It’s a simple question. But simplicity isn’t really Facebook’s preferred method. Why have one way to view your news feed when you can have a synchronous, overlapping timeline of top stories, stories, recent stories, images, links, and photos?
So our short answer is that, as business owners, Facebook doesn’t really like us. They laugh at the thought of market research, and don’t really put much thought into the tools they provide to businesses to market themselves.
And if we had to choose, Google’s Business Profile (sometimes called Google Places) is a much better choice for creating a company profile online. Here’s why.
Unlike Google Places, which makes your business visible to thousands of potential customers on Google and other major search engines, Facebook offers you two initial ways to get customers: spam your family / friends or buy ads. We can live with that, though. Your customers eventually come and with a ton of hard work, you build up an audience.
But it still is annoying. A well-visited Facebook page can take years to build. And even brands with multi-million dollar TV campaigns designed to drive traffic to their Facebook page still struggle to gain traction. Even worse95% of people who like your Facebook page will never return to view it again! Sure you might get through to their message stream for a while but trust us – that doesn’t usually last long. See our detailed post onFacebook’s edge score to learn why.
Oh, you don’t get a branded page just yet. You need a certain amount of ‘likes’ before you qualify for a vanity URL. Till then, you are:
Has a nice ring it to, doesn’t it? I’m sure your customers will remember this URL string when they see it in newspaper ad. Don’t worry. It will change. Everything changes in Facebook land. Remember Fans? Beacon? FBML?
OK, no URL. So where do you access your page after you have created it. Seriously, where do you log into your Facebook page?
It’s there, that tiny mark at the bottom of the page. How could you miss it? The other option of course is to navigate to your page indirectly from your profile. Seems logical, right? I think not.
Spam your friends!
Well, it’s not that bad if you promote your page on your website and actively build an audience. But out of the gate, Google’s business profile kills the meager promotion Facebook gives you.
For example, check out the free promotion Google gives you for your business profile versus Facebook (see below).
Google is built for businesses. Facebook is not.
This is because Google understands the sales process. It knows that people search for businesses online and that they need things to help them evaluate your business: reviews, photos, hours of operation, location.
You can, of course, build a Facebook Places page. But when it comes to maps, and hitting the top of the search results—Google isn’t going to let its competitor beat them.
Mostly because Facebook isn’t very business savvy. They don’t really know how people are supposed to be using their platform for business (other than—we have access to data!) and haven’t really given much thought to the role Facebook is playing in business. Let’s not forget that only three years ago, Zuckerburg said that he’d iron out a business model within three years. (Music to his investor’s ears, who gave him $240 million a few years prior). It wasn’t until 2009, and 300 million users, that the company first turned a profit.
The bottom line? Facebook doesn’t really care about your bottom line. They are the Bob Dylan of social media platforms: they love to do their own thing, even if it means consistently disappointing their fans and confusing businesses. Zuckerburg is focused on building his company and being the social architect of the future. Helping you sell mochas and muffins at your local coffee shop—boring! But he will synthesize your business hours and updates into a real-time social sharing story timeline! Neato!
If Zuckerburg put half the amount of brainpower into improving the usability for businesses that he did for timeline we’d be singing a different tune. Instead Zuckerburg and his 10,000 developers are creating 45 different timeline views so you can hear when your friends yell “Jersday!”. One might argue that appeasing average Joe user is what made Facebook so successful in the first place; however, business is social and Facebook needs to do a better job integrating consumer experiences with the overall user experience. And preferably not through an app. We have Yelp for this! Maybe then, they would give Google a run for their money.
Here’s a link to create a Google Places for Business page.
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