This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

October 9, 2014

Posting to Google+ and Facebook, and the difference

Google+ and Facebook are both social media sites. How you use social media is up to you, but Google+ and Facebook have some important differences as to their design, and as such, work best if you know how they work.

Facebook is an intimate space, or at least it's designed that way. It's a place for friends. It superseded MySpace many years ago as it had things that made personal interaction on the web much more fun, and easier. The concept of Facebook is built on walls that your friends can write on. When you become a friend of mine, you get my permission to write stuff on my wall. And although Facebook has made writing on friend's wall's something that they can opt out of, it's really the underlying principle of the site.

Google+ is similar, but no one is allowed to write on my *wall* except me. Google+ is less social that way, but it's actually how a lot of people had been using Facebook for a long time, anyway. When I post things on my Google+ page, you can follow, and comment, but that's all. And you can follow me without us having to do the *friend* thing. And there is no feeling for, or expectation of, reciprocity in following. If you click *Follow* next to my fat little face there, my posts will instantly appear in your Google+ stream. You don't need my OK, we don't have to go back and forth at all. Just put me in a circle called *Following*.

Google+ works best when you treat it as a way to communicate to the world. If you're interested in privacy, I can't recommend any social media. If you're interested in exposure, I strongly recommend it. I use both Facebook and Google+, and I like them both, especially for what they do.

• Facebook keeps you connected with friends and family. Sure, you could do that on Google+, but why bother? Facebook does a much better job of that. Grandma and Grandpa are pretty much guaranteed to be on Facebook, don't expect to find them on Google+.

• Google+ expands your audience to the world. Whatever you post in Google+, and in Blogger, is immediately indexed to the Google Search Engine. And if you're interested in exposure, believe me, you want to be visible in a Google Search.

What it comes down to is your goal using social media. If you're interested in, well, socializing, stick with Facebook. It's a good place to be. If your goals are more sophisticated, and include Search Engine Optimization, put your emphasis on Google+. Oh yeah, and Blogger, and Twitter, and Linkedin and Pinterest.

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