Businesses trying to improve their online presence or run their operations are often at odds over which platform might help them do the job better. Whatever option you go with will have its pros, cons, and learning curve.
Let’s take a look at Google and Facebook to see how their business management tools can help you run your organisation and understand some of their disadvantages too.
Facebook Pages: How can they help your business?
Many businesses use a Facebook Page as a complement or even substitute for a web page. They’re free, just as easy to update as a Facebook personal profile and allow you to buy Facebook Ads if you choose.
Facebook Pages also have a lot of features that business owners rarely use to their full potential. Some of these are paid features, but others are free to use and can work wonders when used correctly.
You can include a phone number or website where they can talk to someone or even order products online.
Other standard features include viewing data on audiences, assigning multiple administrators, moderators, or editors, and scheduling posts.
Facebook Business Suite
As you know, Facebook owns Instagram and has been working on tools to help users communicate via both apps for some time.
Facebook Business Suite allows you to manage your business pages and Instagram accounts. You can join using your computer or by downloading a separate app on your phone.
The tool was created to help small business owners who don’t usually use social media to promote their businesses, especially after the pandemic caused businesses to pivot to online or curbside-only models.
The app or its desktop equivalent shows you which Instagram users mention your page or business in their stories, keep track of paid ads, view important activity, and helps you keep on top of messages.
Business Suite also includes a few advanced tools, such as:
Facebook announced plans to make Business Suite work with WhatsApp as well.
Before getting started with this platform, check out our handy guide on everything you need to know about Facebook Business Manager.
Google Business Manager
Another option for managing your organisation’s online presence is Google Business Manager, or Google My Business. Using a business manager from a search engine company is very different from using one from a social media site.
For one, Facebook helps you build a business using your personal relationships. Google Business Manager, on the other hand, helps promote your business to customers based on their geographic proximity.
If you have ever searched for a local restaurant, you may have noticed that they show up on Google Maps, and you can see store hours, reviews, and even a short description. Google also uses a person’s current location to help them find businesses, including yours.
That’s because one of the most common searches includes near me at the end. Instead of searching for “Italian restaurants in Akron, OH,” many people search for “Italian restaurants near me.” Nowadays, they don’t even need to write ‘near me’ — Google makes that assumption automatically.
To start using Google Business Manager, you can start a profile and create a listing for your business. Next, you need to verify your business using one of Google’s approved methods. Provide as much information as possible to make your listing informative:
Like Facebook, Google Business Manager also allows you to post videos, pay for ads (such as pay per click, or PPC), create appointment scheduling, and add links to events. And yes, there’s an app version of Google Business Manager if you need to make changes using your phone instead.
Both Google and Facebook have interesting things to offer business owners who want easy ways to let their customers get to know them. Tech giants certainly know how to keep updating their features, and though this may mean dealing with a few strange updates that don’t get traction, they’re easy enough to use.
Your small business will always benefit from some form of online presence, and you deserve an easy way to make sure this happens. If you have time to manage your presence on Google and Facebook, you’ll be sure to get the best of both worlds.
Here's a quick guide on setting up a successful Facebook Page as a small business.
Here's how to use review responses to show the world how friendly, responsive, and helpful your small business is.