Google+ vs. Facebook – Who Wins the Business Battle?
Recently we posted an article about the future of internet marketing and the boom in digital potential. According to this latest research, majority of the Australian marketing departments have started shifting their expenditure from traditional advertising to digital and social media channels. Thus, it’s even more vital than ever for businesses to build a stronger presence online.
These days, an unbelievable amount of new content is published on the web every single day and more brands are getting serious about amplifying content through social media. With an estimated 93% of marketers already using social media for business, building a strategy that integrates all aspects of the business with social has become an important investment. Social media gives businesses the opportunity to elevate a conversation and foster a community that continues to boom, but how do you know whether Google+ or Facebook should dominate your marketing strategy? We check out the debate and find out who wins the business battle.
Google+ vs. Facebook – The Similarities
Google+ and Facebook both play a major role in the social media world for millions of people every day and consequently, their similarities interlink with one another. Both social media platforms have a significant audience to tap into and offer a choice or combination of paid advertising opportunities and free online marketing tools. These free tools, like Google+ business pages and Facebook fan pages are a popular in social media strategies.
Google+ vs. Facebook – The Differences
It’s important to remember that Facebook was initially built for people – not businesses. Once marketers clued on to how fast Facebook was growing, they saw it as an opportunity for businesses to open pages and take advantage of the booming audience. In the beginning though Facebook was a social network designed to connect people to people – namely family and friends.
Whilst they are both social Ad networks that effectively connect people and brands, Facebook concentrates more on connecting people with friends in an intimate space, and entertaining them. Google+ on the other hand is designed as a more professional platform and connects people or businesses with others who share similar interests.
Because Facebook sessions tend to last longer than Google+, Facebook has become the preferred method for building brand awareness or sending a specific message and campaign. The platform also allows uniquely targeted advertising options, for example fans of certain page or group.
Both platforms have the opportunity to ‘like’ a piece of content or image. Facebook’s ‘like’ button and Google’s +1 button both express support for a particular post and generates traffic. Because Google+ is linked with the major search engine Google though, Google searches are more influenced and generate personalised results directly from the Google+ social network.
Reach and Targeting
In terms of the reach battle, Facebook is the winner with over 1 billion active monthly users. Compared to Google+ with just over 300 million, Facebook however has had years to grow its audience and waiting on Google+ to compete with Facebook on size along will take some time. Despite Facebook being created to connect people with people, building a Facebook fan page still gives small businesses instant access to a huge audience.
When it comes to targeting though, Google+ shines over Facebook with the feature Google+ Circles. Google+ Circles enable small businesses to sort their connections into different categories and send targeted messages to these groups. These circles make it easier to keep your business life and your personal life separate. For example, if you don’t want your customers to see a certain post you can share it simply with your networking or co-workers circle. Although Facebook does have the ability to block people from seeing certain posts come up in their newsfeed, it’s not as effective as Google+ Circles.
Analytics and SEO
In the Facebook page admins, the Facebook Insights analytics tool provides businesses with comprehensive data relating to the content, traffic and more. Although Google+ does have a feature (Google+ Ripples) that helps to keep track of your brand’s page performance, it’s not as in-depth as the data Facebook Insights provides. It will however, give you feedback as to who shares specific posts you’ve published to Google+ and reviewing a ‘sharing timeline’ for your posts.
From a search engine optimisation perspective, Google+ is the crowned the long term winner. It’s no surprise really, considering Google is the most popular search engine worldwide. The content you place on Facebook is included in the Google search results, but it doesn’t deliver the social signals data for Google to use in its search algorithm the way Google+ does. The release of Google’s Authorship linked with your Google+ profile has also increased the SEO advantages of tying content to your business profile.
With this advantage over the web searches, businesses that are active on Google+ usually start to see a spike in their search traffic giving Facebook a good run for its money. Google+, undoubtedly, will also have this gain as their searchers usually have a specific interest in mind whereas people tend to go to Facebook more to ‘hang’ with friends. Keep in mind too; users will stay logged into their Google+ accounts longer than Facebook. This is because Google will be used by people to not only access their Google+ profile, but check their email and surf the web.
Where to Spend Your Business Social Networking Time
It’s important you define the purpose of your business to determine what social media platform is best, or if a combination of a few should be implemented into your social media strategy. Both come with their own advantages and disadvantages and until you try them, you’ll never be too sure what works for you. As a quick rule of thumb though,
- If you want to boost brand awareness for more specific niche interests.
- If your business uses lots of photos for products. Photos tend to get a lot of interaction on Facebook which will result longer in user’s newsfeed improving the staying power. As your community shares the content or images, there’s a higher probability it’ll be seen by people you’re not connected with.
- If you have a large follower base on your personal profile that can be leverages for your business page.
- If you want a wider variety of options, including a larger focus on advertising options.
- If you want to connect with people in a more professional environment. For many businesses Facebook can be too personal and this is where Google+ has the ability to truly separate personal and professional lives.
- If you want to benefit from the SEO advantages and search value.
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White Chalk Road are a specialist Search Marketing Agency based in Perth, with over 20 years’ experience in the industry. As a Google Premier Partner, WCR specialise in SEO, Search Marketing, Advertising & Marketing Automation. WCR help Perth businesses, across both B2B and B2C markets, who need help being found online by their customers.
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