Google+ is poised for major growth with 3 out of 4 top 100 brands on the network. With 85% adoption, YouTube is a hit among marketers. Together, Google+ and YouTube make Google a search and social media powerhouse.
Since Google + was launched in June 2011, there have been a number of articles, opinions, surveys and polls conducted as to the why, what, and if regarding success or failure of Google+. The reality is that Google+ signifies the growing and intrinsic nature of search and social media; and, as adoption surges, so does the necessity of integrating and aligning search and social efforts. Google+ is going mainstream.
In December last year, Google announced that over 500 million people had upgraded to Google+ with 235 million active across Google (+1′ing apps in Google Play, hanging out in Gmail, connecting with friends in Search, etc.) and 135 million users active in just the stream.
Today, I would like to share some insights and data gathered from tracking social media adoption trends for the BrandZ top 100 global brands. This includes brands such as Apple, BMW, RedBull and Samsung. The data also includes insights into how YouTube is performing as a social media network. Here is the expanding data and insight from the BrightEdge Top 100 Brand Social Share survey.
Since December 2011 Google+ has 94X followers
Three Out Of Four Global Brands Have Active Google+ Profiles
Google+ has now established itself firmly in the mainstream of social networking. A majority of the top 100 brands (three quarters), have active profiles. As more brands engage users, data suggest that those who have once held reservations may soon be looking toward establishing a strong Google+ presence.
Many of the top global 100 brands recognize that Google+ is now an effective social medium through which to continuously build and strengthen relationships with existing and potential users and customers. It is an excellent avenue through which the value of their brand can be greatly enhanced. It is not only cost effective, but it also facilitates constant dialogue with users, which is essential in keeping their audience up-to-date on the latest happenings regarding their brands’ products, features and services.
20% Of Brands Link Both Home & Google+ Pages
Search for a brand in 2013, and it’s increasingly likely a Google+ page will appear in the SERP. This is an area which has seen a significant increase in the past year, and is now at one in five brands. As brands continue to attract Google+ followers, these pages look set to become a mainstay of search results.
Marketers are also now actively integrating Google+ into their brand home page, with 25% including a profile link in 2012. Three of the top 10 brands promoted their Google+ presence through links to their profile pages on their websites. These brands are Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Samsung. Given that this was unheard of a year ago, we expect that 2013 will see many more brands follow suit.
59% Of Brands With Active Google+ Pages Engage Their Users Through Posts
Forty-four (44) of the 75 brands with active Google+ pages have provided their users with posts in the month of February 2013. Post dates for February range from 2/8/2013 to 2/16/2013.
This data set helps show that brands do recognize the importance of keeping their audience engaged and that Google+ is an increasingly preferred platform in fostering and developing such relationships with users.
The Top 10 Brands On Google+ Account For Almost 4 Out Of 5 Followers
A majority of the 20.9M followers are cornered by the top 10 brands making up 78% of the total fans (16.3M followers). The biggest player right now is H&M, which leads the way with 2.49M fans. This should come as no surprise — as we documented in previous Social Share reports, they have consistently engaged users.
Furthermore, the table below identifies the brands that have the most additional Google+ fans for 2013. This figure is simply the difference between the first scan (1/9/2013) and the latest scan (2/16/2013). This provides insight into how the brand is currently performing against an accumulated amount which discounts current performance.
It’s interesting to note that 9 out of the 10 brands that made the overall top 10 are present in this table. Samsung is the missing brand with Home Depot being the replacement.
The rankings also make interesting reading with BMW sitting at the top with in excess of 77,000 new fans.
YouTube Solidifies Google’s Position In Social Media
This Google subsidiary has proven itself among the top 100 brands as a powerful means of forging personal connections. With the recent improvements integrating Google+ with YouTube slider suggest, 2013 will be an even stronger year for both brands.
87% Of Top Brands Have A YouTube Channel
Eighty-seven percent (87%) of brands have an official YouTube channel, engaging fans and reaching millions of viewers. Collectively, the top 100 brands on YouTube have racked up an impressive 3.15B views.
Google: Most Viewed Of All Brands On YouTube
All eyes are on Google and Red Bull when it comes to YouTube — at 718M (Google) and 535M (Red Bull) views, these brands are head and shoulders above their competitors when it comes to capturing viewers’ attention. Samsung is in the third position with 160M views, less than a quarter of Google’s views.
The top 10 are mainly business -to-consumer brands, which shouldn’t come as a surprise. These companies already have a direct connection with potential viewers and use this to engage followers on YouTube.
Other brands would do well to study their techniques if they want to exploit the benefits of YouTube in 2013.
Top 10 Most Viewed Brands On YouTube To Date
Top 10 Most Subscribed Brands On YouTube
Redbull still remains the most subscribed brand on YouTube amongst the brands. Google and Apple maintain their position as 2nd and 3rd ranked brands, respectively. Samsung enters the top 10 with an impressive 5th place ranking. The changes in rankings are as follows: Nokia moving from 5th to 6th; BMW and Blackberry, the 8th to 7th previously ranked brands, respectively, now exchanging rankings; Microsoft moving from 6th to 9th and Coca-Cola dropping one place down from 9th to 10th. Honda, the only casualty, now sits outside the top 10 in 11th position, moving from its previously held 10th position.
Google+ continues to gain traction among both brands and users. Brands are now quite aware of the tremendous opportunities that Google+ provides to their business. The evidence is there that users are gravitating towards Google+ as a medium through which they can follow the progress and developments of their favorite brands. For the period 1/9/2013 — 2/16/2013, brands collectively saw new Google+ fans amounting to 597,090.
The brands that link their Google+ pages and their home pages, consistently engage their users with regularly updated posts are and will continue to reap tremendous rewards using Google+.
YouTube is and will continue to be the social media powerhouse in 2013. The YouTube views simply continue to grow at an alarming rate and have seen total views among all brands surpassing the 3.2 Billion mark.
Along with the massive growth of Twitter and Facebook Google+ is firmly establishing itself as a major social media player. Each social platform has it’s own unique USP’s and its own skeptics. Depending upon your brand, audience, search and social media goals balancing activity across all networks should be an essential part of your 2013 search and social strategy.
Google, through its YouTube and Google+ offerings, has created a highly efficient and interactive environment that satisfies the needs of both global brands as well as their users in delivering an effective social platform.
For further insight and analysis, the Social Share – January 2013 is available for free download here.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.