(By Jason Brick)
“Although some industries can benefit from getting involved with the right niche platform, you’re better off focusing your efforts on the two biggest: Facebook and Google+. As of January, these two social media giants claimed a total of 80 percent of the total social media memberships.“
There are more than 50 active social networking platforms active in the U.S. alone, creating a wide array of options for a business that wants to leverage this powerful, cost-effective form of marketing and communication. The bad news is you can’t possibly establish, let alone maintain, a viable presence on every one of them.
The good news is, you don’t have to. Although some industries can benefit from getting involved with the right niche platform, you’re better off focusing your efforts on the two biggest: Facebook and Google+. As of January, these two social media giants claimed a total of 80 percent of the total social media memberships.
Even better news is you don’t have to choose between these two social media brands. They’re better conceived as different tools for different jobs. Use these guidelines to maximize your leverage in the social media sphere.
Use Facebook to Engage With Existing Customers
Although Google+ is the second most popular social media platform, its membership is still only a fraction of Facebook’s. Facebook is the best home for your message when it’s about connecting with people who already know about your company, giving insider information and rewarding loyalty. You’ll have more followers, and your posts will generate more conversation.
Use Google+ to Find New Leads
Google is leveraging its own resources to grow Google+ by including activity on its social network as part of its search algorithms. That means if you talk about your service or product on Google+, searches for that service or product will be more likely to bring you up. Each of those posts is indexed as a Web page, and connected to your presence. Since Facebook doesn’t do that, Google+ is the better tool for search optimizing your social media presence.
Maximize Your Profile on Facebook
Facebook has more robust tools than Google+ for creating a business page that almost feels like a regular website. The downside of those tools is that any business that doesn’t use them is harder to take seriously. The more energy you spend on creating a solid profile that includes engaging information, the more success you’ll experience with your Facebook presence.
Maximize the Back End on Google+
You need a presentable profile on your Google+ account, because that’s where your Google+ activity will bring people. But people won’t come unless you square away the back-end features of your account. These act invisibly behind the scenes to connect your brand with your social media presence. It’s most important to set up “authorship”—Google’s tool for making sure they give you credit for everything you write on the Web—to connect with your business profile, Web page, blog and other platforms.
Broadcast More on Facebook
Though two-way communication is vital on both platforms, Facebook users are more accustomed to seeing and sharing what can be called “broadcast” posts—those posts where one member puts up a statement, photo or joke with no real intent of starting a conversation. Even without an introductory comment, their friends and followers will share those broadcasts and get the word out to second- and third-level contacts.
Have More Conversations on Google+
Google+ engagement is all about conversations. Not only does the community expect two-way communication at a level Facebook connections don’t, the search preference Google gives for activity extends to what you say on posts by other people. You can get as much, sometimes more, social and search credit for a comment as for a post of your own.
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