Originally published as Google Plus Grows Brand Presence, Struggles With Engagement on Technorati
According to a new SocialShare report from BrightEdge, Google’s social network, Google+ continues to increase brand presence. Some of the lastest gold label brands to join in the past two months include Visa, Wells Fargo and fashion design company Hermes. Although the network has increased the number of brand pages, they still struggle to reach the same level of user engagement as Facebook and Twitter.
Perhaps this is because of the nature of how engagement is measured, and many of the conversations and engagement happening on Google+ isn’t public streams, but rather specific ‘circles’ which don’t appear by default to one’s public news feed per say.
Still, engagement isn’t something that just Google is struggling with, and can be argued with the integration with search increasing, Google’s engagement numbers are actually better than what is reported.
LinkedIn, another network that is struggling with user engagement recently announced new social features to LinkedIn Today, their social news product. The new features are designed to increase user interaction on news stories that appear in users news feed.
As speculated in an article on AllThingsD, the timing is peculiar, on the heels of a partnership with Twitter which filled user streams with promoted tweets. It’s possible that the end of that agreement left a large empty space that had the potential to dramatically decrease site-wide engagement, with less and less stories appearing in users news feeds.
With the new product features, it really highlights the conversations surrounding popular stories shared across the network, highlighting comments that are possibly just as insightful as the stories themselves.
So why the focus on engagement? This might be obvious to many, but engagement is key to services like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other social networks that don’t explicitly provide some tangible service offering. They depend on users to share content with their network in the form of links, photos and video, etc. to keep people engaged and on the site, and viewing advertisements.
According to Jim Yu, CEO of BrightEdge. “…there is still much higher adoption on Facebook and Twitter, whose offerings some feel include deeper engagement models which they have built and matured over time, thanks to their earlier start and sustained investment. Brands need to continue to assess and adjust how they leverage all of the social signals to capture the digital engagement and sales they’re looking for.”
So what are companies doing to capture their share of social engagement and sales? One company who recently had success is Redbox, whose “Share Your Love” campaign generated 1.7 million new ‘likes’.
Over the course of the campaign Redbox users were asked to rent a video, then post an image of them hugging their local Redbox vending machine on the company’s Facebook page for a chance to win a $5,000 home theater package.
While this idea may seem silly, what isn’t are the results. Brickfish, who created and executed the Redbox campaign, is one company who specializes in delivering social media programs to better engage a companies retail customers.
Speaking about the possibility of driving revenue, Brickfish CEO Michael Mullarkey tells eweek.com, “Fortune 2000 companies rely on software companies like Salesforce, Oracle and SAP for enterprise applications and are trying to find ways to drive revenue,” said Mullarkey. “It’s enterprise software companies that understand that social media are going to drive transaction volume in the years to come.”