There is only one social network which is more widespread and frequently used than Google+, and this is Facebook.
- One billion registered users
- 540 million active users
- It combines the best features of the most popular social media networking sites with its own personal brand of functionality.
It is absolutely a platform worth capitalizing on for marketers; however, it isn’t being utilized to its full potential.
Jack of all trades
Google+ is considered a “social layer” because it is not based upon a single website; rather, it interactively combines all of your current social networks into one, and adds its own personal touch.
It also plugs into Google’s other services – search, Gmail, YouTube, etcetera. Through this integration, it contributes greatly to Google’s already enormous stockpile of site visits and account ownership totals.
It is marketed as a playful, informative way to curate all of your online interactions into one.
Behind this benign front, however, Google is constantly collecting information on all of its users’ identities and personal information and remarketing this to digital advertising firms and the like. It is a brilliant way for Google to target its advertising and personalize its products.
The more you share and connect all of your online interactions, the more Google is able to pinpoint your online life. This enables Google to create better service offerings for its user base and tailor advertising for marketers.
This is why it is key for marketers to utilise everything Google+ has to offer. Mashable reported that over 1.1 billion people make 114 billion searches each month with Google.
Mashable also concluded that 79% of smartphones run Google’s Android operating system, and that Google Maps is utilized by over half of all smartphone users. It is clearly a ubiquitous brand which marketers cannot afford to avoid.
Consumers want all of their information to be as accessible as possible, and that’s just what Google+ aims to do.
By placing all of the user’s online networks into one place, it becomes easy to create a customizable profile, upload photos, create events, post to other sites and share everything you do with every other site you’re connected to.
It is also highly reliable and beautifully designed, making it extremely attractive to current social networkers who tend to be overburdened with the sheer number of networks to keep up with.
Although it is difficult to precisely compare Google+ statistics with Facebook – simply because they are not the same type of online network – it’s necessary to look a bit further in order to see how they measure up against each other.
For starters, Google+ garners 1.2 million visits per month (this includes all Google products, including YouTube, Gmail and the like), while Facebook takes on about 70% of all social media account ownership at present. The reason Google has a very good chance of overtaking Facebook is simply because of the interconnectedness of all of its products – which, by themselves, are each extremely popular.
Unfortunately, when we look at the amounts of social sharing Google+ gains for itself, the numbers are less positive: although Google+ accounts for the second largest online user base, it only contributes 2% of all social sharing – it is much more likely for individuals to “like” or “favorite/retweet” something than it is for them to hit the “1+” button. And, Facebook still holds the highest number of account owners, coming in at 62% globally.
What does the future hold?
It will be interesting to see where Google+ ends up in the near future; however, it is difficult to predict, especially when only comparing numbers and statistics.
One must consider Google’s sheer ubiquity throughout the internet, and realize that Google+ encompasses all of these things. When you add all of Google’s products together, it’s a wonder Google hasn’t taken over the internet in its entirety by now.
Marketers, take note: Google+ isn’t simply a bandwagon social network. If you wish to stay ahead of the game, it should be taken advantage of immediately.