3 May 2013

LinkedIn or Google Plus: Where should you invest your time?

LinkedIn or Google Plus

With the vast range of social media platforms to choose from, many users are left wondering where they should invest their time. As the network of social media platforms is constantly changing and the popularity of platforms fluctuate, users need to adapt their strategy accordingly. In this article we look at LinkedIn or Google Plus for social media business.

The problem is magnified when users are deciding which platform would be best in order to build up the profile of a brand, or which platform will prove most fruitful for recruitment. This results in many users questioning whether to use LinkedIn or Google Plus. Here the two sites will be compared for their relative strengths and weaknesses. In order to conclude which of the two sites is best to invest your limited time into.

LinkedIn or Google Plus - LinkedIn

Which is best LinkedIn or Google Plus to provide immediate traffic to your career or business page?

Unless you were one of the users quick to adopt Google+, who have successfully connected into circles of over tens of thousands of other users, your best bet for immediate traffic is LinkedIn.

To do this it is vital to join and contribute with LinkedIn groups relevant to your target audience. Hopefully your links will be shared by other members, and may end up featuring as trending items, gaining a much wider audience than you could provide alone. LinkedIn has put a considerable amount of effort into encouraging its users to spend more and more time on the site. Due to this it is extremely likely that your links will be seen on the site.

In comparison the same cannot be said for Google+, Communities, which are the platforms version of groups, are still in the early stages. Also recruiters tend to struggle to find communities which contain anything anywhere near the same level of membership as their LinkedIn counterparts.

Through investing a little bit of time and effort into your business LinkedIn profiles, it is entirely foreseeable that you are able to achieve several thousand monthly visits. This can be done by merging the members of your recruiting team into a single entity. This can provide a large chunk of content for your career page. Also the platform generates blog traffic for you for free! Whereas, Google+ is currently a far more time consuming exercise, and often produces a mere fraction of the equivalent effort on LinkedIn. For immediate traffic, users would be advised to spend more time on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn or Google Plus - Google Plus

LinkedIn or Google Plus – Which provides the highest increase in traffic in the long term?

Search engines when generating site rankings are increasingly taking the number of social media likes a site has, as a factor when producing search results. To elaborate, the more likes or shares the selected content receives, the higher it is ranked.

Traffic from search engines is a good asset to have. However, it is important to state that it is still a one horse race in which Google continues to dominate. Thus anything you can do to enhance the way Google perceives and ranks your content is a fantastic long term investment.

Due to Google’s promotion of the Google+ platform it is extremely likely that Google+ shares are becoming an important factor in the ranking of websites on the Google search engine. There is a direct correlation between which platforms company and business sites are most liked and shared on, relative to the activity that the site has on the platform. To demonstrate, businesses that have a large following on Twitter are more likely to see their content shared there. Whereas if the same business has a small following on LinkedIn it is less likely to have their content viewed, shared or liked on this platform. Due to the prestige and weighting placed on Google+ in relation to increasing your Google ranking it makes sense long term to invest more time into your Google+ following.

LinkedIn or Google Plus – Which has the greatest reach:

If the two sites LinkedIn and Google Plus are compared objectively, the answer is obvious. In the ten years that LinkedIn has been active it has built a following of 20 million, in half the time Google+ has built a following of over double this number, and continues to grow. Therefore providing more ways to meet more people; this is due to the links that Google+ creates between people are far more extensive than the offerings from LinkedIn. Also Google+ is able to bring users back consistently, this is due to the wide spread of the Google Empire: the search engine, Gmail etc. This allows users to be informed of their updates without actually returning to their profile. Simply put LinkedIn has no equivalent system.

You cannot deny Google+ has a far greater reach. Added to this access to the majority of LinkedIn’s content requires a subscription. Whereas all areas of Google+ are free. Therefore you have far greater potential to reach a far greater number of people of Google+. This is important to bear in mind when considering which platform is best to invest your time into.

LinkedIn or Google Plus – Which has less spam?

It is common knowledge that LinkedIn has become saturated in spam. Allegedly the platform is making efforts to address this problem.  On the other hand, Google+ is practically spam free. The platform has a spam detection system, where any suspicious content in flagged to a moderator. The moderator either approves or dismisses the content. This creates a transparent environment whereby businesses and recruiters are able to join groups, safe in the knowledge that its members are legitimate human beings. In terms of which platform is best to invest time in the context of spam, the spam free Google+ wins hands down.

LinkedIn or Google Plus – Conclusion?

At the current moment in time, the two sites are equal; although they have noticeable strengths and weaknesses in corresponding areas. For a recruiter who potentially requires short term results, such as shortlisted graduates for an interview later in the month. LinkedIn is the obvious answer; it is sublime in creating short term traffic quickly and effectively.

LinkedIn or Google Plus - Google Plus Connections

On the other hand, if you are looking to build up a committed following, and increase brand awareness over a longer period of time. Then Google+ is clearly the winning platform, providing the greatest opportunities for long term growth. The answer is not merely that one platform is superior to the other. It is more what you intend to use them for. As has been mentioned if you want long term results then you should invest your time into Google+.

However for short term results your best option maybe investing time into LinkedIn especially if you engage directly with your business connections.

LinkedIn or Google Plus - LinkedIn Connections