Over the weekend I was chatting to a hairdressing friend about his decision to set up a Facebook page for his salon. While he’d taken longer than many to set up the page, he saw it as essential marketing.
What I find interesting is that I know for a fact he hasn’t set up a Google Places listing for his salon yet, and it got me thinking – Why?
The question of “Facebook Page vs Google Places page” will confront many small business owners soon, if they haven’t already been through that decision process.
Quick answer = BOTH!
In all seriousness, SMB’s do need both, BUT if you’re a time poor small business owner (which means you’re like 99% of other small business owners), then Google Places is probably the place to start.
Facebook is definitely a great place to engage with existing clients and potentially attract new clients (especially now that Facebook pages are indexed in Google), but it takes time and effort to create and build the engagement buzz.
Google Places on the other hand offers a range of immediate low touch benefits. Here’s 4 reasons why you should start with a Google Places page:
- Firstly, when people go searching in Google for a local business, it’s more likely they’ll a Google Places listing at the top of the results page – above where the organic Facebook Page listing is likely to appear.
- Secondly, you’re more likely (there will be a few odd exceptions) to get exposure from your Google Places page on generic local searches than your Facebook page. (e.g. Dentist New York)
- Google Place pages are optimised business listings, with the goal being to drive enquiries to your business.
- And lastly, it’s almost set and forget. Well that’s not entirely true, as Google Places pages perform better when you continue to optimise them with citations and reviews etc. – but even a basic Google Places page with basic contact and business info is more likely to attract business than a never used Facebook page with the same basic info.
While Facebook continues to build itself as the Search 2.0 alternative, Facebook Pages will continue to grow in importance, but for now; my money is on Google Places as your starting point.
- Where do you sit: Do you prefer Facebook pages or Google Places pages?