Mixed business success for Google+ pages

More than 60% of the world’s top 100 brands have already created Google+ pages, according to US-based SEO firm BrightEdge, but the pages appear to be having little impact on consumers.


As of last week, Google+ allows companies to create their own pages, enabling consumers to speak directly with businesses, either through chats or from reading information.


According to Google, the new feature will allow users to “hang out live with the local bike shop or discuss your wardrobe with a favourite clothing line”.


According to BrightEdge, an SEO firm based in California, 61% of the world’s top 100 brands already created Google+ pages, yet 94% the top 100 brands have a presence on Facebook.


Meanwhile, only 12% of the brands with Google+ pages display a link to the network on their homepage, while 53% of the top 100 brands display a Facebook link on their homepage.


Brands also appear to be having mixed success at building social networks around their Google+ presence.


Major companies like Coca Cola and McDonald’s have only dozens of fans on Google+ despite having millions on Facebook.


A review of Facebook and Google+ properties, for the top 100 brands, reveals a collective total of almost 300 million Facebook fans compared to approximately 148,000 Google+ followers.


However, it should be noted that brand interaction with Google+ is still in its early days, suggesting start-ups should not discount the network from their marketing efforts.


In a bid to draw more businesses onto the platform, Google is allowing businesses and brands to manage their Google+ pages using third-party applications such as Buddy Media and Involver.


These integrations should help brands further their presence on Google+ and increase engagement.


Meanwhile, Google has announced that Google Music – which allows users to upload their music library and stream it to all their other devices – is now open to everyone and will stay free.


Google will also allow consumers to buy music via Android Market, letting consumers listen to 90-second previews before they make purchases.


Once a song is purchased, it can be shared on Google+, which means friends are able to listen to the entire song without having to leave their Google+ stream.


However, only people in the user’s Google+ Circles can listen to the full track. If someone has “Circled” you but you haven’t “Circled” back, you’ll only have access to a sample of the song.


Google Music’s new features are available now, while updated Android apps will be released in the next few days.


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