Facebook vs. Google+: A Guide to Brand Pages (Infographic)

When Google+ was released on June 28, 2011, one question was at the forefront of every social media aficionado’s mind: has Facebook finally met its match? But as the social networking service approaches its first birthday with 170 million-plus users, it seems that the question merits more than a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. And through countless arguments as to whether Google+ is or is not a “Ghost Town,” one thing has become apparent: these two social network giants have amassed very different followings.

When it comes to personally connecting with old friends and scattered family members, Facebook is still the reigning champion – and probably still your best bet if you want all your friends to “like” that new photo of your two year old. Celebrities, too, seem to have more luck on Facebook pages (check out this article’s comparison of Lady Gaga’s success on each site). But our comparison of the two networks in January uncovered an interesting trend that still appears to hold true: many business pages (and particularly those that relate to technology) are thriving on Google+ – in some cases even more so than on their corresponding Facebook pages. Google+ seems to have attracted a smaller but highly tech-savvy crowd, and the conversation reflects as much.

So what do you need to know as a B2B marketer? At least at this point, Google+ is no Facebook, but that doesn’t mean you should dismiss it as a marketing tool. While Google+ doesn’t have (and may never have) the numbers that Facebook has in terms of users and engagement, the type of engagement that occurs in the Google+ setting may actually make it a choice outlet for your marketing messages.

Need some help keeping the two straight? Pardot’s Matt Wesson put together the following infographic, highlighting some of the key differences between Google+ and Facebook pages and sharing a few tips on formulating a marketing strategy for each.

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What are your thoughts on Google+ as a marketing tool for brands? Is it a more or less effective tool than Facebook? We love to hear your thoughts!

Download this infographic.

Embed “Google+ vs. Facebook: A Guide to Your Brand Page Strategy” on your site: copy and paste the code below.

<img src="http://www2.pardot.com/brandpagesinfographic" width="600">
<p> - Google+ vs. Facebook: A Guide to Your Brand Page Strategy - An infographic by the team at <a href="http://www.pardot.com/blog/">Pardot Marketing Automation</a></p>

Comments: 7

  • Interesting to note… Google+ doesn’t have ads because as Vic Gundotra stated “Why would you want Ads in your Social Space?”… they (Google) have adds where it matters: In Search.

    How many businesses are making Ads work inside Facebook? Not enough to keep them alive I say… watch and see the IPO ‘issue’ is only the beginning of people understanding that FB doesn’t know how to make money well enough to thrive!

  • comocom says:

    Thanks for exact comparison! Very useful and inspirating for G+ infografic!

  • Kelli says:

    Very interesting that Google+ appeals to more men and more tech savvy individuals. I never would’ve made that correlation. Also enjoy reading an infographic rather than article – sets you apart as a blogger compared to all the rest. Great article!

  • Cheers for the perspective and infographic Molly. A couple of observations. Many successful networks and communities start with a techie/utilitarian user base and this attracts “influencers” seeking expert insights. In turn these guys attract and connect a mainstream audience and the network grows organically. Google + seems to be repeating that pattern – so maybe mainstream FB sized adoption is a possibility. Secondly – the big angst of the corporate social networks currently (post IPO Facebook especially) is monetising their community. The friction caused from the subsequent loss of control over privacy and trial/implementation of more and more experimental ad-units on its user base – seems to be generate significant negative sentiment, and abandonment of the network by many early adopters (see Google + techie user base). A long term strategic play may be for Google to never take advertising on G+ pages – and nurture it as a pure play “engagement only” social space – monetising the traffic through better informed search results on Google and better targeted contextual advertising through their ad networks. Just a thought!

  • Now that’s a pretty neat comparison. Facebook is more experienced and powerful, however if you look closely at the report, it will appear that Google Plus is under-utilized as compared to its older counterpart. But again, there’s hardly any personal engagement that happens on Google’s social media platform. Hangouts make an effect, but it’s very nominal in the present context. Branding is easier on Facebook owing its larger audience base and the ‘ads’ feature. I guess, it’ll be fair if we give Google Plus some more time and see whether it’s capable enough to survive the test of time.

  • I just randomly checked out the movie Website for Men in Black 3 and there were 1.1M Facebook likes. Google Plus? A whopping 120 +1’s. At this point, it seems that having a Google Plus button could be a liability. I see lots of sites with between ZERO and twenty +1’s. To me, it makes the site seem like a ghost town in a way, when in reality the ghost town is Plus.

  • Warren says:

    You did an awesome job on your infographic Molly. Google+ has made some incredible progress in a short period of time, and I think that those who aren’t seeing the potential it holds are forgetting about the company behind it. Google was once a search engine but as we all know they have diversified into countless other directions online and done so in spectacular fashion. YouTube, Google Voice, Keyhole (renamed to Google Earth), and so many other very cool online properties. The features that they can add to Google+ will likely be game changers themselves! :)

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