Whether you’re building a business or promoting your blog, it’s difficult to ignore the huge influence social media can have.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the key comparisons between the two platforms.
Although Google and Facebook are both social media sites, they work very differently. Google allows users to search and make connections with people who share special interests or work in similar industry sectors. The ability to put people into own predefined ‘circles’ enables you to target content towards specific groups, such as your business contacts, friends, colleagues, potential customers, etc. Facebook on the other hand uses a central contact list and isn’t set up in the same way to create groups and broadcast content specifically at those groups. This extra dimension allows for more focused content orientation, which can be beneficial to both users and digital marketers.
From a search engine optimization perspective, Google definitely comes up trumps. With content published on Google far more likely to appear in search results and the growth of authorship as a key ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm, it’s not hard to see why many people treat Google as a type of blogging tool in and of itself.
While Facebook relies on its high profile brand and huge and engaged user base, Google is included in the Google suite of applications, from Gmail to YouTube to Blogger. Brand engagement for Facebook occurs primarily within Facebook itself, whereas Google is just one slice of the Google pie, giving users (and advertisers) the potential for multiple interactions with users across Google applications.
Business vs. Social uses
Business pages in Facebook have become a significant channel for sharing business information, echoing the large volumes of individual social updates and shares. Google offers similar features, but given its content orientation and privacy options, it’s a bit more focused on business interactions.
Hangouts vs. Chats
Technological innovation has actually been at the heart of the social media boom. Google’s Hangouts on Air service adds multimedia, including free video connections, to group interaction. In comparison to Facebook’s rather limited two-way or group chat, this can add a lot of flexibility for real-time sharing and interaction and is brilliant for webinars or live demonstrations.
The advantage Google could enjoy over Facebook and Twitter as an advertising platform, lies in this ability to see a much larger picture of people’s online behavior. Despite accusations of Google being a ghost town, it would be unwise to ignore the marketing potential of a product that could soon be tapping into an unprecedented volume of Google user data.
Regardless of their many similarities, Google and Facebook have some key differences. The Facebook model is very clearly aligned with everyday social networking within groups often defined by familiarity (that is friendships or family). Shares, chats, and updates are the hallmark of Facebook interactions.
Google, whilst it may not have anywhere near the same engagement levels as Facebook, is an entirely different animal. With its focus on content, interest groups and sophisticated multimedia interactivity like Hangouts on Air, Google is arguably in a far stronger position to work better for businesses or individuals seeking to build more professional or interest/industry specific connections outside their immediate friendship groups.