Everyone has been watching Facebook to see if it can monetize its enormous traffic to become a going business. And the focal point of that monetization effort is advertising, just like Google's. And you've probably read about Facebook ads, or perhaps even tried them yourself. And maybe you've decided that they just don't work. You might be right, but it could also be that you are trying to use Facebook ads the same way you use Google ads, when you ought to be doing something very different.

We like to think that advertising is all the same everywhere, but it's not. The skills needed to optimize a Google paid search ad are far different than what's required for a feel-good "our company is kind to animals" brand image TV spot. They have vastly different purposes and they have different metrics for success.

So it is with Google ads and Facebook ads.

Google ads are all about "Buy now!" People searching are often in the midst of a purchase decision, and a Google ad is successful for marketers because they know how to sell. They can immediately figure out the ROI the minute someone buys, too. Google ads are simple and they work.

Facebook ads are a lot tougher. People using Facebook are not usually trying to buy something, so the same "Buy now!" approach you use with Google doesn't work. In fact, your ad probably should not be selling anything except a relationship.

Facebook ads are likely more effective by going after the very beginning of the buying cycle, where people are learning about your product and trying to decide whether they need one. Or even further back, when they are trying to solve a problem and don't even know what kind of product or service will do that.

Facebook is all about relationships, so a Facebook ad should be about that, too. How can you relate to prospective customers? Do you have a consultant that has frequent status updates that your customers might want to friend? Do you have an upcoming event (online or offline) that your friends are invited to? What can you do for your friends that might help them understand their problem better and start seeing your company as having the expertise to solve that problem?

If you develop a relationship through Facebook, the sales are more likely to follow than if you try to make a sale first. With Google ads, the relationship usually starts after the sale. With Facebook ads, you might need the relationship before the sale.

Originally posted on Biznology

September 21, 2012

Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.

Mike's previous appearances include Text Analytics World, Rutgers Business School, SEMRush webinar, ClickZ Live.

Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of Outside-In Marketing (with James Mathewson) and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its 3rd edition, and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.


Great article. There are many ways to increase your company's status on Google. People are now using Facebook for their SEO. Thanks for sharing.
Christine@ Chicago SEO

i totally agree with the part of: With Google ads, the relationship usually starts after the sale. With Facebook ads, you might need the relationship before the sale... informative article, Thanks for sharing

Lately, I've been trying to push myself to have a generally applicable strategy to everything. When I run into a problem (like Google ads emphasizing "buy now!" or "get reviews!" and Facebook ads emphasizing relationships), my conclusion is that I'm actually not being general enough. The strategy shouldn't be "Include a call to action that encourages a sale." Rather, the rule should be "Include a call to action that encourages a platform-appropriate conversion."

It's not that you don't have a call to action - you always do - but the specifics are context dependent. So, you're exactly right about Facebook. On social media, the call to action is to begin or maintain a relationship: "Like us! Be our friend." After that relationship is established and authentic, then we can worry about other conversions.

Totally agree with yo, facebook ads will help us in bussines, first after put an ads, we are able to get more fans in our fanspage, the second, it will make our sales become better. Put it in the end of month. That's all from me Mike, Thanks.

i am agree with your concepts. Many people use Facebook for their seo business. Thanks for sharing nice article keep continue.

I have had no luck using Facebook ads, especially on a national scale. I honestly think Google ads are the only ones worth the money, but then again I could be wrong.

With Facebook ads, you might need the relationship before the sale... informative article, Thanks for sharing

I agree that Facebook has been very innovative with its social ad units. However, if anyone should have the label of having invented social advertising on a mass scale – it’s probably YouTube.

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Search Engine Guide > Mike Moran > Using Google Strategies for Facebook Ads