3 key differences between Google+ and Facebook/Twitter


If you had to choose only one social network for your business, which would it be?

There isn't, of course, any universally correct answer, and using only one social network for growing your business or connecting to your customers or audience is a bit foolish. You should instead focus your time on figuring out which networks your customers use most, and spend your resources on that network primarily, while still giving some attention to the other networks.

What network should you chose to focus your time and money on depends, obviously, on your audience (more bloggers and online marketers use Twitter, for example).

One way you can identify where your audience might be hanging out online is to first identify the key differences between each of the major social networks. While the box on the outside of each network might look the same, inside there's quite a number of vitally important distinctions.

Let's take a few minutes to look over the 3 key differences between Twitter, Google+, and Facebook, shall we?

Google+ is still a baby.

You have to remember that, while Google is a gargantuan online entity, their network is just a baby that has only barely showed up. Facebook has more users world-wide than Google+ will achieve for several more months, if not years. And Twitter had a good enough start (and enough publicity on news networks especially, thanks in part to actor Ashton Kutcher) to still appear like a well-known, friendly giant next to Google+.

Yes Google's network has a lot to offer, especially since it is such a fluidly integrated part of everything else Google has offered, but compared to Facebook there isn't nearly as much of an audience there. Which is both good and bad news. It's good that Google+ is smaller because that means there's less noise on the network at the moment. It's bad that the network is smaller however because that means there are less people to interact and connect with.

Google+ makes sharing effortlessly personable.

If you want to share something with just your three best friends on Facebook, you have to either create a "group" for them before-hand, or message them individually, one at a time. With Twitter sharing between just a certain group of people is impossible to do (unless, again, you direct message them each, one at a time). Google+ makes sharing effortlessly easy to do.

To share a story on Google+ with any specific person or small (or large) group of people, simply click on the box below where you enter the message for your update and start typing a name or add a pre-design "circle" of friends. Voila.

In a way, Google+ makes the experience of online networking even more personable than Facebook or Twitter.

Google+ is (mostly) ubiquitous.

You can see what your friends are saying about you through Facebook when logged-in (unless you have notifications enabled on your mobile phone), and on Twitter you have to follow the activity stream to see anything happening before it disappears into an almost overpowering stream (again, unless you have notifications on your phone). With Google+, however, you only have to be on one of Google's countless websites to see what's happening and new related to you.

That is: Google+ makes it easy to see what people are saying about you and show them what you're saying as well. Any time you comment on a customer's "stream" or interact with them in nearly any way, the user will get a notification which they can see on Google Reader, or Gmail, or while working in Google Docs or in any of the other great and widely-used Google websites.

Compare the ubiquitous nature of Google+ notifications to that of Facebook or Twitter, where the customer has to be logged-in to the service to see your message.

In conclusion, there's never going to be a clearcut winner for social networks. If you know a bit more about how the networks work and why newcomers like Google+ are offering users new and exciting things, you can better decide on where to spend most of your time. What will work best for you and your business might not work as well for other's, but understanding things like share settings and the ubiquity of a network can help make your decision.

What do you think? What differences would you list here for people to consider?

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