Facebook Ads vs Google Adwords – A Comparison

[Which one works best? Faceook advertising or Google Adwords? Rajnish, founder of Shufflr, shares his experience]

When we launched our product globally we decided to run campaigns on both Google and Facebook. I put equal amount of money on Google Adwords and Facebook for CPC campaigns. I also ran similar campaigns with more or less the same ad copy to measure the performance on Google and Facebook. Our product Shufflr requires users to download the app and then register. Hence I was measuring the performance of Google and Facebook in delivering registrations for Shufflr. I had some interesting learnings which i would like to share:

  • Over a period of one month I got 10-15% lower CPC on Facebook vis-a-vis Google
  • The number of registrations from Facebook campaigns was approx 20% more than registrations from Google

Overall CPC campaigns on Facebook were more effective and gave a better ROI than Google. There are probably a couple of reasons for that:

  • On Facebook I could target users by their place of work. For Shufflr we targeted users from technology companies like Google, Amazon, Oracle, Cisco etc. Probably these users understood the value proposition of Shufflr much better which lead to more registrations
  • Shufflr requires users to download Adobe Air. With Facebook I could target users who had shown their “interest” as Tweetdeck which meant they probably already had Adobe Air installed
  • We have a Shufflr page on Facebook which had approx 850 fans. With Facebook I could target friends of people who were already fans of Shufflr. When the friends of people who are already fans of Shufflr page see the ad it shows them below the ad “X likes Shufflr”. This probably lead to better click-thrus
  • Though I don’t have insights into the way the algorithms of Facebook and Google run, my suspicion is that Facebook is using customer click-thru data to target ads. For example if I clicked on an Oldspice ad and landed on the page and clicked on the “Like” Button then Facebook uses this data to target other friends in my friend list and shows them the Old spice ad. As more and more friends in my network click on the Oldspice ad and click on the “like” button the CTR keeps improving.
  • The combination of Facebook page “Like” button and the Facebook CPC campaigns delivers better targeting and hence improved CTR’s. So using real-time data on consumers clicking on the “Like” button on the CTR’s for campaigns, Facebook does a much superior job of optimization than Google.

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As a user of both Facebook advertising platform and Google Adsense I have found Facebook delivering better ROI. The Facebook Fan page and the “Like” button are very powerful missile in Facebook arsenal. I am sure other advertisers across the world are discovering the same truth and having similar experiences. To this mix add the Facebook Search which I suspect Facebook will launch at some point of time. Facebook will use the “Like” button click data to create a new page ranking system which will deliver more accurate search results because now your social network is curating content for you.

With 500+ million users who are logged on most of the time on Facebook and are clicking on “Like” buttons on Facebook as well as third party sites, Facebook is clearly winning on the ad platform. Let’s see what Google pulls out of it’s hat when it launches its version of social networking.

What’s your opinion?

[Reproduced from Rajnish’s blog]

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