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Facebook vs. Google +: War of the Social World

This year, Google took on the heavy weight contender in the social media arena, Facebook. Their service, Google+, offers new features that Facebook has been criticized for over for years. One of the biggest features Google+ offers is the ability to limit who you share with based on levels, or "circles," of friends, acquaintances and family. Facebook now also offers this by allowing you to set up groups of friends and only share with them, but it’s far from intuitive. There are several other features that Google+ offers that makes it a strong contender against Facebook. But what does this mean for your business?

On a professional level, Facebook makes so much sense. Create a business fan page and get people to like you as a way to build a strong brand an a loyal following with customers. Creating this instant relationship with your customers gives you the opportunity to adapt your business model very quickly. It’s a win/win, if you are on top of it— which any business should be, it only adds value to the business. After all, Facebook has a user base that exceeds the population of most countries.

While Facebook fan pages are definitely great for getting users to find information about your company through their peers, it might not attract new business. This is an area where Google+ might excel. While you can’t create a business page on Google+ just yet, having a Google +1 button on your site does achieve two goals. First, it tells friends in your circles about pages you like. Second, it increases your ranking in Google’s search engine. This could be a win/win as well. On one hand, you’re getting the friend-sharing quality of Facebook, but you are also increasing a greater likelihood that a potential customer might find you through a search on the most familiar search engine in the world.

We can’t discount the success social media has had creating trusted relationships with customers through their friends, family and brand loyalty. But there are questions you have to ask yourself— how many friends do people add and how many companies do they like on Facebook? How much time do people have to actually sift through all the posts on their Facebook wall? How much are they really reading? You should consider how many of your posts are actually getting read by your customers. It may be beneficial to add one more service to your marketing arsenal. Just be prepared to make the time to maintain yet another social media site.

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