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.
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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.