Corporate Eye

Google+ vs. Facebook: Which Brand Will Win in 2012 and Beyond?

In 2011, the battle between Google and Facebook really picked up. Google+ just might be the tool that Google needs to compete with Facebook and its 800 million users. Or is it?

Before we go any further, remember that Google+ is new, and there is certainly much more to come for the social network owned by the biggest and most powerful search engine in the world.

Google’s goal is to integrate all of its products so consumers have no need to use products from any other company to complete their online activities. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that Google+ is the next step in Google’s larger strategic paln, and the site will likely become a central focus from which all Google applications and products can be used. Google wants to use personal data and online behavior to connect consumers more deeply to the entire suite of Google products making people Google-dependent.

And of course, there’s all that social data that can be extracted from Google+ user behaviors. Those social signals will undoubtedly play a part in Google search results in the future as Google’s +1 button already seems to be doing in some search engine optimization tests. For brands and businesses, the new Direct Connect search tool for Google+ brand pages is just one more way that the Google social networking site is playing a roll in search results.

On the other hand, Facebook’s goal to date has been extremely focused. The site’s mission to create the world’s open social graph with features and tools that make it easy for people to connect with friends and acquaintances, has expanded to include new opportunities. However, the core goal has remained the same.

Of course, monetization has become a priority, and with the speculated 2012 IPO, it can be presumed that Facebook will change a bit in the coming years in order to continually deliver increased shareholder value. Facebook’s goal will undoubtedly evolve, but it’s unlikely that the core focus of using personal data and activities to open advertising opportunities will shift significantly in the future.

What do you think 2012 holds for the Google+ vs. Facebook battle? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as MSNBC.com, BusinessWeek.com, TodayShow.com, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.
 
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