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Is Facebook better than AdWords?

| ‎27-03-2012 08:20 AM

Reading this CreateSpace post, I find myself wondering if part of that poster's problem was that they didn't stop to define their goals properly before they started spending money.


I think that Facebook could be 'better' than AdWords (or Bing/Yahoo) in some situations, yes. Just like Google Display Network can be a better choice for some advertisers than Google Search advertising. It all depends on what you're selling, who you're trying to reach, and what your goals are. 


Advertising a brand or trying to get some buzz going for a new product?  Display/Facebook advertising can be an excellent solution.  


Got a sale on red shoes with a 1/2" heel, a perky bow, and some silver trim?  Search advertising is going to be your most cost-effective friend.


Want newsletter sign-ups for your new diet & weight loss website?  Display/Facebook allows you to offer more intriguing ads.


Want to get the word out that you're a plumber offering 24/7 services in X-radius?  Search is where you need to be.


What medium you use depends on what you're trying to achieve--something that's always been true in advertising. It always amuses me when people act like the internet changed everything and the old rules don't apply. The poster on the other forum is selling a (one assumes) self-published book. They're defining "success" as selling enough books to pay for the ad. A fairly modest goal and I'm not surprised that the power of the AdWords engine was more than they needed. In fact, if I wrote a book, Google Search is not where I'd advertise it myself. I'd go for Display/social media advertising, so I'm not surprised that Facebook worked better for that person.  


It it was 30 years ago and this person wanted to advertise a book, they probably wouldn't have bought a television ad, would they?  No, to sell a book you need to reach readers, so they'd have advertised in a magazine or a newspaper. 


Learn before you spend. Smiley Happy  Where you advertise depends on what you're offering, who you're trying to reach, and what your goals are.


Just thinking out loud....


Google AdWords Top Contributor
Message 1 of 12 (1,166 Views)

:smileyhappy: As you said, "It all depends on what you're...

Reply to Theresa_Zook
| ‎27-03-2012 08:25 AM

Smiley Happy As you said, "It all depends on what you're selling, who you're trying to reach, and what your goals are."  I think it's depend on what audience you are targeting. But still Adwords far far better than Facebook ads Smiley Happy

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Message 2 of 12 (1,163 Views)

I'm sooo happy to see some sense being written on this to...

Reply to Theresa_Zook
| ‎27-03-2012 08:55 AM

I'm sooo happy to see some sense being written on this topic / argument. There have been many times when I've been listening into a discussion of manual workers claiming that their "Facebook advertising is working so well" for them while in reality they haven't got any form of analytics in place and therefore no idea whether it's performing at all.


I totally agree that Facebook does have potential to out-perform AdWords depending on the circumstances and marketing requirements of a business as does any other type of advertising. The best way I see Facebook advertising being used is with entertainment / social businesses where users are given the ability to interact directly with both the business and one another. I know someone with a cocktail bar in my city for example who has the ability to tap into 4,000+ customers who have liked his Facebook page via advertising; the city is generally quiet during the week but he is the exception as he makes use of this already captured market with promotions and fun events. Generally I would always recommend (or push) people into trying AdWords but in his case I believe Facebook is definitely the right choice, I think this might change as Google+ develops alongside AdWords however once social features really kick in.


I still say that AdWords has a much broader usage than Facebook will ever have due to the fact Facebook is restricted to one medium but Theresa has definitely pointed out some great examples of where either can be used here. It's definitely down to what the marketing goals of the business in question are and how best to approach the target market.

Message 3 of 12 (1,152 Views)

Right on Theresa

Reply to Theresa_Zook
| ‎27-03-2012 08:57 AM

Hi Guys,


I think you nailed it Theresa. I just read that whole thread...lot of experiences shared but also a lot of inexperienced opinions.  There seems to be a common theme going on - "I wrote a book, I can run an advertising campaign now."


This was my favorite line: "Then, after I'd given-up on AdWords, they activated one ad that had been effectively dormant while I wasn't watching."  Really?


There are so many targeting tools available on Adwords now that were not even touched upon by any one of those posters.  FB has great uses but not for everything.


You've covered it all, you should post this over there...I'd love to see the responses.


Ultimately, IMO people do not run to facebook for research or to buy products.


Like you said, many times before; Set goals first and learn before you spend - or hire someone who knows, before you spend.  


Nice post!!



Message 4 of 12 (1,149 Views)

Very nice topic touched by Theresa :)   There have been l...

Reply to Theresa_Zook
| ‎28-03-2012 06:34 AM

Very nice topic touched by Theresa Smiley Happy


There have been lots and lots of heated arguments and discussions going on for this topic and glad we have it here too Smiley Happy


My thoughts would stick to the facts taken up by Theresa that although Facebook has evolved into a big giant in terms of social media from quite sometime, but does that really mean that they provide enough online advertising opportunities?

Not really, I don't think so...


My perspective on this is that it's defined for the users who would engage more into entertainment and related categories, if we talk about facebook as Scott pointed rightly above. Why would somebody who is looking for some doctor consultation, some immediate car booking services, some mouth watering pizza order or cakes etc...go for facebook rather than Google?Not really...


Somewhat I could agree to the fact that Facebook fan page has been doing wonders, but does that really supersede hard core Google search advertising. I could also agree to the fact that in terms of Display advertising, Facebook has got some good options, but what if we talk about Remarketing, Topics, Audiences, YouTube Videos etc... provided by Google Display Network? 


No, I don't think so. There are so much of the advanced level tools and techniques that it's really hard to believe Facebook better than Google. 


Anyways, just trying to share my honest opinon here. Thanks for reading Smiley Happy




Message 5 of 12 (1,127 Views)

Re: Very nice topic touched by Theresa :)   There have been l...

Reply to pankaj1782
| ‎01-04-2012 07:16 AM

I'm a bit late getting back to this thread, but I wanted to say I'm a bit disappointed. Woman Happy  I was expecting people to disagree with my analysis, especially since I've never done any FB advertising!


Still, thanks for contributing, folks. You each gave me something to think about.

Google AdWords Top Contributor
Message 6 of 12 (875 Views)

Re: Very nice topic touched by Theresa :)   There have been l...

Reply to Theresa_Zook
| ‎03-04-2012 06:31 AM

Facebook is more reactive, Adwords is more proactive that is have I have always looked at it.  With Facebook you are drawing someones attention while they are doing something other than searching. They could be gaming, or checking in on friends. You need a compelling ad that not only draws attention, but it also must convince the user that they are interested in what is being advertised. This can be difficult for something specific like niche items or services. Facebook can also be too broad at times, when you cannot narrow down your focus in the way that you need. 


Adwords can be very specific since the searchers have a target idea in mind. It could be information that they are seeking out or a product. If they are searching for it you already have their attention no need to convince them that they are interested. You just need to create a compelling ad for the viewer. 


I have spent many hours in both Facebook and Adwords, each have different purposes, roles and the users have different aproaches to ads.  PPC Hero had a good write up about lead quality from the two sources. 



I think that it is important to note that the audiences are essentially the same, both have hundreds of millions of users a day. I would guess that the majority of those users overlap, but the mindset of the user changes while searching or being involved in activites on Facebook. 




Message 7 of 12 (788 Views)

Re: Very nice topic touched by Theresa :)   There have been l...

Reply to Dustin_S
| ‎03-04-2012 09:11 AM
I think Dustin has a very good point here: "the mindset of the visitor at that particular time". Are we more sensitive about particular ads at different times.
Any more views on this?
Yes, I work at Google. I want all AdWords Advertisers to be happy and prosperous
Message 8 of 12 (783 Views)

Re: Very nice topic touched by Theresa :)   There have been l...

Reply to Eric
| ‎03-04-2012 09:15 AM

I think that it has a lot to do with context. I may like ice cream (I really do) but when I am at the gym I probably dont want to see the ice cream truck. I think that Adwords shows the customer what they are looking for when they are looking for it and Facebook shows the customer something that they may like even if they are not looking for it Smiley Frustrated 


Eric wrote:
I think Dustin has a very good point here: "the mindset of the visitor at that particular time". Are we more sensitive about particular ads at different times.
Any more views on this?



Message 9 of 12 (782 Views)


Reply to Dustin_S
| ‎04-04-2012 05:02 PM

Hi again,


I know this has been sitting dormant for a bit but I have another thought to add to Eric/Dustin's posts.


I do think that Google has a much better understanding of the end users and their interests.  Basing targeting on 'likes' and volunteered information in the FB platform is hit or miss where Google uses more actual and current information.


I see sooo many sheep out there in FB land that 'like' pages just to follow the crowd, when in essence, Suzie homemaker may not really care about custom car mats for her minivan.  But, because her second cousin suggested that "Joe's custom car mats" business page needed likes, she followed the crowd and became part of that advertising pool for car products.  I only wonder how far stretched this issue really is.


So not only are ads being served when users are preoccupied, the relevancy is based on questionable targeting.


I see false information all the time on FB, people put crazy relationship statuses, just for fun, lie about their age and list incorrect languages, schooling and locations just because...what does this turn into when an audience is built?


At least with Adwords, targeted users are, for the most part, actively searching for something or browsing the web with intent.


That is all...Smiley Happy



Message 10 of 12 (762 Views)

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