Is Google Or Social Media a Better Tool For Data Analytics?

*edited to note Facebook announced it will discontinue the use of Facebook analytics as of June 30, 2021.

If you’re running a business with any kind of online presence, you’ve probably heard about Google Analytics. It’s had a long tenure as the only really effective tool for data analytics. Times are changing though, and Facebook Analytics is rapidly becoming an essential addition.

Which one should you choose for tracking your business metrics? The answer is BOTH because they have entirely different jobs.

What Does Each Platform Do?

If you want to see your business grow, you absolutely need to be using a tool for data analytics. The insight you will get into your audience and, more importantly, the way they navigate and engage with your website, is critical.

For this reason, it’s essential for you to have Google Analytics on your website.

That said, depending on your specific marketing activities, you may want to leverage Facebook Analytics as well.

Facebook Analytics

Facebook Analytics has been around for several years. It has developed into an effective tool for data analytics.

Facebook Analytics allows you to track many different metrics, including:

  • Customer journeys across different devices, ads, and email campaigns
  • Demographic data for campaigns so you can track conversions
  • Funnel results for customer behavior and conversions
  • Custom audiences, so you can learn from their behaviors
  • Event source groups to isolate and retarget people who have followed specific paths or funnel steps
  • Omnichannel insights that build custom audiences and track audience activity over multiple devices

Facebook Analytics has two tools you can use: Page Insights and Audience Insights. Your Page Insights provides you with details about what people do on your page (how they interact).

This is important for understanding how people are engaging with your content.

Facebook Audience Insights, as the name suggests, gives you insight into your audience. This lets you understand WHO you’re talking to so that you can adjust accordingly. With a deeper understanding of your audience, you’ll create more effective ads and relevant content.


Google Analytics

Google Analytics is probably the best free tool for data analytics out there right now. You can use it to discover how people are finding and using your website. This is a great way to figure out your marketing ROI!  The best thing about Google Analytics is the sheer volume of data it can track.

You can filter your information in dozens of different ways. See where your traffic is coming from, what pages they visited, conversions by traffic source, and even what browser they’re using.

It also allows for seamless integration with different Google products.

Plus, for non-Google products, you can use tracking codes to gather data. Tag and track any kind of marketing campaign that you’re running on any platform. The installation method will vary depending on your website’s software.

Google Analytics is such an effective tool for data analytics because it gives you so much to work with! You can make informed decisions about where to direct your attention and money.

If you know where your traffic is coming from, your marketing efforts can be more focused. 

You can even figure out what kind of content is working well and make more of it!

Which Is the Best Tool for Data Analytics?

Figuring out the best tool for data analytics isn’t a matter of either/or — although if we had to pick, we would go Google Analytics every time.

Realistically, you’ll want to choose the tool best suited to exactly what metrics you’re tracking. Often, the answer will BOTH in order to get the clearest answers!

Google Analytics is packed with features and gives you almost more data than you know what to do with. But don’t let that overwhelm you, you don’t have to know it all to gain insights. A good starting point is with Google Analytics Basics. It should be a central part of your strategy for monitoring your metrics.

In fact, Google Analytics gives you a more complete picture of how traffic from Facebook is impacting your business goals. It also contextualizes the relationship between your Facebook strategies and the rest of your shared media work!

Facebook Analytics is the champion of what is happening pre-conversion, meaning ON Facebook, before they get to your website.

Facebook just tracks user-specific data within Facebook’s platform at a higher level of detail. After all, Facebook’s business relies on the tracking of personal data. But note that recent IOS changes for privacy protection allow users to opt-out of tracking. Which means you get less of the overall picture.

Our easy workaround is using UTM parameters in your marketing campaign links, then using Google Analytics (or our handy dashboards) to view these results. UTM parameters allow you to see traffic by source, medium, campaign, and more granular with ad set name and ad name for paid media or drill down by post, story, group, or email for organic campaigns.


Google Analytics Is The Most Comprehensive Tool for Data Analytics

Although you will likely want to use both of these platforms, Google Analytics really is the best tool for data analytics. 

It gives you a lot of data to work with, but just because it can be measured doesn’t mean it should. Analysis paralysis can be a real problem. Take advantage of customization options to curate data that is meaningful to you, and ignore the rest!

Keep in mind, data analytics is not the best way to solve problems; it’s the best way to find them.

You can see where you’re losing people along their journey.

Is your page loading too slowly? Is there a certain spot where your audience tends to leave?

Google Analytics can help you identify where issues exist. After that, it’s up to you to use that information to find the root cause and come up with solutions. To learn what numbers are actually important to measure, how to measure and understand them, and then how to pull it all together in a custom report check out Measure & Maximize. A program created for you to feel confident about understanding and organizing key sales & marketing data to help grow your or your client’s business.

When it comes to choosing the best tool for data analytics, the answer isn’t really one or the other. Both Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics have unique strengths that work together.

By utilizing both, you can build a clear picture of who is using your website and how. Avoid wasting time on marketing efforts that aren’t working. Using a tool (or two!) for data analytics will help you make the most out of your marketing budget.