The pundits, journos and others all seem to focus on the “numbers” of Facebook vs. Google which, in reality, means shite. Really. Right? Obviously Facebook has seriously superior numbers. But that actually means nothing. In fact it is just a quantitative number and has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on anything of actual value. While a newspaper may have 3 million subscribers that number is pointless if only 500 people actually read the newspaper.
The Real Perspective Is Engagement
So we set out to look at activity between Facebook and Google+ and we found something very, very interesting. Of the 15,000 profiles we compared, only 24% of the Facebook profiles posted more than twice per week, while 72% of Google+ users posted more than three times per week. In other words, those that use Google+ are far more active than Facebook users.
Activity Equates to Reach
For advertisers of course, you need people to see your ad right? If they see it, they may click on it. Problem for Facebook users is…they aren’t on Facebook very much in a given week, whereas Google+ users are.
Then It’s About Demographics
But when it comes to Google+, we’ve also found that these folks are generally quite active with technology. They’re hip to new technologies and they adopt new services. But they prefer the “easier” engagement of Google+ over Facebook. With Facebook there is more “friction” involved in finding and connecting with people and there are more restrictions on how to connect and engage. With Google+, the advantage of Circles is actually reduced friction. For advertisers this may mean more truly viable opportunities for potential click-throughs on advertising messages when Google introduces them.
The Locality of It All
The upside of Facebook is that they can, truly, get very “local” or hyper-local, with their ads. This is a bit elusive for Google+ in terms of hyper-local advertising. But what matters is those that actually click through to an ad and can be converted and this is where things equal out a little bit. But the real issue for ROI is the advertiser – just how good are they at converting a “click-through” to a purchase or whatever their goal is? That is neither the fault nor issue of Google or Facebook.
Our conclusion is that Google+ is a better platform for finding those that are actually active and engaged on a regular basis, while Facebook is a far more “latent” platform that equates to patience.
Of course, we have a lot more data behind this research, but we are a business so if you want to find out more, just give us a holler! If you’re a Halifax search marketing firm or an SEO consultant agency, this is insight to help with your SEO strategy. Firms like Norex, FreshEgg and Alpha Search would well be served by looking into data such as this.