Today I read an article written by Clare Harrison titled, "Google+ tops YouTube and LinkedIn." The article talks about how Google+ has become a popular word-of-mouth utility for online marketers, surpassing other top social networks in usage.
Clare quotes statistics provided by SEOmoz in her post, stating, "Google+ is the third most popular social networking site for marketers, after Facebook and Twitter, according to a recent poll of marketers conducted by software provider SEOmoz."
Social Media Tools Being Used by Brands (SEOmoz survey)
83% - Twitter
55% - Google+
49% - YouTube
47% - LinkedIn
47% - Blogging
21% - Pinterest
9% - StumbleUpon
5% - Tumblr
5% - Flickr
Heardable decided to fire up its platform of 15 million worldwide brands to do a fact check of sorts on the SEOmoz numbers. Heardable monitors 130 social networks and social media sites, including specialist and industry-specific social communities.
According to Heardable's Social Media Utilization Index, here are the social networks and social media sites utilized most often by socially-aware brands.
Social Media Tools Being Used by Brands (Heardable quant)
Facebook - 59%
Twitter - 59%
YouTube - 32%
Google Plus - 16%
LinkedIn - 15%
Pinterest - 11%
Instgram - 3%
Flickr - 3%
Foursquare - 2%
MySpace - 1%
The stats above indicate the percentage of all brands in our platform that have a verified or official brand presence on the social network, based on a sample size of 100,000 brand profiles.
3 Reasons Heardable Stats Are Different From the SEOmoz Survey #'s
1. Heardable's data was not derived from a survey, which tends to measure opinion or intent. Heardable data is quantifiable data (using objective properties) as opposed to qualitative information.
2. Just like differences in political polls, the source of the data is critical. A polls of likely voters in an election will likely see different results that a poll of all adults. Likewise, SEOmoz survey participant were internet saavy marketing professionals. Heardable data was collected from any brand, large or small, saavy or not, with a digital presence.
3. Heardable's sample size was 100,000 random brands from our database of 15 million brands. SEOmoz survey sample size was 6,479.
3 Reasons Why Google+ May Not Be Attracting Much Brand Usage
Most small to medium sized businesses don't have official pages on Google Plus. Why is that? We've identified 3 primary reasons:
1. Lack of awareness - Many companies still don't participate in 'the big 3' social networks, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter -- so it's no wonder that tmany still have not joined Google+.
2. Lack of clear business benefit - Sure, there are millions of people using Google+, but most companies will probably tell you that millions of their target customers are not yet using Google+. So it' no wonder then that many businesses are in no hurry to join G+.
Quick Tips On Planning Your Social Strategy
The best and most progressive companies of today use social media to literally become social enterprises. These firms use social media channels in a coordinated manner to tie their business interests with their outreach, such that information is shared in real-time and marketing efforts are empowered, regardless of whether they are reaching out to partners or consumers.
Which social networks are "right" for your brand to participate in? Answer: Go where your customers are. But before you jump right in, it's important that you first determine how participating in social media will satisfy a customer need while benefitting your organization.
Social consumer archetypes can be roughly broken down into fans (people who like or admire brands, products and/or services), followers (people who regularly consume information involving a brand), advocates (people who share information on behalf of that brand), and influencers (people who incite others to make purchases or ignore products).
The key is to understand these archetypes as personalities and discover how to best leverage them as customers or potential customers - and the key to that is enabling conversations.
At Heardable, we advocate the '5 x 20%' rule. When we're "being social", we spend 20% in casual conversation; 20% doing product promotion; 20% conducting surveys and getting feedback; 20% for PR and status updates, and 20% handling customer services issues.
When companies take this kind of multi-faceted approach across social media, they win big, because the relationships they develop are empowered, authentic and transparent...and, almost always, they lead to greater sales.