Thoughts on Facebook vs. Google for Growth

Image of Mark Zuckerberg at TechCrunch Disrupt

Just an interesting note from my project Facebook fan page this morning. I crossed the 30,000 fan barrier and wanted to see how much Facebook would now let me spend on a sponsored post.

So, I asked the question to myself plain and simple. Are Facebook Ads better than Google Ads at reaching people effectively?

As the fan base has grown from 20,000 to 30,000 the amount of money Facebook will allow me to spend on a given post has grown from $100 to $1,500 with more than 10x the reach from 85,000 to an estimated 1,000,000 users.

Facebook Estimated REach

It seems so far that your estimated reach grows exponentially as your fan base does. I wonder how much Facebook would let Coca-cola or Disney spend?

This seems like such a minute amount of money compared to the massive reach that is promised here. That is why I asked the question, is it better than Google now?

Of course the money spend on sponsored posts lets you access the untapped potential of Fan’s already in your network, which in my opinion is a genius play by Facebook here.

The real question is would you invest money into not only heavy Facebook PPC and CPM campaigns, but also sponsoring key posts to the limit of what the open graph will allow? And would this eventually replace SEO as a means of large scale traffic generation?

Facebook Will Never End SEO

If you are like me you followed TechCrunch Disrupt with great interest, especially as Mark Zuckerberg took the stage to talk Facebook’s IPO, mobile monetization, and even social search.

I’ve seen a lot of buzz online lately about why Facebook search would or would not end “SEO”. I think both of these arguments are absolutely moot points. Let me explain.

I remember getting into the marketing industry, one of the first things I was told was that I was not doing SEO, I was doing optimization for Google. And it is the same thing with Facebook.

Facebook vs Google Advertising

Facebook is simply another channel to optimize, it is not a replacement for Google Ads, Local SEO, or anything else. In addition to Google, there are many other dominant channels for marketing emerging:

  • YouTube’s Search Engine
  • Facebook’s EdgeRank News Feed
  • Twitter Search API
  • Apple’s iTunes App Store Rankings
  • Yelp’s Local Search Powering Siri
  • Zagat’s Restaurant Search

Yes there are many other “Search Engines” that I LOVE to work with. They all have algorithms I can pick apart, reverse engineer, and test against.

No matter what company powered that engine, I promise they would have patents that Bill Slawski could write about for years to come. Like Bill, I am passionate about learning, not about keeping Google in business.

Thinking It is Facebook vs. Google Limits You

Arguing with your social media friends about the merits of Facebook search vs. Google doesn’t hurt anybody but you. Google will keep right on going, and so will Facebook.

If you are loyal to a certain medium or method, you will always dependent on it. I for one, welcome a Facebook search engine if it does happen, or any other intelligent form of gathering information. Even if it eventually completely replaces Google, it’s just another green field ripe with potential.

Ultimately, you need to take a more strategic channel optimization strategy. This will help you make the right decision both now and 3, 5, and 10 years into the future.