How to Use the New Twitter and Google Buttons

Twitter has announced a new Follow button--similar to Facebook's "Like" button--that allows users to follow an organization, brand, or celebrity without ever leaving whatever Website they're on. Not wanting to be left behind, Google announced its new +1 button Wednesday.

Twitter made the announcement in a blog Tuesday, saying more than 50 sites had added the new button. These include CBS Interactive, CNNMoney, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Wired.

Previously, a business Website had to redirect users to its respective page on Twitter in order to be followed. This made many businesses uneasy because it led traffic--and potential sales--away from their Websites, with no guarantee of getting them back. With the new Follow button, companies can rest assured that users wont be pulled off into Twitter-land and never return.

Pronounced "plus one," Google's feature first appeared in late March, appearing next to 2 percent of its English language results in the United States. Now it's being rolled out to larger markets, including Google's very own AdWords. This step also follows Facebook's social ad structure, where a user can approve of an ad being displayed to them. Google's announcement says the +1 button is shorthand for "this is pretty cool" or "you should check this out."

Of course, these are both powerful tools for further social media integration, and companies that employ them effectively can expect greater presence across these platforms. But with every major social company rolling out third-party buttons, companies should also expect to be vying for attention in an increasingly noisy space.

So, what can small and medium sized business (SMBs) without huge marketing dollars do to in an increasingly crowded space?