More on Organic Reach – Facebook vs Google+

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog comparing Organic reach on Facebook vs Google+. As you might imagine, it’s a hot topic for all of us marketing types and business page owners. Since the beginning of the month, I’ve tried to do a variety of tests to see how I could have greater results in terms of reach.

Facebook First

First let’s look at Facebook reach over the course of the month of April 2014. Incidentally, I have just over 330 “fans” on that page at present.

Facebook Reach for April 2014

It’s not been that bad really. I continue to post at least once a day – sometimes morning and evening. Most of my “fans” are on later on in the evening – say 9 or 10pm (UK time).

Looking at the graphic, you can see a few other times this month I managed some spikes in organic reach on my posts, but overall, nothing has compared to the Revenge post on Sunday April 6th.

Here is more detailed info on that specific, Revenge post and how it has faired over April on Facebook.

Facebook insights: Stats on Revenge Post

By Facebook standards, at least for this page, it’s had a good response rate. One I am quite happy with to be honest. Nine comments is very good (half of them are my replies though).

Now Onto Google+

So that is Facebook – let’s look at the Revenge post on Google+. What strikes me first is the amount of page views the picture has had on Google Plus. It’s a staggering 106,000. My followers have doubled in April. It continues to get likes/comments etc – daily – pretty much.

Views of Revenge post on Google Plus - now oever 106,000

The Ripples also tell quite an “engagement” story. The public and private shares have been vast – as you can see (263 shares in total – compared with 1 on Facebook – and that was mine to my own timeline!!)

Ripples from Revenge post on Google Plus


Finally let’s look at the other types of engagement on the post compared to Facebook’s 9 comments…Over fifteen hundred plus ones? 236 comments? “Ghost town” anyone? Hardly.

Google Plus - +1s, shares and comments

I am the first one to admit this, in some respects, is a case of quantity over quality. Some of the comments were spammy, pointless, ridiculous – etc.

But regardless, if Google looks to social signals around the web, in particular it’s own “social layer”, then this large quantity of engagement levels (the plus ones, comments and shares) will almost definitely give a boost in the right direction. I believe so anyway.

Facebook vs Google+

For me personally, this whole experience has made me work harder at trying to create cool engaging content – especially memes – to promote the site on both platforms. I’ve been trying to re-create the magic which, thus far, is not happening. . . YET.

There has been a lot of negative talk about Google+ this week – due to one of its main guys departing Google, but I am still of the opinion that it’s necessary to be there if you run a business where people search Google to find your product or services.

I believe they have invested too much time and energy into the “Platform”, and integrated with all of their services, to have it fade away like some of its predecessors.

As a social media trainer in Glasgow, particularly passionate about Google Plus, I would say that, wouldn’t it? Only time will tell if my bet is right…If you want some Google+ training please call me on 0141 416 1492 – or contact me via any of the social media platforms at the top of this site.

Here are few other relevant links for further reading…

Comparing Reach: A Battle Between Facebook vs Google+

It’s a sunny Sunday evening and I went out today to do my 5×50 Challenge walk. On it, like most days, I took many pictures – some of which I get posted on my Instagram account.

When I came home, I thought I’d do an experiment to compare reach and engagement levels between Facebook vs Google+.

So I fired up PicMonkey (for the first time ever), and decided to make a “picture-quote” to share on SYBD ( from one of today’s spring-like images.

I posted the following image on SYBD’s Facebook and Google+ Business pages – with slightly different copy on each. It’s now some hours later, and there’s already staggering differences in reach and engagement on both platforms.

First of all, here is the picture itself. (Taken at Richmond Park in Glasgow’s East End, incidentally).

George Herbert - Living Well Is the Best Revenge.

So first it was placed on So You’ve Been Dumped’s Facebook Page (4:38pm). On the post, I added a bit of text that told the story of “why” I picked this particular quote.

In this case, the picture was posted without a link to the SYBD blog. I only encouraged people to Like/Comment/Share (which I don’t do nearly often enough).

SYBD Facebook Post - Living Well is Best Revenge
There have been two comments in the past few hours, but what’s interesting is that even with this two comments the Organic Reach is only to 34 (see bottom of screen grab). FYI: The third comment was me replying to the two comments.

Facebook Organic Reach
Ok, yes, these days, that’s not so bad for the Organic Reach on Facebook. Like most people’s Facebook page, it’s been hit by the Dec 3, 2013 “Edgerank” changes, so I’ve been having to do whatever I can to boost its natural reach, (to avoid having to pay for it).

I’ve managed to have TWO posts that actually did get quite far reaching (well beyond my 326 “fans”) in the past few weeks. See recent “Reach” below.

SYBD - Facebook Organic Reach Mar/Apr 2014


So that’s all fine, nothing too earth shattering there, is there? But what I did find staggering was the same post on Google+ (slightly different wording and link to the SYBD blog this time) has fared so much better (it’s been up less than TWO hours now). It was posted at 5:58 pm.

It’s a bit hard to read the number at the bottom of the picture, so let me add a clearer grab for you…

1133-views of picture on Google+
Over a thousand views and it’s been up less time than Facebook.

Not only that, it’s had WAY MORE ENGAGEMENT – in both plus ones and comments (even shares)

Almost 30 +1s in just a few hours
Again this post, at the time of writing this blog, has only been up two hours on Google+. Already the engagement/reach levels are far superior to what is essentially the same post on Facebook.

There’s been even more since I uploaded this screengrab so goodness knows where it will be by the time you read this…(Click the images to check – I’ve linked them to the original posts).


This is why I suggest that if people are new to Social Media, and are nowhere yet, “start with Google+”.

Yes it gets a “bad rap” with people saying it’s a “ghost town” or “no one is there” but haven’t I just proved that’s BULLS*T?

If your content is worth engaging with,  you too can have success on Google+. Not everyone shares my view and that’s 100% fine. If you don’t understand Google+ but want some training on setting up a Google+ business then get in touch via one of the social media channels above today or email me my name at

NOTE: Admittedly, I will have to wait a day or two to see IF / HOW it converted any traffic to But I am still encouraged by the G+ results just the same. Aren’t you?

UPDATE: Now that I’ve posted this, it’s 1544 views and  almost 40 plus ones. Oh and did I mention we only have 47 followers on Google+?

I can only imagine where it will be tomorrow – watch this space…


Thought I’d share one more  update on this experiment between Facebook and G+. First it’s Facebook again – which has marginally improved since yesterday. It has now been seen by a whopping 44 people!

There has been no more engagement on the post.
SYBD Facebook post Monday AM

Meanwhile the story on Google Plus is altogether rather different. The post has now had nearly 1000 plus ones. 148 had shared it by 9:17am this morning and 136 comments have been left. SYBD's Google+ Revenge post goes viral. I just checked the current number of “Views” on the Google Plus post and it’s 46,713 by 9:41am.

Still think Google+ is a ghost town? Think again….

As Seen On (S)TV – Celebrating 10 Years of Facebook


So last week, just before I went to deliver some SEO training in Clydebank for three hours, I got the call from a lovely Scotland Tonight producer asking if I’d be willing to come in to talk about Facebook’s 10th birthday.

What ran through my mind at that very moment was – “my brain’s having a fuzzy day, the last thing I want to do is go on Scottish Television and make an ass of myself…” – but what came out was “um, sure, sounds good” (or words to that effect)…

Normally, I like to be at least a little prepared before I do a radio or TV interview – but I barely had time to slap on a bit of make up and straighten my hair a little before heading out to work!

Now, I love being asked to do the show. I love actually doing the show. But the run up to being on the show is nerve-wracking, and quite honestly the aftermath sets my inner critic into overdrive, “Oh my Gawd, look at my hair! It didn’t look that bad in the make up room!” or “Geez how much weight does a camera actually add? Fifty pounds???”

Vanity aside, perhaps the most disappointing thing for me for me was that I felt, due to the aforementioned fuzzy head, that I didn’t really answer the questions that host John MacKay asked, in the way I’d like to. So now, here on my very own blog, is a chance of what we Americans call a “do-over”.

Thea Newcomb & John MacKay on STVs Scotland TonightJohn mentioned that I’d tweeted earlier that day that I “love and loathe Facebook in equal measure”, and he asked what I meant by that. Well here’s what I meant:

I love that with a few clicks of the button I can see what’s going on in my family and friend’s lives – wherever they are in the world.

Well, most of them,…as I do have a lot of friends who simply choose not to be on Facebook, (smart cookies). That’s awesome. In some ways I do wish I could come off it completely.

Anyway, so, if I want to see their holiday shots, wedding photos, gig snaps, or their new born child’s first pics – I can. I have that choice.

Additionally, I love that I can group my friends and family into categories – “close friends”, “acquaintances”, “music”, “Glasgow” or “Bay Area”. I do and post directly the individual lists semi-regularly.

All status updates are not equal. Not all content is relevant to all friends. So I like that I can sometimes segregate for relevancy.

So those are  few things that I love about Facebook but then there’s,…


The altogether less attractive sides of FB are really the “annoy the crap out of me” posts – where people brag, attention seek, try to be so controversial or cryptic…

Now, I am not saying I’ve not posted a few of my own in my time (in fact, I posted one on Christmas that I regretted just hours of posting it) – but really, in my opinion, Facebook can simply highlight our narcissistic, opinionated, and voyeuristic tendencies. It can be an excuse for not meeting up because we don’t need to – we know everyone’s news – it’s all there on their timeline.

I think, for me personally, Facebook can make me feel incredibly “connected” to my family and friends at times, and yet completely “disconnected” from them – in almost equal measure too.


I had an experience, recently, when someone I thought was a “friend” (certainly at least of the Facebook variety) visited from half a world away. This person and I share friends in common, and came to Glasgow and posted from here – knowing full well we share friends in common. Really? Come all the way to Scotland, to my city and not reach out to even meet for a tea? (Only then did I check and find I’d been unfriended. To this day, I have no idea why).

In spite of this person not being a close friend, I still can’t begin to tell you how hurtful that experience was for me. There were other slightly less dramatic instances of things like that going on before and after that which caused me to limit my Facebook activity altogether. Some people are just more sensitive than others.

Loving shots of couples to a singleton or parental shots for someone who’s just lost a parent – can be a minefield for the sensitive among us. Posts can be hurtful to onlookers whether we mean it to be or not.

Not only can they be super annoying (see 7 Ways to be Insufferable on Facebook ) but Facebook can simply be bad for our health! Even the Economist said so!

From a business standpoint (my business is often training small businesses how to use FB to promote themselves), I don’t like it due  to it’s ever-changing goal posts (which I recently blogged about over on my Glatitude blog). With Facebook claiming there are 1500+ potential news stories that could feed our streams daily, it’s getting harder and harder for page owner’s activity to be seen.

It’s gotten to the point in a business owner, who is brand new to social media wanted to go on one platform – Facebook is no longer my first suggestion. Well, depending on the business of course. I’d recommend


When John asked about the Privacy issues of Facebook, I had stated that they’d made a change to our photo uploads being automatically “public” – I, of course, meant our profile pictures. So each time you upload a new profile picture – check your settings. Grrr.

STVs John MacKay with Thea Newcomb

Is Facebook cool? No, not really but I don’t think it necessarily needs to be, as long as it remains a relevant option for us to keep in touch with our family and friends – who really cares if it’s “cool” or not? Though my time is often limited on Facebook to maybe ten minutes day, and my interactions are more often than not done in private, it’s a platform I will continue to use, to love and to love in equal measure.

That’s about it…

What about you? Do you Love or Loathe Facebook? How often are you on it? Do you manage a page? Have you noticed changes in your insights since the Dec 2 algorithm changes? Quite a challenge isn’t it?

Facebook-Free for October

And so begins another, potentially, life-changing month…

Thea Newcomb off FacebookRecently, I’ve come across a few articles about Facebook that have made me think about the time spent on there. You know what I mean, standing in line at the bank or the grocery story, on public transport, when out for a meal and your friend (or whoever) nips off to the loo, etc – what’s the first thing we do? We pull out those phones and scan the news feed to see what everyone else is doing!

Facebook Fatigue

First off, let me start by saying that I have a love/loathe sort of relationship with the platform to begin with. How I feel about it usually is determined by how I am feeling in general.

More often than not, I think FB can be a tedious, draining, boring, narcissistic sort of place. Of course, it can also be fun, funny, interesting, stimulating and altruistic in equal measure. It can be wonderful to see what your family and real friends are up to. It allows us to share, virtually, those weddings, parties, holidays, new babies, pets, or first days of school (yawn),…With people in far flung places around the world.

Last week though, an old friend shared an Onion article about the Facebook Version of a Marriage Going Great that did strike a cord in me. It’s like we all have Facebook versions of our lives. Makes sense really doesn’t it? From the sidelines it can be isolating to witness these sorts of things.

There was another one from the Economist, Facebook is Bad For You – Get a Life. Both of these pieces have been on my mind. Frankly, it’s good to know I am not the only with these sorts of feelings for ole FB.

As I’ve been contemplating how to better use my time, I figured there are so many more things I can be doing with it than spectating on what everyone else is doing – for an hour or two a day.

My aim this month then will be to work harder (especially at building my new business!), read more books (not just social media books either), be more social, face-to-face, with my friends/colleagues/associates and of course exercise more. Well, that’s the plan at any rate.

There is one caveat, I will need to continue with one or two Facebook pages that I run, like So You’ve Been Dumped Stories, but most of these can be done via 3rd party apps such as Sprout Social or HootSuite…


I attended a HootUp last week in Glasgow and after it, a few associates and I were talking about the difference between Facebook and Google+. To me, it’s like Facebook is a Frat party with your friends. It’s kinda fun at times, but there can be a lot of noise and mostly it’s just a lot of egos flying around.

Google+, on the other hand, is a like a really cool dinner party with loads of interesting people that you don’t really know – but who you want to know.

The posts tend to be informational, engaging, high caliber/quality, creative, etc. In a nutshell – a joy. And you know what? I’ve never once logged of Google+ scoffing. No narcissism to be found (amongst my circles anyway).

So yeah that’s where you’ll find me. Google+ or Linkedin of course. (see links top right to connect with me there)…


Oh yeah, speaking of which – two things to report  did I happen to mention that 1) I’m doing  FREE talk –  “25 Tips to Rock Linkedin” at New Start Scotland (November 14 & 15)  and 2) our next Networking @ 29 Event is about Google on October 30th?

We’ve got three, esteemed speakers lined up We have: +Matthew Marley  (from Zen) to talk about Google+! This guy has more people who’ve circled him than anyone I actually know in my circles! Kudos! +Mark Hunter (from Postable) to talk YouTube – he’s created over 700 videos – so man this guy knows his stuff! +Brian Tait  (from Aillum) is an expert who will tells us what to look for in our damn, confounded Analytics! “Not Provided”? @$%#$ – WTF! 🙂

Find the full run down for the event on my Google+ profile! You can find the link to 29’s Linkedin Business page there too!

Well, “Hello Facebook-Free October” – here we go! Let’s do this!