Google+ vs. Facebook: Facebook Strikes Back… (Part 3)

More than 800 million active users.

More than 50% log in every single day.

The place where information finds us.

It’s the reigning champion of the social web, you didn’t think Facebook was just gonna lie down and let Google+ take over did you? Zuckerberg is fighting back against Page’s so called “little Facebook,” and the war of the web is just beginning.

In Part 2, I talked about the future implications of Google+ on the world of social business. But now I want to talk about how Facebook have reacted and what they might do in the future to ensure they keep their place on top of the social hierarchy.

The moment Google+ went live Zuckerberg pushed the Facebook machine into overdrive to replicate the new features that differentiated the two sites. But that was just the beginning. The phrase “the best form of defense is attack” certainly rings true here. The F8 developers event bore witness to a multitude of new features designed to keep Facebook alive and on top.  There was a total “refresh” of the site, making everything easier, including its answer to Google+ circles with “smart lists” and the newest stand out factor with “Timeline.” But what does all this rearranging mean for business?

Well, a Facebook brand page is a must have for your company. It simply aims to connect brands with consumers, something which is widely recognized as the most important thing in business. Facebook is the largest social network on the planet so if you want to reach the largest possible audience you’re going to use Facebook. Its sheer size, and therefore influence, remains the biggest advantage Facebook has over Google from a social business perspective.

The “smart lists” I mentioned earlier can also be particularly beneficial for your business. In the same way that Google circles operate, these lists allow you to create groups of people to identify your different networks. Therefore you can specifically target the right demographics, ultimately reaching the appropriate people in the quickest possible way.

I’ve talked about the potential of Google’s +1 button in previous posts but what’s important to remember is that right now Facebook’s “like button” is a great deal more popular. In fact, a huge number of internet users still aren’t aware that the +1 button even exists. The like button creates a ripple effect which means a huge increase in your potential audience. When someone clicks “like” this information is immediately broadcast to all of their friends and therefore reaches potential thousands more people. With recommendation being the number one factor in gaining consumer trust this feature can prove invaluable.

As you are probably aware Google Analytics is a key feature of a company’s web-marketing strategy enabling you to reap great benefits. However, Facebook also provides a great platform for you to analyze data. With “Facebook Insights” you can identify who has liked your page, how old they are and much more demographic information. In addition to this Facebook will send you email updates so you can track progress easily.

So that’s just a few of the new features Facebook have introduced. And that is merely a snapshot of what Facebook has done to improve its services. But what can it do in the future to make sure Google+ cannot take over?

Well, one thing which has been discussed a lot recently is the likelihood that Facebook will launch an ad network which collaborates all their social actions to help advertisers target consumers better across the web. If launched effectively, this could spell trouble for Google and potentially threaten Google’s position as the king of online advertising. In addition, Facebook is likely to expand further into the business world by directly targeting the job seeker audiences. It is being predicted that they will begin to offer job listings and further professionalize the site and therefore becoming a direct competitor to LinkedIn.

What you can be sure of is that Facebook will continue to improve, expand and fight against Google. The main impact of Google+ for Facebook is a warning: No more screwing up. Google are ready and waiting to jump on any opportunity to take the lead so Facebook cannot afford to make any more mistakes.

Unfortunately I cannot offer you a definitive conclusion with respect to the winner of “Google+ vs. Facebook.” Both are going to be around for a while and both will continue to fight for your time investment in social business.

Facebook is in the lead right now but as for a winner… only time will tell.

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