Image-of-stressed-from-evil-erin-on-flickrThe hottest news in social media is about the competition between Google’s new social network, Google Plus, and its larger and more established rival, Facebook. Every day we are inundated with the latest changes to the Facebook platform and the most recent additions to Google Plus.

The social media world is buzzing. Heads are spinning and bloggers are posting feverishly in an effort to be perceived as first in understanding the significance and impact of each move. While you may be trying to just keep your head above water at work…

Google Plus has announced it now has 50 million users, has added Google Plus search and its group video chats known as “Hangouts” can now be accessed by mobile phone users (Android and iPhone). Facebook, with 800 million users, has just revamped; adding features including news stream ticker showing real time updates, “Timeline” profile, a subscribe button, and music service.

So who’s winning?

 Who cares?

If your head is spinning trying to understand the additions, revisions, changes and upgrades to these social networks–stop. If you are wondering how you’ll be able (or required) to put them to work on behalf of your clients, employer or yourself–stop. Take a deep breath. Go offline for a little while. Then come back.

In that short time, both Facebook and Google Plus will have tweaked and added features and apps; pundits will have posted with predictions about the success and failure of each. And the world will still be turning.

Take a moment to gather your thoughts. Remember what you are trying to accomplish with social media. Understand that these social networks can be powerful additions to your marketing and public relations programs. Understand also that each will continue to change without notice and that you will probably always be working to figure out how the most recent changes impact you (or your clients or employer). It’s the nature of the beast.

Some of the changes may end up working well for you. Some may drive you crazy. In the end, the dust will settle (for awhile, anyway) and you can evaluate which social network serves your purposes best. Right now you may want to spend time with both Google Plus and Facebook, depending on what you are trying to do and who you are trying to do it with.

For the moment, plan to do the following:

Create your Google Plus profile. Fill it out thoughtfully, use your key words, include hotlinks in your profile copy and direct readers to your website or blog. Add your other social networks and include photography. Whether or not you decide to dive into Google Plus and build out a community there, your Google Plus profile will come up early in  search and can be used to direct traffic to your site and other social networks. Looking for more information about Google Plus? Click here for an overwhelmingly comprehensive listing of resources.

Read up on the Facebook changes and check those privacy settings. The new Timeline profile is promised by the end of September, so you may want to spend some time thinking about how you will address the changes. Be advised that there is real concern about privacy and how broadly we all may be sharing information–at times inadvertently. Take the time to research this and think through how you want to go forward. This link provides a wealth of practical knowledge about Facebook and its recent changes.

In the end, the question of whether Google Plus or Facebook is winning the social media competition is irrelevant. Understand what you’re trying to do with social media, who you’re trying to do it with and where those people can be found. Of course, as soon as you’ve got that worked out, everything will change. Again. It’s the nature of the beast.

Do you need more help with your social media? Give us a call at 419.740.1262 or shoot us an email at [email protected]. We’ll be happy to sit down with you and show you how integrating social media into your marketing and public relations programs will help you meet your business objectives. Like this post? Add Allen Mireles to your Google Plus circles and join her on Facebook.


Photo credit: “Stressed” by Evil Erin on Flickr