Google has just rolled out another application—Google Communities that is now said as one that competes against Facebook’s Group Pages. Both can host discussions, create threads and send messages to the members of the group. They attract quick attention of members, as a gathering place of similar interests as passions. In this article, we will compare and contrast Google Communities versus Facebook Group Pages.
1. Targeting of Stream Posts
Right now, privacy settings of Google Communities are public, restricted and secret, while privacy settings of Facebook Groups are public, closed and secret. They are about same in all aspects, and they both can set targets of stream posts. The difference lies in the depth of targeting each one is equipped with.
For instance, you would want to target those who can speak in English to view your post regardless of the privacy settings. Among the members of your Facebook group, you can set a special target exception in Facebook restricting only those who included “English” as part of their languages spoken. Also, in Facebook Groups, you may limit the content you publish to domestic users only. This is to stop annoying international fans with information or promotions that are not applicable to them.
You can do the same with Google Communities. However you will need to manually create circles and name them “English Speaking Group” and “Domestic Fans” respectively or whatever suitable names and include members to those circles. Before publishing a post, you can then share the content to these circles only for control.
2. Mass Messaging
Facebook Group allows mass messaging wherein members can post messages to up to 5,000 members. These messages can be directly sent to their Facebook inboxes, to boost engagement done at a more personal level. This mass messaging method, therefore, is different from merely posting a status message open for everyone’s reading. This feature though becomes useless when members of the group exceed 5,000.
On the other hand, one of the limitations of Google Communities is that it does not allow direct sending of messages to members or the fans. Its mass messaging feature works only through the Google+ home screen. Users are to post on their home screen and share their content to the community circle that is chosen. This then makes everyone in that community circle to view the shared content.
If you are building Google Communities and/or Facebook Group Pages for your marketing efforts, there’s no doubt that Google Communities is the better option. Both of these applications allow contents to be indexed in search engines. But Google Communities provide the host with more opportunities with regard to search engine optimization. In Facebook Group Pages, minimal content shown in information area of the group can show up in Google and other search engines.
4. Organization of Topic Discussions
Another plus point to Google Communities over Facebook Groups is the filtration of topic discussions. In Facebook Groups, anything can go on. Members of the group can post anything from messages, photos, calendar updates, contests and events. However, Facebook Groups don’t have discussion categories which Google Communities have.
In Google Communities, users can filter hangout instances, events and contents. Categories are also called sub-topics, which are located on the left sidebar of Google+. Before publishing a post or starting a conversation, users can add an appropriate category by clicking on a dropdown list.
5. Control Over Content
Unlike Google+ profiles and Facebook pages, Google Communities and Facebook Group Pages encourage interaction from members wherein everyone can post and initiate topics related to the theme of the group. Control over content is more massive than solely driving the sharing of topics based on a specific content.
If you want to improve online presence for your blog or yourself, you can create both Facebook Group Pages and Google Communities. These are great tools to engage your fans and customers. With your first glimpse, their features may seem to be alike. After reading through this article, hopefully you can now determine which tool can serve you better.
Celina Conner is a Yoga Instructor, a holder of a Marketing Diploma from Martin College Australia and a mother of a beautiful daughter, Krizia. She has a passion in cooking and formulating vegan recipes.Follow her adventures on her Twitter.