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Should you abandon Facebook for Google+?

I just saw a post on Facebook that brought me up short. It wasn’t because the subject matter was particularly shocking—it was for a poll about social media platform usage. The question just seems extremely premature to me. Social media expert, Brian Solis, asked, “Will you abandon Facebook in favor of Google+?”

Google+ has garnered a lot of interest, and it is definitely offering some exciting concepts in social engagement. It has posted some impressive numbers with growth to 20 million users in about three weeks.

But Google+ is still in it’s infancy. At this time, it is an unknown. Most of the engagement I have seen on it is still centered around its novelty as a new platform. A lot of questions remain including whether it will continue to be widely adopted and what will the business presence look like?

For business, Facebook remains the better platform at this time for three key reasons: broad adoption, branded presence, and opportunity for engagement.

  1. Broad Adoption. Facebook as of most recent statistics has 750 million active users. This is up 150 million over just a few months ago. Much has been made about Google+ growth, but you cannot ignore the growth of Facebook that continues at extremely impressive rates. Your reach on Facebook is simply much larger. Nearly 40 times as many people!
  2. Branded Presence. Google has hinted that a business presence is coming, but for now, it doesn’t exist. Facebook’s Business Page allow you to set-up a presence for your business where you can connect directly with customers and fans. This connection allows you to reach out to others they know through their news feed as they engage with you. A ComScore study cited by AdAge highlighted the importance of this newsfeed engagement with a majority of post views occurring in the newsfeeds of the friends of a business’s Facebook fans.
  3. Opportunity for Engagement. My impression so far is that Facebook engagement covers a broader demographic. Unless your business audience is focused squarely in the geek crowd, Google+ for now is a curiosity. Most of my engagement broadly is still happening on Facebook while my geek friends are very active on Google+. As a business, I cannot interact because of the lack of business presence, so I cannot promote my business brand in any efficient manner as it is all indirect. Unless your brand is you, Google+ right now cannot serve your business.

Will Google+ close the gap in users? Will they provide a meaningful platform for businesses to have a branded presence? Will the opportunity on engagement broaden? The answers to these questions will unfold over the next few months. Facebook will almost surely answer the challenges with changes to their platform. Google+ will have to convince the broad user that their platform is better and provide a reason to abandon Facebook. Or, we may have a situation where both coexist and provide value and your business must have a presence on both. In my opinion, it is simply too soon to tell and any discussion to the contrary is purely hype.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think.

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