December 24, 2013 Michael Bickerton
Funny how real life exchanges always seem to have a way of reinforcing themselves. Ask and you shall receive. I’ve noted to my team that I think Google+ will continue to develop and that Facebook’s strong hold on the primary social media platform is not going to last. Much to my amazement, most of them seem to feel that Facebook cannot be unseated, but is it time for Facebook’s demise?
Given I have some history, there is one thing that we can be certain of, and that is change. Time, Business & Money had a short article called “Google is Far From Losing the War Over Social” by Verne Kopytoff. The title makes the overall premise clear and there is a lot in keeping with my thought process.
There are a variety of facts that will give you some insight. Google+ is more popular than Twitter, there are 390 million people using Google+ to post messages, make video calls, and use the +1 button. Keep in mind when evaluating Google+ that it was late to the party as such, it’s still finding it’s way in social. To date, Google+ isn’t impacting the reach of Facebook, but it’s this writer’s opinion, it’s coming and will come quickly.
Facebook, in an effort to monetize its property, is impacting both users and business (or page owners) by implementing changes to the feed. I’m not saying that Facebook doesn’t need to monetize, but it has to be careful. As a user, I’m really annoyed that I’m not getting to see a “natural feed”. Instead, I see what Facebook thinks I want or should see, to date, I’m really unimpressed.
As a business (or page owner), it’s even worse. As an example, we have over 2,500 likes (many friends and clients and a great number we acquired through paid ads and sponsored stories), yet a simple post is shown to a limited number of our followers. When we make a post it’s only shown to a very small number as exampled here (8, 9, 23, 39, 32, 20, 43). The point, it’s a very small percentage, and although those ‘Liking’ the page never get to see content from a page they liked and as a business, we don’t get to provide information to some of the followers that we have paid to acquire.
The point here, Facebook in its wisdom (or in its effort to monetize) is now controlling the stream, and it won’t work for the users or the business users. The only winners in this scenario are advertisers with large budgets that can boost certain messages.
Clearly, the old school marketers have taken over the boardroom at Facebook and the big winner will be Google+. If we’ve learned anything over the last few years, it should be that we cannot control the messaging, we can influence it, but we can’t control it. There won’t be social wars, or any battles, just a mass exodus. It’s going to take time, but Bick says, unless changes are made, Google+ will be the primary social network 2 to 3 years from now. So get your Google on, and check out Google+ if you haven’t yet. There are some really good advantages in using this platform, so what are you waiting for?
Michael Bickerton, Raven5 Ltd, Oakville, Ontario December 2013