Facebook vs. Google+


September 16, 2013 by EmilyCRios

There are many misconceptions out there about Google+, which I believe mostly stem from the fact that people were expecting it to be just like Facebook. When it wasn’t people, like myself at first, did not want to take the time to see what Google+ was all about because it looks so different from other social media sites.

The key to knowing how to use both sites is knowing how they work and what searching using each site does and how to best get your content seen by people who all comes down to algorithms.

Facebook’s social graph has allowed the site to gain knowledge about user’s  preferences and whom they communicate with. According to Shel Israel “Graph Search certainly benefits organizations, but it also has unique, valuable and sustainable advantage to the hundreds of millions of people using Facebook. Unlike what we do at Google, we can find people, places, photos and interests based on whom we talk to on Facebook. Israel also writes that when it comes to are relationships Facebook is in the know whereas Google knows what we are looking for.

Facebook can be a great marketing tool if brand’s can get their content displayed in a high location on the News Feed. EdgeRank is an algorithm created by Facebook that determines what is displayed on the News Feed and how high. This is important because posts that people see in their news feed are what they engage with.  This algorithm looks at edges or everything you do on Facebook and ranks edges based on importance to the user. Each edge is given a value or weight with the most weight given to actions that tale more time to accomplish such as comments.

With EdgeRank it is vital that brands not only create content, but that they use that content to engage with their audience.

Amy Porterfield offers 5 types of Facebook posts that will spark engagement:

1. Bake in an easy call to action.

2. Know your “Facebook fan fun triggers.”

3. Ask for feedback on your projects.

4. Let your images do the talking.

5. Be a rebel with your promotions.

Google+ is more than your average social media site. “Google Plus content is treated by Google just like any other page on the web. Google Plus content will be efficiently indexed by Google, it will gain page rank and appear in Google’s search results” (Steve Rayson). Google has implemented Search, plus Your World which includes these features:

  1. Personal Results, which enable you to find information just for you, such as Google+ photos and posts—both your own and those shared specifically with you, that only you will be able to see on your results page;
  2. Profiles in Search, both in autocomplete and results, which enable you to immediately find people you’re close to or might be interested in following; and,
  3. People and Pages, which help you find people profiles and Google+ pages related to a specific topic or area of interest, and enable you to follow them with just a few clicks. Because behind most every query is a community.

Because anyone has the power to post content online Google introduced real author that “allows a web page to announce the author of the page by pointing to a Google+ profile page (which has to link back to the site for 2 way verification)…This is incredibly powerful for Google as it allows them to do exactly what I mentioned above – they can now verify the author of a web page” (Anthony).

Regardless of the social media platform being used it all comes down to the content and the steps the creator is taking to deliver that content to the audience. Users have to be willing to learn how social media sites work and focus on trying these sites out before writing them off.

What do you use more often Facebook or Google+? Why?

Does knowing that sites use everything you do post online in their algorithms make you think differently about what you post and where you post it?


8 thoughts on “Facebook vs. Google+

  1. Adam says:

    Smart post. You clearly see that right now Facebook and Google+ are not competitors but rather just two social networks that each has their own benefits.

    At this point, knowing components of the algorithms definitely impacts what I post from a business standpoint. Doing anything else would only be ignorant. However, I’ll admit that from the personal side, I never think twice about EdgeRank. What I share with friends and family is there for them to enjoy–if they so choose. I’m not going to lose any sleep if my pictures and updates don’t rise to the top of the feed.

    • Realizing that Facebook and Google+ are two different social media sites has definitely helped me approaching Google+ and realizing that it can be extremely beneficial. To make life easier it only makes sense to not really focus on stats/data from posts geared towards family and friends.

  2. I’m with Prof. Bornstein — I don’t worry about Edgerank that much with my personal Facebook updates, because those are usually just for funsies. But I definitely consider it when updating one of my company’s pages.

    Personally, I use Facebook more than Google+, but our social team updates both networks on a regular basis for our branded pages. The reason I use Facebook more is probably my fault, but I will tell you anyway. It’s a more fun place to be. That’s where my friends are sharing funny updates, cute photos and cool links. Google+ seems to be a much more stilted environment (as I said — my fault because I haven’t built my circles as well as I’ve built my friends list).

    • Julie,
      I’m on the same page with your regarding Facebook and Google+. I think I’ve had a harder time getting into Google+ because no one I know is really using it and I enjoy the more personal aspect that is easily created on Facebook. As I learn more about Google+ I;m trying to make myself use it more and encouraging my friends and colleagues to do the same.

  3. tjstrese says:

    I agree with the comments above about not being too concerned with who is watching/using data while I’m being social. The interesting aspect to the dynamic is how much companies have managed to “blur the lines,” which can become a little more controversial in my opinion. The fact that some apps (like Spotify for music) default to sharing your usage information on social forcing you to “opt out” is an area I am concerned with.

    • I hate when the default on things like Spotify is to share your usage information and post what your listening to. As silly as it sounds sometimes I don’t want people knowing what song I’m secretly rocking out to. I have not been particularly concerned with the data that can be gained from my social activity, but it is an interesting thing to look at and see how Google+ and Facebook are using it.

  4. lesleygeyer says:

    I agree that they are 2 tools, and not necessarily in competition. I am very active on Facebook for my business, but have just started utilizing, and seeing results from Google+. The search engine optimization on Google+ is essential to driving a small business like mine to the top of the Google search page. And the cost is not too shabby! I wish there was a way to integrate the two platforms so at least the posts can be mimicked. However, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

    • For me my biggest problem when I initially signed up for Google+ when it launched was expecting it to be just like Facebook. Now that I know they are different and the benefits like search engine optimization that come come with Google+ I have been attempting to use it more and can see how it can be extremely beneficial especially to someone like yourself who has a small business.

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