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Friday, August 12, 2011

Google Plus & Facebook

With the social media race heating up, Google has decided to take on Facebook with their own social networking site, Google+. As Google+ becomes more and more popular to users, we have to start to look ahead and see the potential benefits for companies and advertisers. The major setback for advertisers and companies that have pages on Facebook is that there isn’t a lot of useful post click engagement tracking data , along with the fact that there is limited customization and the paid search has major inefficiencies. With these problems that companies and advertisers have to deal with in Facebook, you can imagine how it wouldn’t take much to influence them to switch over to Google+.

The rumor has been that Google is going to release its brand pages on Google+ in the next month or so. There are a couple of big reasons why companies should be excited for Google+ brand pages. The first being, that Google is most likely going to give search benefits to companies that have Google+ brand pages. For instance, Google could adopt something like the certified check mark that Twitter uses, or just highlight the search results that are connected to Google+ brand pages. This will inevitably help companies that adopt Google+ pages early on stand out from their competitors.

Another benefit of Google+ brand pages is that there will be more room for customization than on Facebook Ads. It is suspected that companies will be able to customize their page, much like the customized brand pages on YouTube, which allows companies to choose their own skin to make them stand out.

Also something advertisers have to look forward to for Google+ pages is better analytics. One of the major complaints against Facebook and their ad service is that they provide very little detailed analytics, which is a major down point because advertisers can’t successfully analyze the effectiveness of their ads. However, any of us who already use Google Analytics know how detailed and useful the reports can be. Google includes metrics such as top content, time spent on certain pages, referring sites and keywords. These metrics are most probably going to be carried over into the analytics of Google+ brand pages and ads. This alone will set Google+ far apart from Facebook.

All in all, brands will still need to manage their presence in social media to be able to get the desired effect. Most companies hire a search engine optimization company that helps with the management and success of a brand’s social media marketing efforts.

Kerianne Lawlor
Internet Marketing Consultant
Blue Archer

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