Google+ has struggled to ignite the efforts of marketers since its launch, but several recent studies would indicate that avoiding it altogether is the wrong approach. Three separate reports show that while advertisers are concentrating their efforts on Facebook, Google+ ads have better click through rates, and Google+ visitors spend more time on the site while becoming more engaged. Another survey suggested that Facebook does still beat Google+, but that the gap was minimal, and that both performed considerably better than Twitter.
Forrester has been quite critical of Facebook advertising in the past, suggesting that advertisers ditch the service last year and concentrate on other social media channels. Their most recent report wasn’t quite as damning, and in fact posted some viable reasons to invest in Facebook advertising; this year it has taken a swipe at Twitter instead.
The company surveyed 61,000 US adults and found that 22% visit Google+ at least once a month. This is the same figure as Twitter achieved but some way behind the 72% that visit Facebook. The Forrester survey also found that Google+ users were twice as engaged as Twitter users, but some way behind Facebook.
Somewhat at odds with these findings is research conducted by Shareaholic, the social sharing platform. They tracked data from 250 million users between September 2013 and February 2014. YouTube easily came out on top with the lowest bounce rate, and the highest time on site and pages visited for users that clicked through shared content and landed on the main site.
Surprisingly, it was Google+ that came out next best. Bounce rate was second lowest and the average time on site and pages per visit were higher than with all other networks except YouTube. LinkedIn, Twitter, and then Facebook rounded off the top five.
Finally, Resolution Media tracked the performance of 20 of its clients with an ad spend of $37m. The company determined that, even though clients spent 127% more on Facebook advertising, Twitter ads generated considerably more clicks.
The Resolution study didn’t have a massive data set to work from, and the fact that advertisers spend less on Twitter means that their advertising is likely to be more highly targeted, but it again points to the fact that the likes of Twitter shouldn’t be completely ignored.
Facebook remains the platform that advertisers spend the most money on, but there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the savvy marketer is the one that invests their time and effort in a combination of social networks. YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn can generate equally good, if not better, conversion rates, and Google+ is proving to be quite a useful advertising and marketing tool.