Business Pages: Facebook vs. Google+

Facebook may still have a significant edge over Google+ when it comes to personal pages, but Google+ is gaining on Facebook when it comes to business pages, according to a recent article by MarketingProfs. Of the top 100 brands (Millward Brown’s BrandZ Most Valuable Brands for 2011), 93% maintain a company Facebook page, and as of December 19, 77% maintain a Google+ page. Keep in mind that Google+ only kicked off business pages in early November, and that this number has jumped 16% in the last month— not too shabby for Google+ pages.

A major factor behind Google+’s growing popularity with businesses may be the integration of Google+ pages with the search engine’s results pages. “Google is embedding their popular new product with its dominant search marketing position…blurring the lines between social and search engagement,” said Jim Yu, CEO of BrightEdge (a Pardot customer). Google+ can expose brands to the billions of people using Google as a search engine every day—something Facebook just can’t offer. “Top 100 brands are realizing that they now need to address both channels,” said Yu.

So, many businesses are recognizing the benefits of utilizing both Facebook and Google+, but are they distinguishing between the two channels?

As far as we can tell, most businesses are treating their Google+ pages very much like their Facebook pages—with slightly longer posts, perhaps. But you can compare for yourself: we’ve posted links to the top ten most popular brands on Google+ (thanks, MarketingProfs!) as well as links to their facebook pages. Brands are ranked in order of the popularity of their Google+ pages, and we’ve included the number of fans for each site (as of December 29). See which brands were more successful on Facebook than Google+ (and vice versa) and learn from the best!

Brand                                   Google+            Facebook

1. Android                          323,612                166,833
2. Mashable*                      233,490                743,870
3. Coldplay*                       196,851                15,998,117
4. H&M*                              178,778                8,886,197
5. Google+                         174,561                186,200
6. Marvel*                           170,383                2,482,402
7. Google                           157,712                4,762,586
8. New York Times             151,543                1,898,552
9. Google Chrome               140,395                7,566,815
10. Gmail                             117,665                947,881

*Interestingly, these four brands ranked behind the Google brands when MarketingProfs reported on December 22, but their numbers grew significantly in the week following, whereas the Google brands remained flat.

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3 thoughts on “Business Pages: Facebook vs. Google+

  • Molly, thanks for the post & the research data. I’ve been thinking about creating a Google+ page for Excel4apps & having read your article I think I will do this sooner rather than later.

    It will be interesting to see if Google uses their dominant position to favour Google+ pages over their Facebook counterparts in the SERP’s.

    • Conrad,

      Thanks for your reply! I’m glad you found the post useful.

      I’ll be interested to see if Google decides to favor brands’ pages in their search results, too. According to this article, some brands’ pages are already favored. However, Google seems to be fairly adept at policing themselves internally, considering they are currently punishing Google Chrome for an unethical decision in favoring search results.

      Guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

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