Corporate Eye

3 out of 4 of the Top 100 Brands Have Active Google+ Pages

google plus circlesGoogle+ has finally secured its foothold in top brands’ social media marketing strategies, and when coupled with Google’s YouTube, Google has become a strong player in the world of social media.

That’s according to the January 2013 SocialShare report from BrightEdge which tracks social adoption and trends among the Brandz top 100 global brands.

Brands and Google+

The SocialShare report reveals that Google+ has experienced a 94% growth rate among the top 100 brands during 2012, and today, 75% of the top 100 brands have active Google+ profiles with a total of 20.9 million followers. However, it’s important to point out that 78% of those fans (16.3 million followers) are following the top 10 brands. The top 10 breakdown includes four car brands, two technology brands, one retail brand, and two food and beverage brands as follows:

  1. H&M = 2.49 million followers
  2. BMW = 2.22 million followers
  3. Mercedes-Benz = 2.04 million followers
  4. Nissan = 1.95 million followers
  5. Google = 1.90 million followers
  6. Porsche = 1.79 million followers
  7. Red Bull = 1.53 million followers
  8. Samsung = 913,000 followers
  9. Starbucks = 843,000 followers
  10. Coca-Cola= 724,000 followers

One of the most important takeaways for brand marketers to learn from this report is that 25% of brands link to Google+ on their website home pages, and 20% of brands have their Google+ pages show up in search engine results (up from zero in 2011). The report authors explain, “As brands continue to attract Google+ followers, these [brand Google+] pages look set to become a mainstay of search results.”

The importance of becoming active on Google+ and linking your content via Google properties, particularly Google+, cannot be understated in 2013. As more and more Google+ pages turn up at the top of search results pages, consumers will start to expect to see them there. Brands that aren’t there and fail to meet consumers’ expectations could lose opportunities.

Brands and YouTube

The SocialShare report also shows an 87% brand adoption rate for Google’s YouTube among the top 100 brands. In total, those brands’ videos received 3.15 billion views in 2012 and have a total of 5.1 million subscribers. Google has made changes in recent months that link Google search, Google+, and YouTube even more closely together, so YouTube should be high on every brand’s social media priority list in 2013.

Two brands are really leading the way on YouTube — Google with 718,000 views and 1.12 subscribers and Red Bull with 535,000 views and 1.41 subscribers. Far behind in third place based on video views is Samsung with 160,000 views. In terms of subscribers, Apple takes the third spot with 964,000 subscribers, but subscribers nosedive after that. Nintendo ranks fourth for YouTube subscribers but has just 190,000 subscribers.

Of the top 100 brands, following are the 10 with the most YouTube views:

  1. Google = 718.4 million views
  2. Red Bull = 535.5 million views
  3. Samsung = 160.2 million views
  4. Nokia = 139.2 million views
  5. Coca-Cola = 135.0 million views
  6. Apple = 103.3 million views
  7. Disney = 83.6 million views
  8. Nintendo = 78.6 million views
  9. Pepsi = 66.2 million views
  10. VISA = 66.2 million views

Consistent growth for Google+ throughout 2012 and Google’s efforts to fully integrate its products to benefit search results ( as well as its social search initiatives) make it clear that Google+ has become a strategic imperative for brands.

You can follow the link at the beginning of the article to download the complete SocialShare January 2013 report from BrightEdge.

Image: Fabrizio Van Marciano

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.