The Nor’easter climbing its way up the East Coast has brought more than dangerous road conditions with it as you can see from this rare photograph of the Abominable Snowman captured just moments ago. Best to stay inside until the storm passes and Abominable goes back to his natural habitat…the North Pole.
Google Plus has been live for over three years now and as of December 20113 it had over 550 million users* on the network. For comparison sake, Facebook has 1.19 billion users** and its mobile business has been growing rapidly; however, its user growth rate has slowed.
So, will G+ supplant Facebook as the world’s most dominant social network? Well, according to G+ expert @RebekahRadice, blog post, “Google Plus vs Facebook: Why G+ Should Dominate Your 2014 Marketing Strategy,” G+ will become a much stronger player in the social media space. I strongly encourage you to read the post in its entirety as it is well thought out and includes quotes from other thought leaders on this subject. Key quote:
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.”
In my humble opinion, Facebook has a great deal of functionality that enables and fosters community building. This is great for businesses and sales professionals who plan to manage a community and foster business via long-term relationship building. This will require time and an ability to generate engaging content that inspires and generates ongoing conversation.
Google+ is much more for brands and business who want to be found online. And…given the growth of online shopping, this objective continues to grow in importance for every business. G+ in its present form does not have the robust feature set as Facebook. This definitely gives Facebook an edge in community building and management. However, G+ continues to improve and the fact that it is Google provides an inherent value that Facebook cannot match.
The bottom line: I believe brands, businesses and individual sales professionals need to have business pages established on both platforms. Currently, the networks serve different purposes with Facebook serving as more of a CRM tool for customer incubation and G+ providing an edge in search. I don’t believe there is an either / or answer to the question of whether you should market your business on Facebook or Google+, but you must understand the differences, understand your business/marketing goals and spend the time / money that is appropriate for you on each platform. Oh yeah…G+ is launching social ads.
Now, to answer the question of whether or not G+ will dominate social in 2014? Yes, I believe it will grow more rapidly than any other social network. No, I would not expect it to “dominate” social. There are way too many smart app developers and start-ups in No. Cal., Boston, Austin and many, many other cities around the globe creating an entirely new Web environment every day, but as my Advanced Writing professor taught me…draft attention-grabbing headlines.
Bonus thought: Regardless of how much time you dedicate to Facebook and/or G+ this year, make sure everything you post, design, develop is done with a mobile audience in mind. The growth of mobile and the volume of content consumed will only increase in 2014 and beyond.
In September our social media agency called me about creating a multi-faceted social media campaign surrounding the end of the Breaking Bad television series. Well, what started as a Facebook post developed into a full-scale campaign which achieved all of its objectives and exceeded our wildest expectations with regard to delivering brand preference. The Smarter. Bolder. Faster real estate brand ushered in a new age of real-time marketing and I’m pleased to report that Ad Age year-end “Creativity Best of 2013″ has recognized our efforts with the No. 7 spot in the integrated and interactive category! See the article via SlideShare below:
If you are looking for a fun, seasonal social media campaign, look no further than the three Gingerbread House videos from Century 21 Real Estate. Ginger B. Redd is ready to find the right housing solution for her tasty clients!
Leveraging news via Google Plus is very important for brand marketing.
Recently, Inman News ran an article regarding Century 21 Real Estate opening up offices in Manhattan. The headline and editorial were good, but not great. This where you as a marketing professional have an opportunity to make a real difference for your brand.
While our real-time marketing efforts have gained a lot of positive attention over the last several months, (see Brand Channel interview with @BevThorne) these efforts require a great team effort between agencies and internal staff. However, when news like the new CENTURY 21® franchise, CENTURY 21 Metropolitan, opening in Manhattan drops, G+ has opened the door for internal marketing staff to play a significant role in not only re-positioning the headline, but also adding artwork to enhance the value and appeal of the digital content. This is not a nice-to-have component of brand marketing in 2014, it is a must-have!
In this case, I was able to add my own photography, create my own headline and rank just beneath the story by Inman at the top of the Google search rankings when searching Century 21 Opens in Manhattan. Bottom line, by understanding the value of visual content, quality copywriting and Google Plus, you can make a big difference in how your brand story is told.
Let me know how you are using G+ to tell your brand story.