Things PR Professionals Should Know: Google+ Versus. Facebook
We’ve all heard the chatter: Does Google+ have what it takes to be the Facebook killer? And after the Google+ engineer who accidentally leaked his own ramblings about the platform, it appears that all hope is gone for Google+.
I recently spoke at PR News Digital PR Next Practices Summit on the topic of how PR professionals can use Google+, but that doesn’t mean I’m totally convinced that it will be the end of Facebook, nor do I believe Google+ will be useless in a few months (even though traffic and engagement is low).
I admit it, I “like” Facebook, and I believe more in the likelihood that both platforms can—and will—coexist. Even with its Google pedigree, and the story of an either/or scenario that the media likes to push, I don’t think that Google+ is the be-all and end-all of social media platforms.
In fact, I don’t believe that PR practitioners should view any social media platform—Google+, Facebook, et al—as a one-size-fits-all proposition, but instead, should put in a little due diligence to see how the varying functions of each can help their clients engage with the right audiences.
Here I list advantages of Google+ and Facebook, along with insights on how PR professionals can use each.:
The easily customizable Circles is a distinguishing feature for Google+, allowing brands to tailor messaging to their target audiences. E.g., brands can send news regarding deals to frugal shoppers and share financial information with stakeholders without overwhelming the newsfeed of either audience.
The Video Hangouts feature allows up to 10 users to interact with each other via webcam, providing brands with Web chat possibilities that just don’t exist on other platforms.
- Insight: Currently, Google+ pages aren’t overwhelmed with news updates (from people or brands). This affords brands the opportunity to build their audiences from the ground floor, so to speak, to ensure that their messages will resonate before Google+ becomes populated with hundreds of other brands vying to communicate with the same audience.