6 Reasons Google+ Beats Facebook for Author Platform Building

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Today’s guest post is by Marcy Kennedy (@MarcyKennedy).

If Facebook and Twitter had a secret love child, it would be Google+.

And because of its similarities to both sites, many writers don’t see its unique potential. So I’m here today to peel back the Google+ wizard’s curtain and give you six reasons Google+ is just as valuable—if not more valuable—for writers than Facebook.

1. It’s less popular than Facebook.

Compared to Facebook’s 750 million estimated unique monthly visitors, Google+ receives only 65 million.

I know this might sound like a drawback. Why would you want to bother with a less popular site when you have a limited amount of time for social media?

Well, beyond all the advantages I’m still going to talk about, using a less popular site means you have a better chance of standing out. Few authors are using it to reach potential readers, and even fewer are going about it in a way that works. It’s that whole question of “Would you rather be a big fish in a small pond, or a small fish in a big pond?”

2. Google+ users can sign up for Google Authorship.

Google Authorship is a way to have authorship information show up in search results along with content you’ve created. You can only set it up if you have a Google+ account.

Here’s what a search result looks like without Google Authorship set up:

Search result without Google Authorship

Here’s a search result with Google Authorship:

Search result with Google Authorship

Suddenly I have not only a headshot, but also a byline—and credibility because you can see how many people have added me to their Google+ circles.

When Google+ first came out with Google Authorship, Copyblogger ran a post called 10 Reasons Writers Should Claim Their Google Authorship Markup. Among the benefits listed were higher click-through rates, increased visibility, and reduced plagiarism of your content. 

3. You don’t have to pay to reach people who’ve already said they want to see your status posts.

If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen the option to “Promote Post.” Basically, Facebook isn’t showing your content to everyone who has liked your page. They show what you post to the most engaged fans only, which is determined by their ranking system. If you want the rest of your fans to see what you post, you now need to pay to promote it. On Google+, people who’ve put you in a circle see what you share—period.

4. Communities encourage relationship building among strangers.

Ask yourself this: If you weren’t a writer, why would you use Facebook?

You’d use it to connect to people you already know. Old high school classmates. Friends and family who live in a different state or country.

You wouldn’t likely be using it to search for new people to meet.

Google+, however, encourages strangers to bond over shared passions through the use of communities. It’s not about connecting with people you already know. It’s about meeting new people who love the same things you do. That’s priceless for writers. That’s what platform building is really all about.

Here’s the official Google+ trailer about communities.

5. Posts made on Google+ receive higher visibility in Google searches than material from any other social network.

This is Google after all, and they want their network succeed, so public posts and profiles show up in Google searches. If you’re a writer building a platform, this is another way to help you get discovered by your target readership.

 6. Google’s Hangouts on Air give even tech-phobic writers a way to create videos.

Hangouts are video chat for up to nine people, or 10 including the moderator. While Hangouts provide many opportunities on their own, the real value Google+ offers over Facebook is Hangouts on Air.

Hangouts on Air are live broadcasts. They’re automatically recorded and posted to your Google+ home page, as well as to your YouTube account. This is a great option for anyone who doesn’t have the time or technical skills to record videos on their own. In other words, this is an easy way for writers who aren’t confident in their technical skills to record videos and launch their own YouTube channel. These videos can also be easily embedded on your blog.

Have you tried Google+ yet? What do you like best about it? Share your experience or tips in the comments.

Posted in Guest Post, Marketing & Promotion and tagged .

Marcy Kennedy

Marcy Kennedy is a suspense and speculative fiction writer who believes fantasy is more real than you think. Alongside her own writing, Marcy works as a freelance fiction editor and teaches classes on craft and social media. She’s also the author of the bestselling Busy Writer’s Guides series of books. You can find her blogging about writing and about the place where real life meets science fiction, fantasy, and myth at MarcyKennedy.com.

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84 Comments on "6 Reasons Google+ Beats Facebook for Author Platform Building"

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[…] the six reasons I believe Google+ is actually better for author platform building than Facebook is. Click here to read the post. And remember to leave a comment at Jane’s site so I know you stopped […]


[…] Author and freelancer Marcy Kennedy offers 6 reasons why Google+ is just as valuable—if not more valuable—for writers than Facebook.  […]

Andy Mort

Good post, thank you. I’m still trying to get myself going on Google+ I find it hard to get to grips with how to use it effectively. I know why I should use it, maybe it’s just the how that is taking some time for me!


I just like that it seems to have a lot more content that I want to see, as opposed to the ads, political commentary, and silly memes that Facebook seems to be gathering. I also don’t like the way Facebook is giving you a “page” and then withholding it from people who say they like and want your content. Still say they made a huge mistake, going public. I’m going to take a look at your class on Google now and learn what I’ve been missing! 🙂

Icy Sedgwick

I’ve been wondering what I can get out of Google+ for a while but you’ve definitely inspired me to give it more of a go! At least what I post goes to everyone, not just those that Facebook have decided can see it.

Lisa Hall-Wilson
Marcy and I are good friends and cowriters – so we’ve had this debate before since she’s a big fan of Twitter and I’m a big fan of Facebook, and we both enjoy G+. Not sure I agree with all of these points, but hangouts are totally cool and I’m really jealous FB doesn’t have those. FB has an answer for all the other points. Among the early adopters of G+ especially, there’s a big leaning towards all things nerdy – so fantasy, sci-fi, spec fiction – those authors have done really well there. And G+ does photos way better… Read more »

I totally agree with the writer of this post, Google+ is way better than Facebook.

April C Rose

Nice! I hadn’t even known about Google Authorship. I’ve just signed up and now I’m the top 5 links when googled. Super cool! Thanks. 🙂

coleen patrick

Thanks for the rundown. I’m on Google+, but not really sure of what I’m doing there yet.

Esther Aspling

While I’ve created a Google+ account, I haven’t really been using it. This post is extremely convincing though, and I totally need to give it another chance! Thanks 🙂


Diana Beebe

Thanks, Marcy! I have an account that I don’t use–mostly because I’ve been figuring out FB and Twitter. I’ll have to check it out now.


Marcy, I[‘m going to check it out. I’m hearing lots about younger folks leaving fb because it’s too big and now meaningless. makes sense we have to find some place to market ourselves. thanks for the tips

Katie Cross

This was great! I’m trying to learn the ins and outs of google plus for my own platform, and this was perfect to help me learn some more about it. Thanks!


Thanks, for the Google Authorship info…That alone was worth my read and you managed to sift a larger topic (worth of Google+ over Facebook) into manageable and coherent bites…

Jennifer L. Oliver

Great post, Marcy! I’ve been on G+ for awhile now, but I haven’t taken the time to really get to know it. You’ve just convinced me I need to make that time. Thanks for the info! 🙂

Maria Bailey Benson

Great #googleplustips! I am
trying to convince more #smallbiz owners to embrace Google+. This tool has a
lot more flexibility and opportunity than FB and Twitter. Thanks for sharing!

Kathryn Lilley
I joined Google Plu a while back but have never become familiar with it. Your post has encouraged me to give it a try, thanks! I have become very cautious when using social media after LinkedIn sent everyone i’d ever known an email requesting a connection. Evidently it happened because I updated my profile, and pushed some button I shouldn’t have. Facebook I find to be getting more and more terrifying–whenever I link to something through FB, up pops a message which sounds like they want the master key to your soul. But I will give Google+ a trial– the… Read more »
Angela Ackerman

Great post! I am going to rethink my G+ stance. I used it a lot when I first started but it grow so huge so quickly, I found it too time consuming for too little return as far as personal connection went. Thanks Marcy!

Nicola Smith
I like the community aspect the most, and Marcy is right, it is much easier to get to know people with similar interests and to share information with an entire group as opposed to a few who know you. I like the supportiveness I’ve found in most of the groups I belong to. The odd individual can be a problem, but generally speaking the smaller size of the communities means they’re reasonably well moderated. You can also share with select groups, or make your own if you like. Circle management is a bit of a trick, still working my way… Read more »
Rebecca Enzor

You already know how much I love G+ and I think this post is an excellent way to show other author’s the value in this under-appreciated social media site. Great post, Marcy!

Eden Mabee
I’ve not been spending the time I probably should have on G+… (You go where your friends are) …but I learned a bunch of things here that might help make that transition more enjoyable. Kind of like moving out of an old neighborhood–even when you have stopped going to the local coffee shop, married someone and changed to his/her church, don’t have kids the way the people from high school seem to… change still isn’t easy. That said, I learned a lot here about authorship I didn’t know. In fact, I just spent a 1/2 neatening up my G+ profile!… Read more »
Tracy Campbell

Hi Marcy,
I wish now I was on Google+ instead of Facebook for all of the reasons who’ve listed.

Darrelyn Saloom

I have a Google+ account but find it too time consuming to figure things out. For instance, I read your article and then spent an hour trying to sign up for Authorship and failed. It’s just too confusing. Of all social media, I prefer Twitter because it takes less of my time, and I have built close realtionships with people I have never met. I’m not quitting though. I’ll continue to try to plough the Google+ field.

Rhenna Morgan

I’m looking forward to the class. The limited time I’ve spent on Google+ didn’t seem intuitive…not that Facebook seemed all that intuitive at the start either…


thanks for the post, now im lovin Google even more


Yes, you quoted me! *blushing*

Meredith Bond

If I could post or even have an account under my pen name I’d be there. But I can’t, so I stay away — far away. 🙁


Sure you can. You need to set up a Google+ Page. They’ve allowed Pen Names this way for a while now. Best of luck.

Meredith Bond

I’ve got a G+ page and when I put in my pen name, my only option is to display it at Merry Reallastname (Meredith Bond). So much for anonymity. 🙁


Try Mashable’s explanation. I know its doable, I just haven’t done it myself. http://mashable.com/2012/01/23/google-plus-allows-pseudonyms-nicknames/

Debra Eve

Thanks for a very informative post, Marcy. I’ve heard great things about Google+ for writers, but just haven’t had the time to figure it out. I’m just going to leap right in and take your class!

Karen McFarland

Aha! Marcy, after having read our post, I can see why Google+ is an attractive alternative to FB. I, like Melinda, am not crazy about all the memes and the control FB has on your viewership. I’ve got to check out the Authorship program and see if I can at least download your webinar. Thanks Marcy!

Sheila Seabrook

I’ve been on G+ for a while now, Marcy, but I just haven’t found the time to really check it out or use it. Thanks for the great info!

Cyd Madsen

Google+ is the opportunity that Facebook used to be. It does take some time to learn, but the learning curve can be fun. Somehow or another I ended up in a Google chat with a bunch of guys drinking beer somewhere in the Middle East. They didn’t seem to mind and neither did I. Those happy accidents (and giggles) can be great ways of connecting with real readers and not just writers who read other writers. Thanks for pointing out the advantages. They might not last long.

Janis Cox

I am on Google+ but really haven’t used it much. Not sure how to set it up properly. I have one member of my family on it as they refuse to use Facebook. That way I can see videos and pictures quickly. and a few authors and bloggers I have connected to.
But with Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook – can I take on another social media?

Seriously thinking about paying for your webinar but with Write!Canada coming up and blogging, and writing and life – not sure when I would have time to watch it.
I know – breathe – Jan.
Janis http://www.janiscox.com


[…] 6 Reasons Google+ Beats Facebook for Author Platform Building […]


Good post.

Ellen A. Williams

Thanks for this wonderful article! I’ve just started getting my writing out there in Blogger and twitter. I’d really like to get into Google + but it seems so foreign (as fb once did!) I love the idea of fb being social and Google + being professional. Maybe anyone interested in building their community could add me and help me out! ell3nAWilliams@gmail.com


We are new writing group using/learning google + and hangout for our writing workshops.


[…] Speaking of social media, Lisa Hall-Wilson examines 6 reasons why Facebook isn’t working for you as an author; Sarah Pinneo outlines the mechanics of Goodreads; and Marcy Kennedy lists 6 reasons Google+ is good for authors. […]


[…] can help. For tips on using Google+ for building your platform, check out Marcy Kennedy’s post on Jane Friedman’s blog. For Twitter basics, InkyGirl’s free Writer’s Guide is […]


[…] 6 Reasons Google+ Beats Facebook for Author Platform Building by @JaneFriedman […]


[…] 6 Reasons Google Beats Facebook for Author Platform Building. […]

I just said to my husband last night that I needed to take a course in social media, search engines and blogging then today I saw this. Last week I started to get a new blog up and running at Blogger to get more visibility than WordPress but I was stumped at choosing just the right name to start a Google+ account so I gave up. I am in the process of getting input about my possible blog titles and then it is back to Google Plus to try again. I may take your 90 minute webinar if I feel… Read more »

[…] Kennedy does a guest post at Jane Friedlander’s blog on “6 Reasons Google+ Beats Facebook for Author Platform Building“, and she makes some good points. I’m thinking of taking her Saturday, June 15, […]


[…] And speaking of Google Plus, one of my favorite bloggers, Jane Friedman on Google Plus for authors. […]

Purple Doughnuts

Thank you so much, very informative.


[…] But last month I ran across this post. […]


[…] Kennedy: 6 Reasons Google+ Beats Facebook for Author Platform Building. Excerpt: “If Facebook and Twitter had a secret love child, it would be Google+. And because […]

Jess Witkins

I’m just starting out with my Google + page. Is it possible to sync up our blog posts with the page? I couldn’t figure it out on WP, so I’ve been copying them into my G+ page manually.

I’ll check out the communities now, that does sound fun and you’ve made it feel less stressful than FB which I appreciate. Melinda’s right, there’s a lot of weeding through material on FB that does get frustrating.

Julia Whitmore

Thank you!!! I’m off to check out Google+. Finally.


[…] Google+ for writers: So I’ve been thinking a lot about Google+ lately. I’m not happy about this. It’s a site I’ve been trying to ignore for two years now. I mean I’m barely keeping up with Twitter, and my LinkedIn page is a poor, stunted thing. Do I really need another social media site to neglect? But last month I ran across this post… […]

Julia McCoy

This is an excellent post. There are people still overlooking G+ as a useless secondary social media avenue who need to read this. The power of G+ is huge, for SEO, content, value, ranking, and trustworthiness. It makes sense, Google is definitely going to rank “their own”!


[…] Google Plus for Authors […]