Not long after Google+ was launched, Facebook for Business was rolled out. As it turned out, Facebook scored points since Google+ for businesses is not public yet. In fact, businesses that rushed to build their profiles were unceremoniously banned by Google. Still, it is only a matter of time before Google+ for businesses is officially launched. Between the two internet giants, though, for businesses, it is not Facebook or Google, but a question of how to leverage Facebook and Google+ to connect with your market and grow your sales.
Let us take a brief look at what Google + and Facebook are offering businesses today:
Google +, Google’s social networking project is already very popular. Google’s other products Picasa, Google Maps and so forth are incorporated into Google+. Like Facebook’s news feed, Google + has a “Stream” where user updates appear. Google + has four major elements:
- Circles – where you can categorise your friends, work colleagues, family members and any other groups separately
- Hangouts – a way for groups of people to gather online via live video chat
- Huddles – Group mobile chat that helps interact with many people at once
- Sparks – a collection of things you like and would like to keep track of
Facebook For Business launched this just after the launch of Google + offering access to Facebook’s powerful marketing tools to grow your business. These tools include:
- Pages – These can be used by businesses can build their business profile and interact with their fans or people who ‘like’ them
- Ads - Businesses can reach the people they want with ads targeted by age, location, interests and more
- Sponsored stories – This option leverage friends talking to friends using viral marketing
- Platform – With this tool businesses can turn their website into a social experience with plug ins and custom apps
Facebook versus Google+
Right now, Facebook reports 750 million active users and looks like the best option for businesses now since most of them are using Facebook to some extent, anyway, through individual or business profiles. Google+ had 10 million users in July 2011. Here is an interesting infographic that shows the basic differences between Google+ and Facebook.
It is acknowledged that social search and mobile are the future of marketing. Google has already begun to include social media metrics to evaluate website quality and credibility. The acceptance of Google + will allow it to customise search results.
Businesses and individuals will use Facebook and Google + with equal fervor. After all it is for the business to promote themselves in an appealing way that motivates users to “share” “like” or “+1” content.