Is Facebook the New Google?

Posted by Michael Hurczyn on October 9, 2015

In Social Media

People ask some pretty specific questions on Facebook, but why are they using Facebook and not Google?  

Facebook or Google

Here are some actual questions from people in various groups I belong to on Facebook:

  • Is there such a thing as a pediatric optometrist? Need to take my 5 yr old to get her eyes checked. Any recommendations? Also, does anyone have an (adult) optometrist they recommend? Would like to change ours.
  • Anyone know of any fun Halloween activities for kiddos that will be going on in the area within the next few weeks? Thanks!
  • Anyone been up to Meadow View Farms yet? Wanted to take my kids today but was wondering if all the kids stuff is open on Mondays?
  • Are there any walk-in clinics open after 8pm in the area?
  • ISO a chimney cleaner, I need to get my flues cleaned out before we start the wood stove..any suggestions thanks
  • [High Performance Driving] Instructors, what communicator setup are you using?
  • Does anyone know of daycares in the Naugatuck area that care for diabetic kids?
How can this behavior affect they way businesses communicate?

1.  Why are people looking on Facebook?  Does nothing relevant come up when they searched Google?  Did they not know what to search for?  Do they want to hear from a person and not a business?  Do they not want to go through the effort of calling around?  If you are business that solves one of these questions, do you know what to fix to make sure you show up?

2.  Word of Mouth is now public.  It used to mean one person told another person about something.  When it happens on Facebook, it becomes a somewhat public post because each person's network can see the post,  as well as other group members if the comment is posted in a group.  

I spared you from the details, but each one of these questions had a number of responses.  Sometimes there was a pattern.  If one person chimed in with Mr. Smith is the best pediatric optometrist, it was usually followed up with other people who also like Mr. Smith.  

The question now becomes, how does Mr. Smith capitalize on the referral?  What happens when people look him up?  Does his website align with what he's like in real life?

3. Long Tail Keywords.   The trick to inbound marketing is putting relevant content in front of people where they are looking for it.  The groups where these types of questions are being asked are a goldmine of resources for what answers you should be providing on your website and blog content.  

In regards to the question: Anyone know of any fun Halloween activities for kiddos that will be going on in the area within the next few weeks?   It would be nearly impossible for a small local business to rank on Google for "Halloween Activities", but how about this for a blog title:  Fun Halloween Activites happening in the Granby, CT area in October.  

4.  Engagement Opportunity.  Of course, it's impossible to be everywhere all the time, but knowing where people are conversing about things your business does would create fantastic engagement opportunities, especially for local businesses.  Have you ever searched for where people might be talking about your business?

5. Social Proof.  What people say about you and/or your business in these threads is one form of social proof, but what happens if they decide to follow someone's advice and look you up?  Is your website giving someone a conversion path or are you scaring people away?  Are your social profiles up to date and portray the same presence as your website?

So how does this relate to your business?  I'm not suggesting that you hang out on Facebook all day, but it may be a good idea to crystallize your buyer personas.  In order to put relevant content in front of people, you need to know where they are looking.  


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