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By :  Manish Bhandari / February 11,2014

Facebook and Google Adwords both are great platforms but with a significant difference from one another. For making any comparison between Facebook and Google Adwords, I believe one should consider all the similarities and differences first to understand better. So did I. Let’s go with similarities first.

Similarities :

  1. Facebook and Google Adwords (both) have a massive potential audience.
  2. Both are primarily PPC advertising channels.
  3. Facebook and Google each offer paid advertising models in addition to free online marketing tools like Facebook Fan Pages and Google+ Business Pages. These pages don’t require the marketer to pay, but are still great venues for promoting your brand and products.

But the key difference for advertisers to understand between Facebook and Google lies in their purpose—are they trying to promote knowledge of their brand, or sell a specific product? So now let’s go with differences.

Differences :

While Facebook still has the advantage in terms of intimate data concerning favorite movies, books, TV shows, etc for advertisers to use, Google plans on giving Facebook a run for its money with Google+. Google+ allows Google to also collect more personal user data, and with users staying logged in to their Google account as they check email, use Google+, and surf the web, it can be expected that Google’s user data will soon surmount Facebook in terms of value.   

Google also has the advantage when it comes to web searches, which the search engine giant is known for. Google AdWords is the ideal venue for business looking to drive clicks and conversions for specific products; Google searchers often have a specific intent in mind, while users often go to Facebook simply to hang out and chat with friends.

Facebook gives businesses a way to connect with users on a social, personal level in and intimate and friendly space, whereas Google is what people use when they are looking for something specific, and often looking to make a purchase.

Facebook''s click-through-rates can be as much as 1,000 times lower than Google campaigns with the same intent.

While Facebook offers traditional ad displays, Google ads offer a number of different advertising options such as the Google Display Network. Google AdWords offers geo-targeting and other additional features and functions.

One powerful advertising option that Google offers that Facebook does not is remarketing. Google remarketing, also known as retargeting, involves showing ads to users based on their past web activity on your site. Remarketing allows advertisers to follow users and show ads to them across Google’s large network of partner sites on the Google Display Network. This pales in comparison to Facebook, whose ads only show up on its own site.

Bottom line: While businesses will definitely want to take advantage of Facebook for developing brand awareness and developing messages for specific niche interests, Google is the venue to focus on for advertising because of its wide array of advertising features and numerous options.

The big positive of Facebook Ads is that they are cheap so if you manage to convert a little bit they could generate better overall performances. Moreover they can create brand awareness and a increase the number of likes to your page for further social marketing activities.

In general I think since Facebook is very good for demand generation more than demand fullfilment, it makes sense to use Facebook Ads as a long term strategy, not trying to immidiately sell something but to generate leads with webinar, free guides etc.

According to me, AdWords converts better than Facebook ads, but AdWords is more expensive. Facebook doesn’t convert as high, but the cost to run ads is so cheap that it can be worth it.

My recommendation is to not think about which one is better, but instead try both out. Try to make both of them profitable by keeping ad costs low and conversion rates high.