Google+ brand pages growing faster than those on Twitter

While no one looks like catching Facebook any time soon in terms of the size of support brands enjoy on that social network there is an interesting battle being waged for second place and at the moment Google+ growing significantly faster than its 140 character rival.

Fans are signing up in greater number to follow brands on Google+ than they are on Twitter, according to a report by Social Bakers.

Twitter recently rolled out enhanced pages for brands, and while they do give brands more they don’t offer as much the more versatile Google+ brand pages.

The Social Bakers reports says that Twitter is failing to engage brands further while Google+ is engaging them very well leading to the faster growth figures albeit from a much lower base.

You can see below the number of followers brands have been adding on Twitter over the last month:

Twitter brands growth

And now here are the Google+ statistics. The difference in growth rates is pretty stark, although, of course, there is the fact that Google+ pages for brands have only been around for four months, which could in part explain the growth spurts:

Google+ statistics

So what happens next? Will this speedy growth by brands on Google+ lead to overall growth of Google+ speeding up?

Well what’s interesting I think is that Google+ is far smaller, with around 100 million signed up, compared to the 500 million registered accounts on Twitter — although the number of active accounts is put at around 200 million.

Although the gap between the presence that brands have on the two social networks is much smaller than their comparative sizes would suggest.

Take for instance H&M, one of the fastest growing brands on both lists. It is one of the biggest brands on Google+ with 535,129 fans while its longer established presence on Twitter has seen it racked up 816,251.

Its current growth rates would suggest it will catch up with its presence on Twitter very quickly.

I’m not sure, but does that all suggets that people are more engaged with brands on Google+ than on Twitter? Google+ pages are certatinly more content rich and engaging than their Twitter counterparts.

One large chink in the Google+ armour is mobile. Mobile is hugely important to both Facebook and Twitter and at the moment Google+ is nowhere on mobile.

If it can tackle that issue then its growth could really start to take off. It will be interesting to see how it translates and matches the elegant mobile solutions its rivals have.

Here’s a list of some of the top brands on Google+ and the size of their followings:

1. ESPN     535,129
2. H&M      535,129
3. Burberry     409,341
4. Zagat    409,306
5. Samsung    383,836
6. Pepsi    364,731
7. Starbucks    357,479
8. Sony     357,147
9. Coca Cola     354,891
10. BBC News     341,476
11. Intel     351,965
12. NY Times    335,700
13. Toyota    304,036
14. Uniqlo     299,859

You can see the Top 40 brands on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ here (as of last month).

  • Rob Horan

    Google+ brand pages being free, whereas Twitter brand pages cost a lot money is the main reason for the difference in growth. I know a number of companies who would like to have a Twitter brand page but it simply costs too much. Therefore, they flock to Facebook and Google+

  • graeme

    It’s a difficult (and slightly disingenuous) comparison though for a few reasons. From a purely practical standpoint, Google+ has the sales and client service might of Google behind it, pointing out to any socially active brand that there are few risks attached to a presence on the platform, and many potential upsides through social SEO, while the brands most active on Twitter (whether for brand marketing or customer service) had several years to work it out for themselves before Twitter ever developed a commercial team.

    More importantly, looking into how information spreads creates distinct roles for the two platforms, with G+ focused on helping people find information based on social as well as site signals, while Twitter has always been about turbo-charging the spread of the genuinely useful. An analogy might be to think of Twitter playing the role that newspapers used to: in setting the agenda for information that crosses over into the mainstream; (previously: TV – now: Facebook & TV)(setting aside the fact that newspaper journalists tend to be the most effective amplifiers of information on Twitter).

    When you look at the projected half life of information on the respective platforms being hours on Twitter and years on G+ (through impact on personalisation of Search), they appear to be serving very different purposes

  • @gordonmacmillan

    Great points. Very true about SEO and the life of information and how it has more longevity on G+.

    Twitter does feel more like a live customer service agent at times which is not something that has cropped up on G+.

  • Chris Norton

    I think the fact there is a huge SEO benefit to having Google+ page is the reason these are taking off. Twitter pages have felt a bit stangnated to me. They took to long to get off the mark.

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