Google+ vs. Facebook: The battle of the two contenders

The launch of Google+ was the biggest social media story recently grabbing the headlines for good and bad reasons. Just a few weeks after its launch, the website is boosting 20 million users and rapidly gaining market share in the social networking space. However, last month Google+ asked businesses not to create Google+ profiles and caused a furore with the scandal around cancelling accounts using nicknames.

In the meantime Facebook has focused a lot of efforts into improving its relationship with businesses and does not seem likely to relinquish its supremacy as the number one site in the social media world.  Last week it quietly launched Facebook for Business, a new service which offers help and advice for businesses looking to boost brand awareness and engage in a two-way conversation with the Facebook community. With more that 750 million subscribers, Facebook remains a valuable marketing and PR tool, and a great way of engagement with difficult to reach audiences.

In addition to creating a Facebook page or using Facebook Ads and Sponsored Stories, business users can choose among plenty of free business applications to boost their marketing efforts. Applications such as RatePoint and Hudle for example enable businesses to create professional communities on Facebook by sharing reviews and testimonials or creating secure workspaces for colleagues and business partners. Furthermore businesses might soon be able to use conference video calling after Facebook recently introduced video calling to boost its service portfolio.

However, as Google+ is gaining momentum, Facebook is likely to face severe competition for the attention of business customers. Last week Google+ announced that it was planning to bring business profiles and analytic tools to its social networking platform later this year. The service will allow businesses to link their profiles to products like AdWords, enabling businesses to tap into Google’s substantial online advertising platform. Furthermore Google will be able to benefit from its strong enterprise customer base to drive business customers to its new social networking offering.

As Google and Facebook continue to diversify their services, there will be much more to witness in the coming months. The business offerings of the two internet giants will create great PR and marketing opportunities for companies looking to engage with online communities and make their brands visible in the social media space. However, we are yet to see how the battle between the two contenders for the social networking crown will unfold. I would only say that it is too early to make any predictions as the social media world is full of surprises and you never know what will be the next ‘hype of the day’.

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