How Google+ Is Encircling Your Brand

GoogleAlthough no Facebook, Google+ is emerging as a great way for brands to connect directly with consumers.

In the last month alone, Google+ fans -- i.e., the number of users in “circles” -- of the world’s top 100 brands grew from 222,000 to 3,100,000. The relative explosion -- recorded by digital marketing platform provider BrightEdge -- represented a 1,400% increase for Google+. 

Which brands are making out best? According to BrightEdge, the growth is being driven largely by 10 brands that have established a powerful presence on Google+. The “G+ Ten” account for more than 3 million of the 3.1 million followers, and bring more than 10 times as many followers as brands in the rest of the top 100.

Leading the way, fashion giant H&M now holds the No. 1 slot with 462,000 followers, while Coca-Cola leaped from 1,800 to 336,000 -- a 187x increase -- over the past month. Coke’s direct competitor Pepsi, however, remains narrowly ahead with 350,000 followers.

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Other Google+ winners include Samsung -- with 372,000 followers -- Starbucks -- with 335,00 -- Sony -- with 258,000 -- Intel -- with 258,000 -- eBay -- 253,000 -- Google --193,000 -- and Amazon -- with 184,000 Google+ followers, by BrightEdge’s count.

According to BrightEdge CEO Jim Yu, the dominance of a select few brands on Google+ might not bode well for the social network. “While the growth of the G+ Ten is impressive, in contrast we have noticed many companies seem to be taking a slower, wait-and-see stance to the search giant’s social offering,” said Yu.

Top brands that appear to be waiting on the proverbial sidelines include Goldman Sachs, Microsoft and Apple, Yu notes.

That said, in Yu’s opinion, there is tremendous interest among large enterprise players in how Google+ will evolve.

Although BrightEdge data shows that brands are embracing the social networking site, the success of the G+ Ten contrasts with lower activity among “G+ Laggards.”

With search driving continued visibility of Google+, Yu said he expects to see continued consumer adoption of Google+: “But broader brand adoption is still a challenge and increasing attention will be paid to the end-user engagement model.”

How Google expands from its G+ 10 core partners and spreads more broadly across brands will be closely followed by the industry, and how the engagement model involves end-users may impact the rate at which Google adds followers, Yu added.

“Google+ still has less than 1/100th the number of total consumers interacting with the top 100 brands that Facebook has achieved,” he said.

5 comments about "How Google+ Is Encircling Your Brand".
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  1. Mark Burrell from Tongal, February 17, 2012 at 2:11 p.m.

    I don't know ANYONE who uses google plus. Everyone I know who did use it does not use it anymore. They should shut this down or improve it.

  2. Christi Pemberton from GC Style Magazine, February 21, 2012 at 8:40 a.m.

    @Mark, just because you don't know anyone who uses doesn't mean that everyone else doesn't use it. I know a lot of people who use it including notable musicians, brands, and friends..so, maybe you are not in the "right circle" of people. If H&M uses it, then it has to be something to it...I mean they are a huge brand, what about your brand?

    Christi

  3. Kevin Bullard from ILFUSION Creative, February 21, 2012 at 10:04 a.m.

    Christi is right - Google+ may not be the Next Big Thing over the next 90 days, but they are ramping up and I find it impressive, especially given some of fb's recent missteps. It will not only survuve, but succeed!

  4. Henry Blaufox from Dragon360, February 21, 2012 at 11:38 a.m.

    The broader demographics of Google+ users are compelling, much more representative of the overall adult population than Facebook was in its formative years. Google+ is also easy to use. This in turn makes it more likely to add users steadily. So, we think it's worthwhile for brands to follow the lead of the "Big 10" early adopters and devote some attention to Google+. We recommend the same to many of our clients; allocate some budget and time to Google+ as part of the social marketing spend.

  5. Sean Grace from Strategic Franchising, February 22, 2012 at 2:11 p.m.

    I am heavy user of G+. I love it. I just started a page for my business, and that will take a little time to figure out how best to use the network for that purpose.

    As for brands using it, most are laggards and followers. One great, well-publicized (in other channels) success story will bring in droves of them.

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