Businesses and marketers have been left puzzled trying to figure out which site will be most crucial to their social networking strategy. It’s been almost 6 months since Google jumped into the social ring in an attempt to wrestle some of Facebook’s 800 + million users to the mysterious invite-only Google+.
It didn’t take long for G+ to hit 40 million registered users but it still has a long way to go before beating out the 300 + million user army of Twitter or Zuckerberg’s social networking behemoth, Facebook.
The boys in blue at Facebook have recently become buddy-buddy with Spotify, a popular music streaming service, and that has significantly helped the goals of both companies. Although this poses a threat to Google+, they’ve got a few tricks up their sleeve as well.
Social Integration: The Future of Social?
Facebook may have Farmville and Spotify on their side but Google has YouTube and…well, Google integration!
Google search integration provides a favorable advantage to G+ for SEO purposes, specifically. These factors have a massive impact in the effectiveness of your social media strategy so they should not be ignored.
Facebook’s mission is “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected,” but it seems that Google is striving to make people and the web more connected. I would debate this is a more effective approach in the long run as social media becomes an extension of everything rather than being its own entity on the web, but only time will tell.
Forgive me if I’m starting to sound bias but most of my opinions come from my stance as a business owner using these sites as tools in a social networking strategy.
Who’s Got The Better Features?
If you haven’t tried the “Hangouts” feature on G+, you’re missing out. You can video chat with up to 9 friends at one time from your computer or from your Android smartphone.
Inserting a “+” before your search query will bring you directly to the corresponding Google+ page. For example, searching “+YouTube” will bring you straight to their G+ page with no additional clicks. Simple features like this make it easy to keep bringing people back.
Facebook’s features have always been rather lackluster and every update seems to prompt a unanimous collective groan on News Feeds across the world. The recent addition of Open Graph, you have probably noticed social reader apps like “The Guardian” or “The Washington Post” popping up in your news feed every time a friend reads one of their articles.
This pesky app lures you in with its catchy headlines only to stop you at the gateway of an application install request where it asks to post to your News Feed when you read an article, similar to Spotify.
Google+ Pages vs. Facebook Pages
Facebook pages have been a staple to millions of brands and companies since it made its original debut. Over time, marketers and businesses alike have progressively begun to feel snubbed by the lack of exposure they get within their fans’ News Feeds as Facebook continues to favor posts from personal profiles over pages.
Google, on the other hand, has received massive amounts of praise since it introduced Google+ Business Pages. It provides much more flexibility with how you can interact with brands by extending the Circles feature to incorporate business pages as well. This allows the user a bit more freedom in how they want to interact with you versus an algorithm solely deciding that for you.
Here’s the trouble I have when attempting at choosing a favorite…Facebook remains more popular with a larger audience and the go-to method for keeping in touch with friends and family. However, for business your social networking strategy depends on getting the maximum amount of attention possible to your brand. Google+ can come out on top here.
Marketers constantly struggle to cut through the noise on Facebook but G+ gives you far more leverage with ‘Circles’ and its attractive SEO benefits. These factors leave it as a force to be reckoned with.
The real question is will it be enough to compete with Facebook or be the demise of Facebook as we know it? Will you be making Google+ part of your social networking strategy? Leave your answer in the comments below!