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Google Plus Communities or Facebook Groups For Business Marketing

Google Communities vs. Facebook GroupsGoogle Plus and Facebook both offer community pages, so which one should a business use to get the best customer reach? One of the key differences is that Google lets you interact with communities as your business page while Facebook only allows individuals. Facebook groups are more established than Google communities simply because they have been around longer. People can reply to Google communities comments directly from GMail, while Facebook requires a login. All else being equal, businesses investing time and resources into building a following should weigh their options.
Branding Business
Having your business logo and company name next to every post, comment, and like in a community is critical to building a following and engaging customers. Google Plus is vastly more business friendly within communities, enabling business to interact in any community as a person would. As a business within Google Plus communities, you can post links, comment, like, or share anything. Facebook started out as a person to person network, so understandably business interaction on the network is fairly limited. Businesses using Facebook pages can only share content from groups, making the network much less business friendly. More than any other factor, being able to interact Google Plus communities as your business, is more likely to build brand than Facebook groups.
Size Matters
Larger communities reach more people with every post, making it more time effective to interact with larger more established groups. Google Plus communities are growing rapidly but still tend to be much smaller in size than Facebook. A typical community on Google Plus will have 3K users with a mix of businesses and people. Facebook groups have been around for a long time enabling them to build up huge numbers of users, all of which are supposed to be people. A typical group on Facebook will have 10K users, making it the larger network but keep in mind Google communities are growing faster. For businesses starting a new page, Google Plus offers more potential going forward.
Ease Of Use
Groups are all about interaction, the fewer the barriers to a comment, like, or share, the more people engage in a topic. If you're on Google Plus you have a Gmail account, so its a fair bet posting to a community on Google Plus is like sending an email directly to the user. When that user has the power to reply back from GMail without having to open a new window on any device, that makes Google Plus much more powerful. Facebook groups don't even com close on this usability issue, the process of replying to a group thread will require users to log in, switch apps, or more likely not bother. Facebook was built with the philosophy of engaging users on the network, so all group interactions occur on the site. Google is definitely flexing its muscle by combining Google Plus with Gmail, add in search and Google communities are a much better bet than Facebook groups.
Google Is Better For Business
Businesses should go for both Facebook and Google Plus communities, even though Google communities already offer much better value for business. If Facebook does not make groups more user friendly, they will lose market share. People enjoy interacting with people, groups, and businesses equally, Google communities embraces this making them a must have social strategy for business.

Written By: Paul Kenjora

Paul Kenjora is the Product Manager and founder at AwareLabs, a company that provides the next generation website builder for small businesses. He has 10+ years product development experience, has launched sites netting millions of visits a day, and has consulted for fortune 500 companies.