“Should we try running Facebook ads?”
That’s a question we get from every single Pay Per Click (PPC) client.
And we understand.
Facebook has over a billion users. Everybody uses it. And you can target users by age, gender, marital status, and pretty much any demographic under the sun.
So what’s our response to our clients?
The reason we say that is simple: Facebook is not search marketing, it’s just plain ‘ole advertising – and disruptive advertising at that.
Here’s the main difference between the Google AdWords platform and the Facebook platform:
With Google you search for a product or service and are delivered relevant ads.
With Facebook, you’re not searching for a product or service, but are delivered ads anyways.
That is a world of difference.
We use Google to find things, we use Facebook to find out what our friends are up to.
If you’re a business, which platform would you invest in: the Yellow Pages (Google) or your high school yearbook (Facebook)?
That being said, I’m not completely poo-pooing on Facebook.
Facebook ads can help create awareness of your product or service to the right demographic, but don’t expect a lot of clicks and conversions. You’d just have to complement the Facebook ads with other digital tactics such as Google AdWords, Content Marketing, Email, etc.
How Facebook Could Change the Paid Search Game
I don’t think Facebook wants to ever be a search engine and compete with the ‘likes’ of Google or Bing.
BUT there is one thing Facebook has going for it that search engines don’t: social referrals.
If I’m looking for a contractor to help with a home renovation, I could Google local contractors and hope their website’s testimonials hold up and take a chance on someone.
But what if I asked my Facebook friends instead? What if Facebook had a program to help it’s users find and refer reputable businesses? And what if Facebook users were rewarded for their referrals?
That’s how Facebook could really leverage it’s social cache, that’s how Facebook could change the paid search game.
But in the meantime, pass on the Facebook ads.