Google Plus vs Facebook: Why G+ Should Dominate Your 2014 Marketing Strategy

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google-plus-vs-facebookSocial media. An opportunity to elevate a conversation, foster community and challenge the status quo.

It is also a place for heated debate as was the case yesterday.

Mike Allton, a social media and Internet marketing consultant and Google Plus evangelist, shared an article that instantly ignited a heated discussion between the Google Plus community and the author of the article.

Now before you make the assumption that I am going to launch into a diatribe against the author, let me put your mind at ease. That is not what this article is about.

It is meant to extend the conversation beyond the “walls” of Google Plus and discuss the pros and cons of the evolution taking place in and around social media as a whole.

The Great Debate: Google Plus vs Facebook

The Article and Why it Launched a Frenzy

The article, “The Future of Facebook’s Newsfeed: An Open Letter to Mark Zuckerberg,” was a well-written piece by Ken Mueller that (in my opinion) was spot-on in his advice to Facebook.

How should they attack future changes to the social giant?

In a nutshell, Ken’s advice was to “stop tweaking” and let users create their own experience. To that I say, AMEN!

Where the conversation took a turn was around his comments that Google Plus is neither social, nor a place to find potential clients. To that I say, phooey!

Let me give you my side (and that of many others) when it comes to both platforms.

Change and Why It’s Not Always Good

Social media is all about the experience and our ability to create a virtual space that both compliments, accessorizes and expands our offline activities into a vibrant and interactive online space.

The problem with that is this: Facebook is now limiting our ability to do just that.

It is controlling our actions, interactions and inevitably, the reactions of our potential customers.

The latest changes to the Facebook algorithm and newsfeed prove that the “free” use of Facebook marketing may no longer be a viable way for businesses to reach consumers.

In an Adage article a few weeks ago, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed that the overall organic reach of Facebook posts from brands is in slow decline.

“We’re getting to a place where because more people are sharing more things, the best way to get your stuff seen if you’re a business is to pay for it,” he said.

As Facebook openly encourages Page owners to buy ads to extend reach, I have to wonder how many companies will make the decision to move away from Facebook marketing altogether in 2014?

So what does this mean to you?

It will be more difficult than ever to get seen in the newsfeed. Frustrated by your lack of interaction? It would appear that you haven’t seen anything yet.

My Comments and Your Takeaway

On the flip side, Google and it’s social network Google Plus continue to implement change that is both exciting and intriguing from a marketer and content creator point of view.

Lets tackle Ken’s theory that Google Plus is not a place where consumers are spending their time.

Stephan Hovanaian‘s response was well-thought out and though provoking:

“Here’s my question: you say you want to fish where the fish are and to that I ask: is Google a big enough sea for you? Because that’s where people go when they want to buy something.

They search for it. Google+ is Google. Google is search. Search is where people go to buy. Buying is what makes your clients money, which they then reinvest in your services.”

Given the fact that Google Plus is indeed “Google,” what role does the search giant play in getting your business found online?

Mark Traphagen, the Director of Digital Outreach for Virante Inc. performed an experiment that provided significant insight.

“A G+ post I created for a specific keyword and then asked people to engage the crap out of eventually did rank high for that keyword, but 20 days after the post creation and engagement occurred!”

Take a look and then tell me which you will choose.

Semantic search and organic reach or a platform requiring your hard-earned cash in order to gain the attention of your current fans?

Below was my response to the difference I see between the two platforms.

But don’t get me wrong.

I still love Facebook as a place where I can interact with my friends and family. For that, it’s a wonderful way to stay up-to-date and connected to those I care most about.

I am the first one to admit, I was not an early adopter and did not beat the G+ drum initially. I didn’t understand the draw and like many, didn’t find value in the community. WOW was I ever wrong.

Not only has it been an excellent resource on a local level, but the exposure within my industry is unlike anything I’ve experienced on any other social network.

With Google Plus, I control my own destiny. Not so with Facebook. Between the dilution of organic search and the suppression of posts, Facebook is reducing even further what ability businesses had to get in front of their audience.

Google Plus on the other hand is all about the quality of your content, your ability to network and how willing you are to connect, engage and inspire others through your words and actions.

If I have to play on someone else’s playground, I’d rather do it where I at least have a say in how (or if) anyone else gets to play with me.

So what say you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

For those wanting to see the complete Google Plus post, you can read it here.

The post Google Plus vs Facebook: Why G+ Should Dominate Your 2014 Marketing Strategy appeared first on Rebekah Radice.

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Rebekah Radice
Rebekah is the CEO of Rebekah Radice LLC, a digital marketing agency assisting business owners in the creation and execution of an integrated online strategy.Rebekah has been actively involved in the marketing industry for over 17 years and is eager to put her experience, innovative ideas and keen sense of "what works," to work for you!
Rebekah Radice

@rebekahradice

Social Media Marketing, Strategist, Digital Marketing, Branding, Blogger, Speaker, Trainer | Coffee addict, sunshine lover & nuts about my 2 pups! ♥
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Comments

  1. Yeah, and now Google just announced +Posts so advertisers can pay to promote their posts just like on Facebook. So, how long will it be until the Google+ feed is filled with ads that push organic posts down and when that begins to happen, what are the chances that Google will come up with a way to throttle the posts in your News Feed just like Facebook? Then, how long until Google starts finding ways to make businesses pay to have their posts seen?

    Everyone keeps raving about Google+ but that's because it's an infant and hasn't reached the growing pains that are sure to come. Do you really believe that Google isn't going to find a way to profit from the businesses that use it for profit?

  2. Great article! I admit that when it comes to Facebook, almost all of my activity and interaction revolves around my personal relationships. Very rarely to I engage in professional interactions or interact with brands. In fact, my Facebook profile is private…..only visible to friends. Google+ is much more flexible….and I feel that I can openly interact and engage without giving too much about my personal life away (if that makes any sense).
    My recent post Twitter Social Sharing Buttons Should Include Your Twitter Handle

  3. I second the opinion ot @HughBriss

  4. Facebook being the biggest social network cannot and should not be dismissed. Google on the other hand controls search and Google+ posts and signals and shares and comments and reshares will have more influence on search results than more FB Likes and Comments, so being active on both is better. I don't get why people spend so much time trying to defend one or the other?
    My recent post Dominate Page 1 Search Results using Social SEO

  5. Not active on G+ and very frustrated with FB for business. Want to dig deep and learn more about connecting with my targets through G+. Thanks for the info!

  6. I've been promoting G+ for ages for my clients. It's another important piece to the online marketing puzzle. Right now, it's still a neglected piece, but it won't be forever as more and more marketers get results using G+ and the positive rankings it encourages.
    My recent post How to Add Meta Tags

  7. These Facebook vs G+ are a waste of time. Normal people (i.e. non marketers/tech-related) do not want nor have time to deal with 2 very different personal social networks, and they already chosen Facebook for that. Why would anybody duplicate all the Facebook efforts on yet another social network?

    Unless Facebook opens its API to massive data export (hint: they will never do it) and G+ adds an import option, Facebook users will not abandon their digital fun town for the digital ghost town G+ is.

    And to think that Facebook wants to earn money while Google will not is as naïve as it gets.

    The answer for us marketers, it's a Facebook and/or Twitter and/or G+. For the regular, typical social network user is Facebook and/or Twitter.

  8. Mark Neace - SyncLab says:

    Spot on! A big difference maker is that Google makes almost all of it's revenue from search, so Google+ simply creates another huge resource of content to be searched. Yes, they are introducing paid advert posts but these will be delivered in a completely different way than FB. Google has sat back and watched all of the mistakes made by FB and will not repeat them. Time to get on board now and benefit!

  9. Prior to last couple of months, little interaction on Google+ but now its really taking off.. big reasons for me: 1. Facebook changed their "edgerank" algorithm screwing small business and indie artists. Now you have to pay to have your posts from business pages seen even by people who have "liked" the page. The big corporations can pay for that, but its none too practical for freelancers like me on a budget. 2. IMAGES, pictures are stunning on Google+, not compressed to crap like on Facebook. Anyway, nice to know I am not alone…

    Great post Rebekah, hope its a great 2014 ahead for you, Trace
    My recent post Freeform Wednesday Funny! Best News Bloopers 2013

  10. Thank you I will certainly be putting more effort into my G+ page now! Facebook reach is very disappointing these days that's for sure. Although HughBriss certainly has a very valid point about the future of Google+ :/
    My recent post Mussi Cuski: The hottest new baby comforter in town!

  11. Love this article, thanks for sharing. I think too, however, it depends on who you are talking to and trying to reach. From my experience and what I understand, the G+ community is very different from Facebook users and it will be interesting to see how this evolves in 2014.

  12. monnaellithorpe1 says:

    Hi Rebekah,

    We have to face it that we either pay to play or find another platform and right now I think Google+ is it. As fast as things change on the internet, we may have to choose to pay to play there also.

    I'm not losing sleep over it. I go where it works for me and I think a lot of people will do the same.

    Have a great evening. Monna

  13. Brent Humpherys says:

    This article is a classic example of how the integrity of the author can lead us to engage with content we'd actually prefer not to. For the most part, I've abandoned Google+ and wasn't looking for a reason to do more there — until I noticed who authored the article. Facebook has been a tremendous engine to cultivate new clients and resulted in about $10M of closed business, largely the result of silly posts about my life as a broker and what really goes on in the business. I fear, however, that Facebook's tweaks to the algorithms that control visibility are going to change everything if my company doesn't agree to pay to promote posts. I believe Rebekah's perspective is accurate and a simple look-back at Facebook visibility on the company's Facebook page shows a dramatic (plane-falling-from-the-sky) plummet in the visibility of non-promoted posts. On a personal level, engagement is on the increase, only I try to keep a lid on content which could be viewed as self-promotion (i.e. vocation-specific.) I found the 20-day lag in Google rankings interesting and think that could be harvested and used strategically by posting ahead of time. At the end of the day, Google continues to demonstrate a commitment to the end-user (allowing our own rules, etc.) and also in its single-click download of customer data — something Facebook doesn't want to enable. I think Google+ may have a new convert in Carlsbad, California!

  14. This is a brilliant and spot on post. I love Ken, but he and I constantly disagree over the value of Google+. I think too many people miss the point that Stephan nailed with his quote. Google+ is Google, and that's where people go to find information, products and services that you have to offer.

    • "Google+ is Google." — That's what Google would like you to believe, but it's just not true. I use Google almost exclusively to research major purchases, but I can't think of a single time this has included Google+ content.

  15. I’m having a hard time believing that Google Plus is the answer. Remember: original Google was successful because it organized the web. Facebook was successful because it organized our friends. But what does Google Plus bring to the equation in terms of organizing data? If it brings no additional value, then I can’t see it as a game-changer. I know what you are saying: Facebook’s purposeful breaking of the algorithm to force us into sponsored posts is a bad move (and it’ll keep making it worse), but going to a rival service with fewer people, on the gamble that that could improve a search-engine ranking, seems even less of a certainty than Facebook. People might just consider that the investment of time into promoting a Google Plus post keyword (which your average business owner is not skilled in) is worth more than throwing a few cents Zuck’s way. (And this is coming from someone who is not a Facebook fan.)

  16. I hate Facebook. I despise everything it stands for. It's become the bully child. It knows its house is where all the cool kids want to be, and it's withholding all the best toys from anyone who doesn't want to play things its way. That said, what good is a (currently) free and open marketing platform, if only nine people are using it?
    My recent post Absolute Mayhem – Episode Two

  17. EXCELLENT post Rebekah! I'd love to get you on my podcast as a guest to discuss this in detail! Sending you a tweet now!

  18. For most of 2013 I observes a causal relationship between vibrant social activity on the likes of Facebook and Twitter primarily, with a notably lesser effect from Pinterest repins (although since Pinterest actually refers paying customers it was still a worthwhile investment of time), Linked In and Google+. In fact, of the platforms mentioned G+ was the only onenfor which we could make no direct correlation between activity and sales from organic search.

    Within the past 3-4 months, we’ve stopped seeing a direct relationship between Facebook likes & shares and improved results in organic.

    While I’ve yet to see the proof, all indications are that G+ should be the centerpoint of our social efforts at least until further notice.

  19. Makes a lot of sense to me, especially in light of the frustrations so many people are experiencing with Facebook as a marketing platform.

    I just watched a webinar about leveraging Google+ for business and was stunned to see how simple it is to expand your circles in a targeted manner very rapidly. A training course will be available soon http://bit.ly/1euObJy and I'll be on it :)

    As an organic SEO specialist I pounce on any fresh methods of enhancing my clients' web presence and when you consider that Google authorship gives increased priority to blog posts and that Google authorship can only be claimed via a G+ profile, that's a great starting point for any business wanting to increase their chances of front page ranking – organically.
    My recent post Organic SEO Made Easy – Just Write Some Blog Posts!

  20. I was a big fan of marketing on Facebook, but no more. Facebook is making it more and more difficult to post the links for free, not even on my own page. And if I pay for FB ad, now I get much less for the same money than few months ago.
    I love Google+ Hangouts, love to make my videos on Google+ On Air, they rank better than yt videos;)
    There is always a way, earning while learning.

  21. Funny how below this article you can only post comments from your twitter or facebook account but google+ isn't there… ironic, isn't it.

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