With Google Plus launching mid last year as direct competition to the might of Facebook, it has already achieved a level of growth that makes it the fastest growing social media network to date. By adding over 10 million new users each month, Google Plus now has 170 million registered users of which, 100 million are currently active. However from a business perspective, is it really worth spending the time marketing to yet another social media platform?
The bottom line here is that as an individual using a social media platform, it’s probably logical that a person is more likely to make the choice between one or the other. However, as a small business looking to grow its online reputation, it probably can’t afford this luxury and as a result, really needs to be marketing to both. The reality is that both Facebook and Google Plus users have at their disposal significantly different marketing procedures, so lets compare the two…
The average Google Plus user
Recent studies have shown that in the main, the average Facebook user is 38 years of age and is more inclined to focus on personal interactions rather than business, branding and content. Whereas, the average Google Plus user is 28 years of age and is more inclined to be technically savvy. Just to back up this statement, according to Pardot (one of the leading US marketing research agencies) Disney, Starbucks and Coca Cola occupy the top three positions on Facebook and are all well known consumer brands. Whereas the leading three slots on Google Plus are taken by Mashable, Google Chrome and Android, which just so happen to be technology related.
One of the most popular ways in which businesses can harness the power of social media is to share information and content with thousands of other like minded or interested people in one hit. Facebook has its ‘likes’ comments, status updates and of course pictures. These methods place the focus of attention onto driving personalised interactions between users and businesses. These methods are a great way to attract new customers to a particular site. In a similar way, Google Plusshares content by posts/blogs with emphasis on the most popular.
Both Google Plus and Facebook have some pretty impressive features that businesses can use. For example, Google Circles allow businesses to specifically laser target like minded individuals by segmenting them according to their demographic. This is a real key factor when marketing. Facebook on the other hand has Facebook Ads. When you consider that Facebook has nearly nine times the amount of users that Google Plus has, this blanket advertising approach can cast a pretty wide net and is something that Google Plus can only aspire to. In response, Google Plus also has ‘Hangouts’ which allows users to easily make video conferences/webinars with multiple users. Google’s USP is its easy channels of content distribution networks which it uses to increase user experience and grow their customer base. Facebook on the other hand relies heavily on more traditional marketing methods and of course its 900 million users.
Clearly, when comparing the two, how a business markets itself through Google Plus vs Facebook is going to be different. For example, with Google Plus, businesses should make use of Google Circles for advertising campaigns. They should also think about creating high quality long posts which can be shared. Businesses should also post content, and indeed videos, on a regular basis and make use of Google Hangouts.
With regard to Facebook on the other hand, businesses need to think more about building social relationships first and foremost. This can be done by utilising carefully crafted Facebook Ads and posts, together with timely responses to enquiries or questions. What you don’t want to do is to bombard Facebook users with content as this is the quickest way to lose fans.
It is clear that Google Plus and Facebook are different. However if used correctly, they are both very powerful platforms upon which small businesses can spread the word. As a result, they really should be used in equal measure.
If you need any more information on the power of Google Plus and Facebook and indeed want to know how to integrate Social Media Marketing into your overallmarketing strategy, then give WSI a call today.
Declan Clancy is an enthusiastic, results oriented and creative Digital Marketer with 9 years hands on experience across digital channels.
In his last role as Group Digital Marketing Manager for Trigon Hotels, Declan was responsible for the ecommerce strategy and implementation for their 3 hotels. While at Trigon Hotels, Declan won Best use of Twitter for a Large Business at the Cork Digital Marketing Awards for his work for Cork International Hotel.