Google+ Pages vs. Facebook Pages
Now that Google+ has opened the option for businesses, bands, and brands to create pages, it’s time to set up one for your venture. If you already have a Facebook company page, you should find the process simple, since the Google+ page isn’t much different. You can add many of the same things to your stream, and the page will end up looking similar, but the administrative features are much less substantial. Here's a look at some of the similarities and differences.
The layouts of the pages are similar, with information in smaller panels on the left and right, and the primary stream of information in the center. The Google+ page is minimal, with fewer things on the sides, while Facebook’s page is more cluttered with apps, add-ons, and recommended pages. When you’re creating a new page on Facebook, those recommendations are handy; on Google+, I’ve had a harder time coming up with pages for my classical-music trio to follow and connect with.
Central Information and Update Stream
When you're viewing your own page, the center column offers a stream of content that you can switch between your own updates or those of the people you follow. Visitors to your page will see your stream of updates. Each page also provides a search bar near the top so that you or your visitors can find other people and pages.
The left panel on a Facebook page starts with your profile picture, followed by links to the sections of your page, your About information, your likes, and various other links for updates and sharing options. Visitors to your Facebook page see the same content in the left panel.
The left sidebar of a Google+ page places a drop-down menu next to the profile picture for switching between your personal and business pages. It also has a link to the getting-started page, as well as a list of your circles for filtering your incoming stream. Visitors to your Google+ page see a list of your followers on the left, along with a button to share your page or to give it a +1.
At the right side of the Facebook page, you’ll see the option to switch between using the page as its administrator or as yourself, along with links to notifications and tracking statistics. Underneath are recommended pages. Visitors to your page see only other recommended pages.
The Google+ right-hand sidebar has a list of people in your circles, as well as buttons for starting a Hangouts chat and sharing your page. Visitors to your page see nothing on the right side.
The Facebook getting-started page prompts you to post a status update, promote your page on your own website, and set up your mobile phone for uploading photos and status messages via email or text. The first tasks that Google+ suggests are similar: You can post an update, connect your own website, promote your page, and add people to your circles.
Adding a Link
Beyond text updates, you can add website links to either your Google+ page or your Facebook page. With each page, start by entering the URL; then, pick a photo from the site for a thumbnail image, and make a brief comment about the link. Google+ also gives you the option to select which of your circles to share the link with, or you can choose to make it public so that the whole Internet can see it.
Adding a Photo
Both sites have photo-uploader tools that will accept a single picture from your computer or allow you to assemble multiple photos in an album. For Facebook, you can also take a picture with your computer’s webcam.
Adding a Video
Both social sites let you upload a video from your computer. Facebook also gives you the option of recording a video from your webcam, while Google+ permits you to embed a YouTube video.
Managing Your Pages and Admins
Here you can see one of the main differences between the services. Facebook allows you to set multiple people as page administrators, whereas your Google+ page remains tied to a single account and merely lets you choose from the pages that your account owns.
Advertising and Promoting Your Pages
Another difference between the services lies in how they handle advertising. On the Facebook side, you may create an ad that will show on other people’s pages and drive traffic to your page through Facebook’s advertising. Google+ integrates with Google AdWords to share the +1 ratings that your ads earn with the +1 ratings that your page receives.
Another difference between Facebook and Google+ pages is in the level of detail that you can include in your profile. Google+ is minimalist, offering just an introduction, contact info, and a link to your website. Although you don’t have to fill out all the fields in your Facebook profile, you can really go in depth with the information you include there.
Apps, Apps, and More Apps
Perhaps the biggest difference between Google+ (in its current, early form) and Facebook is the latter's massive ecosystem of apps, which can extend the functionality of your Facebook page. You can also run contests and promotions on your Facebook page, whereas Google+ prohibits such activities in its terms of service.
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