You as a business owner know that you should be involved in some way with social media. You probably started out with Facebook or Twitter. Later you may have added other social platforms to your web presence after you got comfortable with your first one. As time has passed, some platforms have come and gone, e.g., MySpace, while others we’ve ignored because we weren’t sure they would survive against Facebook. Google+ is one of those platforms many business owners are ignoring. I am recommending that you take a second, thorough look at Google+ for your business. Let’s look at how it stacks up against Facebook.
User Statistics in Google+ versus Facebook
The number of monthly active users on Facebook now totals nearly 850 million. Of those, 425 million of them are mobile. Users click the “like” button 2.7 billion times per day with 57% of those users being female. Facebook accounts for 20% of all page views on the web. While 95% of teens are online, they are a declining demographic for Facebook.
On the other hand, Google+ has about 490 million unique users but is gaining 625,000 users per day while Facebook growth has slowed significantly. The Google “+1” button is served more than 5 billion times every day. While Facebook attracts mostly female user, 67% of Google+ users are male. The Google+ iPhone app became the most popular free application in the Apple App store in less than one day when it was introduced.
Pros & Cons
Facebook is great for brand exposure and customer relations. You need to be cautious, however, about constantly publishing self-promoting posts. If you “sell, sell, sell” you will quickly get unfriended/unfollowed. Facebook is also not search engine optimization (SEO) friendly.
Google+ is an easy way to interact with clients and customers and it can be integrated with other Google applications. You don’t have to wait for someone to “like” or “follow” you. You can begin interacting with people as soon as you add them to your circles. Administration can be difficult and small business owners find that most of their clients don’t use Google+.
What’s Missing from Google+
That heading may sound negative, but in this case I mean it in a positive way. Google+ does not have ads. Google+ does not have integrated games. Google+ also doesn’t change the page constantly. This last item alone has caused many people to leave or at least take a break from Facebook.
Things in Common
Facebook calls them Groups while Google+ calls them Communities. There are some differences in how they are configured but you can have Public or Private groups in each. Both have personal profiles and pages that can be used for business, causes, groups, etc. Facebook has chat, which is text-based only (for now?). Google+ has Hangouts which can be text or video-based. They can also be recorded and posted to YouTube. As far as personalization, in the Google+ versus Facebook competition, Facebook wins. At least for now….
URLS in Google+ versus Facebook
You can use http://gplus.to to create a vanity URL. So for example the link for IWD on Google+ becomes http://gplus.to/iwd. Also you must have at least 25 likes in order to customize your Facebook Page web address.
Thinks I Like About Google+
I love the layout of Google+. Some have described it as a cross between Facebook and Pinterest. Three columns display posts of those in your circles, or if you are viewing a profile or page, their posts. I also love the almost unlimited length of your posts and that you can edit them any time you want or need to do so. It’s also easy to see with whom you are sharing your post and that you can easily change it when you compose the post. Google+ also displays images better, in my opinion, allowing them to stretch the entire width of the stream. You can also edit your images within Google+ and store up to 15GB of high resolution images but unlimited of “standard” 2048 pixels! Although Facebook recently added hashtags, Google+ has used them for awhile. They enhanced this feature by automatically suggesting hashtags. Since I am constantly forgetting to add these to my posts in Facebook and Twitter, Google+ does it for me.
So, isn’t it time for you to give Google+ another look? If you need help setting up your personal and/or business profiles, we’d be happy to assist you.