Facebook Wins Miss Popularity Contest But What Does It Mean?

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It is a fun little note for the history books that Facebook eclipsed Google as the most used site on the Internet.  For years, Google has pretty much gone unchallenged. Google is still the advertising god as they have a multitude of avenues to deliver adverts to the people. From Google Buzz and Gmail to Google Reader and traditional searches, Goggle invented custom advertising that is based on keywords or repeated phrases.

Yet, as always with all things web, what this big boost in  Facebook popularity means is that the social media giant is giving Google a run for their money”“literally. According to this little article, Facebook is gnawing on a giant chunk of Google’s advertisers by becoming the most clicked site on the web with membership exceeding  400 million users. Since Google has the aforementioned super-powers of marketing, I don’t foresee Facebook swiping all of their advertising dollars any time soon. But as the PC World article mentions, Facebook is still affordable and available to small and independent businesses meaning that more advertising dollars will be sent their way even if they don’t come from big corporate bank accounts.

As far as what this Facebook boom means for Search Engine Optimization and social media marketing, it ‘s difficult to say. Some folks, like Peter Da Vanzo, think it won’t truly affect the way marketing is done. Da Vanzo believes that  SEO is a great way to directly reach customers while social media marketing builds brand awareness. He also notes that if neither technique is used properly, then they are of little use to businesses.  I tend to agree with Da Vanzo. Why bother with SEO or social media if there’s no finesse or style employed in either tactic? You might as well go back to Yellow Page advertisements and bus bench ads.

The only concern I have with the Facebook explosion as far as social media marketing goes, is over population. The site is already beginning to look like a bad combo of the Las Vegas Strip and Times Square. There are currently so many brands yelling “hey look at me” on Facebook that the real challenge for social media marketers is to stand apart from the pack.  Then again, the second wave of Facebook could prove to be very interesting. Entire campaigns are being molded around social media marketing strategy as an avenue for brand awareness and client interaction.

So what so say you, Brandsplatees? Do you think that Facebook’s new dominance is a open invitation for new marketing techniques or is it just another PR spin that will have little effect in the long run?

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