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3 ways Facebook wins over Google

October 29, 2012

facebook vs google

There’s no doubt that Google is one of the best ways to get quality visitors to your website. However, I have been appreciating the merits of Facebook recently, particularly ways in which Facebook compensates in areas where Google search can sometimes lack. Using these channels to complement each other is when you can get the best of both worlds. To do this, it’s important to understand where Facebook wins over Google.

1. Psychographic Targeting

Google targeting is largely keyword-based. The trouble is, you know very little about the searcher, as a person, or how best to tailor the messaging and call-to-action to them. Luckily, Facebook users like to provide a bunch of information about themselves, including:

  • Their age and gender
  • The schools/universities they went to and the subjects they studied
  • The employers they work for and the positions they hold
  • What companies, products and services they like
  • What music, films and TV shows they watch
  • What magazines and publications they like to read
  • Their political beliefs

Information like this makes for very powerful targeting.

2. Niche / Vertical Targeting

When it comes to targeting niche markets, Google search can be limiting. You can easily use too broad keywords and send a lot of low quality visitors to your site. Or you can end up targeting too narrow keywords and end up with not enough visitors to your site to make the effort worthwhile.

Again, Facebook allows you to easily utilize user information to get to these niche markets. It can range from a a very simple selection (such as company targeting to reach key accounts, or occupation targeting to reach particular users), to a more complex selection that utilizes a combination of factors (such as females, who have recently graduated, who like IEEE, and live in the UK).

3. Install Base Targeting

It is useful to know whether a person is already your customer, particularly when it comes to install base marketing and customer retention. With Google search, sometimes you can infer this information, based upon the search that is conducted or through remarketing tags, but very often you do not know for sure.

Facebook’s custom audience targeting is a very easy way to precisely target specific ads to your existing customer base, including:

  • Cross sell or upsell opportunities
  • Product upgrades
  • Service offers or extended warranties
  • Company or product ratings and reviews


Google is great. However, Facebook provides a level of targeting that goes beyond just keywords. Where Facebook excels is in the depth of personal targeting that is possible, particularly when it comes to psychographic, niche and install base marketing.

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