It’s fair to say that Google+ has taken the social media world by storm. Facebook is no longer unchallenged and Google+ holds the potential to emerge as a powerful branding tool for businesses. While I’d refrain from calling it the ‘Facebook Killer’, I have no doubt that Google+ can be quickly evolved into a prime time advertising tool. To say that Google+ is growing at a scorching pace would be an understatement. Google+ has over 10 million users who share more than 1 billion items each day. The ‘+1’ recommendation button is seeing nearly 2.3 billion hits every day and it’s only going to get bigger and better with time.
On the other hand, Facebook is the Big Daddy of social media advertising. While Twitter and LinkedIn have been around, they haven’t exactly posed a threat to Facebook’s top spot in the ad landscape.
Speculations suggest Google is about to launch Google+ pages for brands. At this point of time, Google isn’t revealing its cards as to how Google+ would work for brands. Here’s a link to the application page where businesses can apply to become part of Google’s initial test phase for business pages (link has subsequently been removed).
In this post, I express my opinion on Google+ branding pages and how they’d fare against Facebook advertising.
The Google Ecosystem
Google’s USP is the multi-faceted online ecosystem. Whether its search engine optimization or online advertising, it doesn’t get any bigger than Google. I’d expect Google to leverage its SEO expertise coupled with value-added offerings such as AdSense & AdWords to turn Google+ into a branding monster.
In contrast, Facebook advertisements thrive because they are easy to setup for businesses and they provide exposure to an audience that spans across more than 750 million users.
IMO, the ‘Circles’ feature of Google+ is a blessing in disguise for targeted branding. If leveraged effectively, Google+ can use circles as closed groups for targeted branding. In contrast, Facebook has an all or nothing approach towards advertising.
Facebook accounts for nearly a third of online ads in the US. The world’s leading social network served up nearly a third of the 1.11 trillion display ads delivered to US Internet users in the first three months of this year. IMO, Facebook is immensely popular amongst advertisers primarily because it’s easy to use and serves as a medium to “help you spread the word about your business to the exactly the right people.”
At this point of time, not much is known about Google+ brand pages but I’d expect the online search giant to try and match up to Facebook’s ‘keep it simple and easy’ principle for online advertising.
Do you think Google+ can go one step better than Facebook for serving online ads? Do you think businesses will abandon Facebook in favor of Google+? Please share your opinion by leaving a comment.