Brands See Success on Google Plus

Google Plus gets the rap of being a ghost town, but the numbers point in an opposite direction for many brands.

A recent study by Simply Measured claims that brands are seeing higher engagement levels on Google Plus — and building sizable fan bases there. Simply Measured found that 64 percent of the Interbrand Top 100 now have an active Google Plus brand page. More brands are posting more frequently as well. In fact, 43 percent are posting more than three times a week. Ferrari, H&M and Gucci, respectively, were the top three brands by number of circles and amount of activity on Google Plus. And top brands are building fan bases there that, while not the size of those on Facebook, are nothing to sneeze at.

When looking at Ferrari’s five most recent posts on Google Plus (730,000 circles), the car maker is getting 46 comments on average for posts (.006 percent engagement rate). On Facebook (8.3 million fans), Ferrari has seen 44 comments on average (.0005 percent engagement rate), when looking at the five most recent posts. However, Ferrari’s numbers for likes on Facebook posts are in the thousands, while on Google Plus, the +1s are in the hundreds. For H&M, the outcome is very different. It’s top five posts on Google Plus (684,000 circles) got an average of 37 comments (.005 percent engagement rate), while posts on Facebook (11 million fans) saw 115 comments on average (.001 percent engagement rate). It gets thousands of likes on Facebook and hundreds on Google Plus posts.  

According to Scott Monty, head of social media at Ford, anything visual works well on Google Plus. Video and photo content are strong performers for Ford and being able to create bold and italic fonts has made it easier for people to engage with the content.

Monty believes in Google plus, but wasn’t able to say whether Ford is seeing higher engagement rates on the platform. “[We’ve got] nothing to report, as there’s no analytics platform for pages right now.”

Nissan has seen its Google Plus fan base grow by 400,000 since March, according to Erich Marx, director of interactive and social media marketing at Nissan North America, although it hasn’t seen an increase in engagement rates. He said the company “sees the glass half-full” when it comes to Google Plus.

But either way, the majority of brands are growing their audience on Google Plus quarter-to-quarter. At the end of the day, people are not engaging on Google Plus like they are on Facebook or Twitter, however the growth that some brands are experiencing shows that Google Plus has promise.

“With six months of data all pointing up and to the right, it is safe to say that Google Plus is here to stay, and is becoming a key player in the social media space,” Libby Snead, senior marketing manager at Simply Measured, wrote in the report. “It continues to provide a captive audience that is eager to engage with their favorite brands.”

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