Most marketing executives say Facebook and Google+ are poised to be the social media breadwinners this year.

Most businesses now use social marketing to reach their target audiences, and The Creative Group discovered Facebook is the favorite. Over three quarters of surveyed marketing and advertising executives said their companies use Facebook to share updates and engage with followers. More notably, 45 percent expect this channel to be the primary results driver this year, followed by Google+ (12 percent).

These results are surprising for a couple of reasons:

  1. Marketers have claimed Facebook is the “old dog” in the social media world. (Check out this blog to learn why Facebook is alive and well.)
  2. Google+ is largely seen as an empty room that Google is shamelessly trying to make “happen.” (Read this post to find out how companies are getting valuable engagement from the network.)

However, the results speak for themselves and marketing execs have clearly gathered enough evidence to peg these networks as the leaders for 2014. They project Facebook and Google+ will do more for their brands than LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or Pinterest.

Perhaps they are looking to Facebook’s social reach (at more than 1 billion active users) and Google+’s SEO impact to cast a wide net for web marketing results. If this prediction is accurate and businesses generate the most success from these two networks, it’s likely Facebook will become even more saturated. And, Google+ could finally see a long-awaited spike in usership.

Marketing executives think Facebook and G+ will bring home the social media bacon this year.

As marketers look to these networks, and others, for social engagement, they must remember to play by the right rules. That is, brands can’t post in Facebook Groups and expect to see the same reactions they get in Google+ Communities. Likewise, companies can’t package their Facebook Posts the same way they would craft their social content for G+, Twitter or LinkedIn for that matter.

Some networks might certainly emerge as hotbeds for direct brand-to-consumer interactions, but the winner’s circle will ultimately be taken by brands that master each network’s culture and can deliver content that fits in seamlessly with customers’ expectations.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.