When Google's social network Google+ launched, its core differentiation was Circles, a way to share content with only a certain group -- or groups -- of your Google+ connections. Today,
Facebook has reported
that its new profile design, which is getting rolled out to a small group of users this week, includes its own granular sharing options. These options would let the user to, on a message by message basis, choose whether content should be public, only viewable to friends, or viewable to a custom group of people.
It Doesn't Matter!
In the next 24 hours, you are likely to come across way too many headlines discussing the battle between Google+ and Facebook around social media sharing. All of these articles will miss the point. Google and Facebook aren't battling over social sharing. Heck, they aren't even battling over users. Facebook has 750 million users, and a few cool sharing features aren't going to cause a large percentage of users to jump ship. Rather, Google and Facebook are battling over data . Google wants the content that Facebook users are sharing, and Facebook wants all of the search volume that Google has. It has nothing to do with granular sharing.
It's About Search, Stupid
The old saying in politics is, "It's the economy, stupid." Today, we should create the equivalent for social media: "It's about search, stupid." Every major battle online comes down to search. The web is too busy talking about granular sharing to see the real importance of Facebook's change. Facebook users now have the option to make posts public! Yeah, public, as in...to the entire internet. Now that is a big deal. When content is public, guess what? Facebook can display it in its search results. This makes Facebook search results better and more usable than ever. This change isn't about competing with Google+, the social network. It's about competing with Google's core business: search . Until now, Facebook search has been less then helpful because of the lack of public content. But that will soon change.
As a marketer, your job is to use inbound marketing to get found and convert leads. This increased focus on search and information discovery only helps your marketing efforts. When sharing content online, make sure it is made public so it can be indexed by search engines. Understand that the next generation of search is more than major search engines like Google and Bing. Facebook, Yelp, LinkedIn, and Twitter will all become viable competitors in the search for the right information at the right time. Be sure to use keywords core to your inbound marketing strategy to ensure you get found by quality prospects through search.
What do you think about Facebook 's newest sharing features?