySpace to a dying extent) cost an average of $.56 per thousand impressions (which is below most search engine averages.
  3. Previous number sounded good, right? Well, the click through rate (CTR) for Facebook ads is half of the general web advertising average. Yeesh. Means you have to spend $1.12 per click through out of a thousand.
  4. Overwhelmingly, consumers were more likely to visit a companies website (and search for it) rather then visiting their Facebook profile.
  5. Company direct emails (yes, those spammy ones), were considered a better more trusted form of communication then a company’s Facebook page.
  6. Twitter and Facebook don’t even rank in the top nine advertising forms by users for frequency of use. Yikes!
  7. In key demographics, ranging from 25 to 45+, Facebook is less effective at reaching customers then PRINT ADVERTISING (this surprises me), company text messaging (yuck), and the age old email newsletter!

Undoubtedly, Facebook will continue to find new ways to become an advertising platform for the future. Is it the advertising platform for now? No. Not yet.

Coalition Technologies has long advised our Los Angeles SEO & SEM clients about how to spend and direct their revenue. And so far, we’ve encouraged them to carefully use Facebook and Twitter as a means to reach clients, and not to invest the majority of their time or dollars in them. Why? Read all the facts above. Our own SEO/ Search Marketing/ Social Media Marketing data shows the same thing across a broad range of vertical industries. Having an attractive, unique Facebook page that directs clients to your website is great, but don’t invest half your time in trying to go viral on FB or on Twitter.

As always, we will be tracking the trends and see how they change so we are better able to provide our services in the Los Angeles and Seattle area.

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