Why Every Marketer Should Use Google Plus

Recently the New York Times called Google Plus a ‘ghost town,’ and most marketers agree. I understand why. Even if you believe Google’s own user count (many don’t), Google Plus has only one-quarter as many global users as Facebook. Nielsen says that while Facebook users spend more than six hours per month on site, Plus users spend only seven minutes per month on site. Put simply, Google Plus isn’t the Facebook killer some hoped it would be.

But that doesn’t mean marketers should ignore Plus. Far from it: I believe every marketer should use Google Plus.

Why?

First, Google Plus has more users than you think. Yes, it pales in comparison to Facebook — but so do most other social sites. Rather than trust Google’s own user data, we decided to run our own survey. We asked more than 60,000 US online adults which social sites they used — and 22% told us they visited Google Plus each month. That’s the same number who told us they use Twitter, and more than told us they use LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Instagram. That means you can build a real follower base on Google Plus: On average, top brands have collected 90% as many fans on Plus as on Twitter. (In fact, the brands we studied have more followers on Google Plus than on YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram combined.)

Second, and more importantly, Google Plus generates much more brand engagement than you think. Recently we studied more than 3 million user interactions with more than 2,500 brand posts on seven social networks. The result? Brands’ Google Plus posts generated nearly as much engagement per follower as their Facebook posts — and almost twice as much engagement per follower as their Twitter posts.

Google Plus drives stronger brand engagement than Twitter

And most social relationship platforms can automatically syndicate all your Facebook posts directly into Google Plus — meaning once you've set up your Plus page, it takes almost no extra work to maintain.

The bottom line? If you’re not actively marketing on Google Plus, it’s time to start.

For more detail on why Google Plus matters to marketers — and how you can most effectively use the site — check out our new report, The Case For Google Plus.

Comments

Hi there, What were the

Hi there,

What were the answers for the weekly, daily or hourly use in this group between Twitter and Google Plus users?

I believe that all shown massive favour in Twitter - I know many people who use Google+ monthly, I do too, I'll update my profile pic or read 1 article.

I believe even the monthly engagement with the platform is very shallow - the number in top right of your Gmail get's large so you click on it, scan, clean up notifications and move on.

With less time on site comes less clutter, too

We didn't capture that level of granularity in this survey. But the Nielsen data clearly indicates depth of engagement on Google+ is nowhere near what it is on Facebook: again, Facebook users spend 6 hours per month, Google+ users spent 7 minutes per month. (Though note that Nielsen also shows Twitter's users spent minutes per month on site, rather than hours.)

Here's the thing: People may not use Google+ as many times per month or as many minutes per month as they use other social sites, but that likely reduces clutter. And if it's easier for brand posts to cut through clutter on Google+, those brand posts will get more engagement - as you see in our data.

Brands like Virgin they

Brands like Virgin they actually have more Google+ followers than Twitter followers.

it's unfortunate that you can't feed content to Google+ in the same way as you can Facebook and Twitter, but you can do it the other way round http://www.problogger.net/archives/2012/06/12/how-to-use-google-to-updat...

You don't need to import your other social feeds

You can simply set your social relationship platform to cross-post everything from Facebook into Google+. Whether you're using a tool targeted to SMBs and the mid-market (like Sprout Social) or tools targeted to the enterprise (like Spredfast), you can just post everything on both Facebook and G+. Google would argue that you need a distinct content strategy for G+ (as would agencies and vendors in whose interest it is to create more unique content) - but our evidence indicates that cross-posting between Facebook and Plus works just fine.

Google plus share and image preview

A great way to continue the engagement on Google+ is to get a share to G+ button among the others on this page. Try sharing this article and see the preview image being displayed as well. It's not visually interesting to G+ readers.

We have a G+ button at the

We have a G+ button at the top of the page next to the Facebook and Twitter buttons - I'm not sure why we don't include it at the bottom. But thanks for noticing - I'll check.

Data for LinkedIn and other sites

Hi. Thanks for sharing this. Are you able to also share the results for LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube?

Thanks,
Dawn

We do have that data!

And we'll be sharing it soon. A hint: Instagram's numbers look pretty darned good.

Very Compelling

Thank you for this compelling post. The stats are enough for me to push Google+ up to the top of our social media marketing strategy. My company (B2B organization) has had mixed results from Twitter and Facebook with LinkedIn being our strongest social media channel. I'm looking forward to investigating Google+ for our industry.

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