Feb 15, 2011
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Google or Facebook – Who’s Better at Plying Their Trade?

Who is better at playing their own game, Google (Search Engine) or Facebook (Social Networking)? What would happen if one decided to have a go at doing what the other one did? For example: Google start a social networking site.

Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, are moving into Google’s turf and trying the advertising game as well. Google’s business began from the Pay per Click Advertising that in 2009 accumulated $23 billion. Facebook would now like to have a bit of that – and they are big enough to try.

Facebook and Google are alike in some ways and almost opposite in another. So, they operate alike by targeting small and medium enterprises using a self-serve advertising system. We know that Facebook has taken $1.86 billion in worldwide advertising. Most of that revenue was accumulated from the self–serve tools therefore, not getting into agency fees and additional charges.

Also, $1.21 billion of the $1.86 billion was earned in the US, so Facebook had a 4.7% share of the total online advertising spend.  Based on this information, and normal trends that have been seen before, Facebook will be at 8.8% in 2012. That additional percentage has to come from somewhere.

Despite that, MySpace lost serious ground, members and advertising revenue. In 2012, MySpace ad revenue fell from $470 million in 2009 to $156 million. In the background, Facebook was gearing up to compete with Google. As we now know, Facebook and Google are fighting for market share, as each percent could equal thousands and thousands of pounds.

If Facebook is going to keep chipping away at the percentage share within the market, they will have to get some things right. There is a lot of discussion within the marketing environment that Facebook is almost perfect at attracting/targeting a large audience. However, in doing so, it is not as specific.

This fault with Facebook does not really affect the large companies that post the large brand advert. The ad is seen by massive audience, and the brand will be known almost instantly by its users. The smaller and mid-sized enterprises (SME) however will have a disadvantage.

The smaller and mid-sized companies don’t generally have an instant brand identity, so to a large audience, the message is lost and therefore the advert will not be noticed and received. Google’s key word advertising is specific (hence keyword).  This is where the keyword based advertising is more appropriate. The Google keyword search will be more specific and is more efficient with a better ROI for a SME.

If Facebook wants to challenge Google it must get the SME advertising right.

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