Google+ vs. Facebook: Google’s Battle Plan… (Part 2)

In Part 1 I focused on the explosion of Google+ onto the social business scene. I talked about the ever-increasing rivalry between the two tech giants, briefly mentioning some benefits and ultimately recognized Google+ as a force to be reckoned with. What I didn’t do was go into too much detail or discuss the future implications. Now unfortunately I cannot predict the future, but what I can do is explain what is happening right now and offer some suggestions on what I think is likely to happen in the next few months and the New Year.

Already, since Part 1, things have changed. Google+ was getting a lot of negative attention, and had been since its launch. Many people had written it off before even giving it a chance. But, in the last week or so, opinions and attitudes seem to have gradually changed. People are recognizing that Google+ is not a fad and it will not just disappear; it is something that has to be taken seriously. I mentioned a few of its benefits in Part 1 but the key to Google+ is its potential, and its potential is huge.

Everyone wants to know who will win the battle for social dominance. Marketers are dying to find out so they can plan their strategy and know how they will need to think. So, will Google+ overtake Facebook? And ultimately can Google beat Facebook?

As you are probably aware by now, this is not a question with a simple, or definitive, answer. The reason it isn’t as simple a question as: who will win the battle? is because the competitors are fighting for different things. Google and Facebook work in completely different ways and they have very different ideas when it comes to what makes the best social site. However, despite these differences, the rivalry between the two will continue to escalate and will without doubt impact you as a business.

So, in this part I am going to focus on what Google are doing (and planning to do) to “beat” Facebook.

Firstly, we have the +1 button. This is the fastest growing social recommendation widget in history, with over 5 billion impressions a day. Not bad. These +1’s are going to be connected to your Google+ brand page. This will allow Google to extend your brand on a global scale; and by analyzing who is recommending you and where you are being recommended from, Google can put your brand where relevant people are.

The +1 button is revolutionizing the world of recommendation. You should never forget the fact that people trust people. A recommendation could become more important than your advertising strategy, a reality that becomes a lot more real with the growth in influence of +1’s.

Now, I mentioned Google Direct Search in Part 1 but what does this mean for the future?

“Typing in ‘+YouTube’ goes straight to the Google+ YouTube Page and automatically adds YouTube to your circles on Google+ for easy following. An on-going relationship gets established through one Google Search. This isn’t about Google — it’s about Plus and your brand, putting you at the center of everything on Google.”

So, Google is giving you the ability to connect with customers in the easiest possible way. You will be able to develop much deeper relationships and this will prove invaluable because relationships are the most important thing in business. Google+ aims to transform your relationship with Google; they want to give you the power.

Another benefit I underlined in Part 1 was the importance of Google+ for SEO, but how will that become influential in the future? This is quite simple. Google+ will become more and more important for businesses because it is your Google+ page that will appear when customers search for you. Google’s updated search engine will ensure that all features of Google+ are inter-connected with all things Google, something which is quite simply going to become crucial to your company’s SEO. You need Google+ so people find you.

If your business isn’t on Google+, it quite simply should be. But will it beat Facebook? Well, Google+ is going to win, but that doesn’t mean that Facebook is going to lose. As I mentioned, they are fighting for different things. Google+ will transform marketing and search branding. They are going to have an influence on you; that much is certain.

For now Facebook remains in the lead, and in Part 3 I’ll look at what Facebook are doing, and what they have to do in the future, to make sure that there remains more than one social superpower.

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  1. Google vs. Facebook: And the winner is… (Part 3) « TM International

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