Forrester to Brands: Don’t Ignore Google Plus

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twitter-minusGoogle Plus is often compared unfavorably to Facebook when it comes to drawing up a social media advertising strategy. But a recent study by Forrester concludes that when compared to other social media outlets, notably Twitter, Google Plus promotes stronger brand engagement.

Forrester tracked 284 profile pages of 50 top brands and more than 3 million user interactions with brand posts. It found that user interactions with posts as a percentage of a brand’s followers were 0.073% (Facebook), 0.069% (Google Plus) and 0.035% (Twitter).

“If Google intended for Plus to compete with Facebook, it failed spectacularly,” Forrester said in the report. In a US survey of 60,000 online adults, Forrester found 22% use Google Plus monthly compared to Facebook’s 72%. Plus users access the site on average seven minutes per month; Facebook users log six hours.

Google Plus looks better when compared to Twitter, the report showed. Twitter also grabs 22% of online adults monthly, but Plus followers are about twice as likely to engage in a brand’s posts.

Forrester found many brands are lacking in their presence on Google Plus. More than a third of brands tracked for the study either did not have a presence on Plus or had not updated their pages in more than a week.

This includes top brands like Disney – which, despite having stronger user engagement with followers on Google Plus than on Facebook or Twitter, doesn’t promote its Plus page at all on its home page. Similarly, Nike fails to promote Google Plus despite the report’s findings that its 2.4 million Plus followers are more engaged than its Twitter audience.

Forrester proposed promoting a brand’s Google Plus presence alongside other social media, given Plus’ relatively strong user engagement metrics. Brands should also sync their Facebook posts to Plus, the report suggested, a solution that Forrester said is allowing brands such as IBM and Louis Vuitton see much higher user engagement across social media.

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