google vs social media ads

Google Ads vs Social Ads: The Psychology

The major platforms on the internet have what you need: people’s attention.

It’s your job as a marketer to be active on the correct platforms to harvest the attention of the right people – your potential customers.

We can look at the pros and cons and the nuances of Google and social media ads another day, here I just want to look at one simple thing.

Which side do you want to pull from?

Google Ads and social media ads pull from opposite directions and involve different buyer psychology.

  • Google: people are searching for a solution to their problem, or information. You’re waiting for them to search for the thing you can provide.
  • Social media: you can inspire people. You can put your offering firmly in front of your target audience without waiting for them to come to you.

The correct answer in most cases is to pull from both directions, why wouldn’t you! Be there when they need you and get in front of everyone else and inspire them to look at what you do.

Budget is usually the biggest hurdle.

If you need to decide between the two approaches, a good question to ask is: does my business solve a practical problem or do we major on emotional purchases?

If you sell stationary from a fixed location, Google may be best. If you’re a new fashion brand, social media is likely the way to go.

Consider the approach

Data-backed decisions are great, but data only considers the past and it’s only available if you’ve used paid media before. Sometimes as marketers we need to use our intuition and act based on what we know our customers are actually doing day to day.

Consider the most logical way of attracting customers online for your business. Consider the psychology of online selling.

Is it wise to use paid search because a lot of people need what you can provide and are actively searching for it, or do you need to get in front of potential new customers and not wait for them to find you?

This isn’t an exact science, nothing in marketing is. But it’s a great way to think about it.

Think about more than what’s hot right now in terms of platforms if you’re spending ad money.

Talk to us

If you want to discuss how we can help with either, just let me know. We can help with both consultancy and activity. Email me –

matthew brown pearson brown

Matt Brown