The social network phenomenon over the past decade has had far reaching implications for the way we connect, communicate and do business.
Historically, people have used social networks for sharing and documenting personal activities. These days, big business is using social media to develop better connections with existing customers and attract new ones.
Facebook and Twitter are the household known names in this market and have been around for 9 and 7 years old.
Other pseudo social networks include LinkedIn, Pinterest and even Tumblr. The premise of sharing and connecting with others is the common thread among all these, but there is a marked difference in the way each is used.
Facebook and Twitter.
While Facebook was primarily created as a way of sharing photos and updates with family & friends, it has evolved into a much bigger platform. Brands create ‘Fan Pages’ to keep in touch with their customers and interact with them. Facebook also now has its proprietary advertising platform.
Twitter, on the other hand, was developed as a micro-blogging site to help people keep up to date with current affairs via real time messages. These days, Twitter functions as a real-time news, entertainment and information network. It offers businesses valuable insights into what customers are thinking and discussing at any given moment, through the use of tweets and hashtags.
These two are excellent platforms, but they are limited in effective use. The constantly-changing interface of Facebook can make it a maze to navigate and use efficiently. Twitter is not complicated, but that may be its main downside. Its so easy to tweet and re-tweet that you are left wondering ”is that all”?
The rise of Google Plus.
Google jumped in and created a social network of their own. They built a platform with the best bits of all that existed and added features that are essential to any business growth. Some of the standout features of Google Plus include:
- A more organised community system, where it is easier to segment your customers.
- Google Hangouts which lets you host a group chat with 10 people.
- An easy of use, minimalist interface. No intrusive ads like you would see on Facebook.
- Offers SEO benefits for your sites.
- Integration across all Google services such as Google Docs, Maps, Youtube, and Drive; makes Google Plus a robust tool for networking and collaborating.
While the top 3 social networking services seem to offer similar services, it is important that you identify your type of business and how it can get the best out of the services. Does your business regularly generate visual and exciting content? Post regularly Twitter and Facebook. Do you regularly need to collaborate and network? Get cosy with G+. An ideal marketing plan should have all these melded in.
Their user statistics are impressive, which is why one should not be ignored for the other. Twitter has 218 million active users per month, Facebook has just over 1 billion users and Google Plus currently has 540 million.
For a platform that is just over 3 years old, those are some impressive numbers. This excellent user adoption rate has placed G+ second as the second largest social network. The growth eclipses that of Twitter which gained 10 million customers within 780 days, Google Plus gained the same number of customers within 16 days.
G+ is Here to Stay.
An excellent adoption rate has moved Google Plus to its position as the second largest social network. The growth eclipses that of Twitter which gained 10 million customers within 780 days, Google Plus gained the same number of customers within 16 days.
Facebook is great for building brand equity and interaction with fans. Twitter is excellent for connecting in real time with your brand followers, but when compared to G+, which can do all that AND has an excellent suite of features, Google Plus offers the best bang for your buck.