To Google+, or Not To Google+

With Google opening up its Plus social networking service to brands last week, the question we have been considering is whether it’s worth our time actively using the new brand pages.

Let me say before going any further though, you should definitely reserve a page in Google+ for your brand. It only takes a couple of minutes to register your page and you’ll ensure you won’t get hijacked by brand squatters.

Now, onto the question at hand… is it worth time and investment to create and maintain a fully functioning presence?

We can get an insight into the relative popularity of each service by looking at data from the Share buttons that proliferate across the web these days. We can use this as an indicator of the relative importance of each service.

For our study we looked took a sample of news and tech news websites: BBC, CNN, Guardian, New York Times, The Telegraph, Mashable and EConsultancy. Of those, only the The Telegraph, Mashable and EConsultancy have added Google+ sharing to their site.

Next we took the top 5 stories from each site at the time we did the survey and looked at the number of shares on each service:

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIn

Google+

Telegraph

       

968

577

54

16

60%

36%

3%

1%

Mashable

       

610

5211

1684

108

8%

68%

22%

1%

EConsultancy

       

43

311

39

22

10%

75%

9%

5%

So there you have it, according to our admittedly rather unscientific survey, Google+ represents less than 5% of sharing activity on sites that have a Google+ button, and a much smaller percentage of overall sharing activity given that most mainstream sites do not have a Google+ button.

On that basis we have decided not to spend time maintaining a Google+ page (yet).

Have you created a Google+ page? What results are you getting from it?