Last week, we took a look at a report that showed that the most popular pages on Google+ were becoming more consumer-focused. Now, according to a recent report from Socialbakers, those brand pages are growing faster on Google+ than on Twitter. The analytics site is measuring that growth by the number of followers a page has gained in one month.
Google+ introduced brand pages in November, while Twitter made the move, in an official manner in December, albeit limited to a few heavy hitters. But Twitter’s official brand pages are really a moot point here, because marketeers took to Twitter, capitalizing on the existing audience long before Twitter afforded them unique features that enhance the brand experience. In reality, Twitter has been home to brands far longer than Google+.
The fact that Google+ brand pages have only been around for four months could be part of the explanation as to why the growth has exceeded Twitter’s. On Twitter, out of the top 5 growing brands, H&M has seen the most growth with over 88,500 new followers in one month.
Continuing with H&M as an example, looking at the total number of followers, on Twitter, the company has just over 816,000, while on Google+ the number sits just over 530,000.
There appears to have been a surge in growth on Google+ in December, according to a report published a few days ago by BrightEdge Social Share. As Simply Zesty point out, none of these brands have hit the 1 million follower mark despite the significant growth of 1,400% in the past couple of months.
There are certain factors that always need to be taken into account when looking at these figures. For example, could it be that the very same people who already follow H&M on Twitter are heading over to follow them on Google+? The fact that Twitter has been around longer means that the growth may have plateaued a little in comparison to Google+, a relatively new social network.
Looking at the Bright Edge report, we also see that most of the growth has been among the top 10 brands. H&M, Samsung, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Sony, Intel, eBay, Google and Amazon together account for more than 3 million of the 3.1 million fans following the top 100 brands.
More importantly, however, is the matter of engagement. All the followers in the world aren’t really much use if they’re not coming back to your page, or aren’t engaging with your brand.
The H&M Twitter account fields a lot of questions, and as seems to be the trend on Twitter, it is serving more of a customer service function. On Google+, on the other hand, there are photo albums of the latest collections, contest announcements, and videos from launch parties. Some of these links have been posted on Twitter but are lost in the midst of replies and retweets. Users don’t need to follow the brand account to get the most out of great customer service on Twitter.
On the other hand, it’s far easier to look at a Google+ page and see the number of shares, +1s and comments a post has received. On Twitter, good luck trying to find all of the manual retweets or replies. The only thing you’re going to find with any ease are Twitter’s native retweets – and H&M isn’t getting any. The most recent posts on Google+ are getting between 40 to 70 +1s, 10 to 30 comments and around 10 shares.
The nature of Google+ is far more in line with what a brand may expect when it comes to interacting with users, and so should the real comparison here be with Facebook? If that’s the case, taking a look at Socialbakers’ figures, there really is no comparison. According to the BrightEdge report, “Google+ still has less than 1/100th the number of total consumers interacting with the top 100 brands that Facebook has.”
The fastest growing brand on Facebook, Angry Birds, gained a whopping 4 million new fans in one month. And looking at H&M’s own growth on Facebook, the page has added 730,000 fans in the past month, for a total of 9.9 million fans. As far as engagement is concerned, the numbers follow the same trend, with interaction with brands on Facebook far exceeding anything seen on their Google+ counterparts.