Late last week it was revealed that none other than high street fashion label H&M had become the most followed brand Google+.
The top ten was compiled by Simply Measured, based on the number of “circlers” for each brand in early February, with usual suspects Pesi, Starbucks and Burberry also making an appearance.
Though H&M's Facebook page has 9.7m Facebook fans — about 19 times the number on Google+ - it’s undoubtedly becoming a viable marketing channel.
Just what is H&M doing? And is the right way to go?
Give the people what they want
H&M spent a fortune on Super Bowl advertising to promote its partnership with David Beckham. A vast majority of traffic over recent weeks to its G+ profile will be because of that. So give people what they want.
The Beckham photos are front and centre when you look at the H&M profile (within the top strip of images that are similar to Facebook’s cover photo within the Timeline layout).
Other images are published within posts, which in turn are collected up and stored in a separate photo album.
It’s interesting that there’s no way to easily click and purchase the Becham range however. Google doesn't exactly make it easy to do this, but a simple photo with a URL might do.
A great tagline
An important component of maintaining consistency in terms of brand messaging. H&M’s is clear and concise – nothing to add here.
H&M has posted to its G+ page 318 times, which is more than any other brand, except for Ferrari. Ferrari, however, has just 8,027 circlers.
That’s just over 100 posts a month, constantly popping up in people’s feeds.
But as far as we can see, these are largely product shots. Where are the questions, the competitions as seen on Facebook? (See below) Though the tone H&M uses for G+ is informal and friendly – where’s the personality?
H&M has 524512 people +1'd or added to circles in relation to 522497 that have H&M in circles. Opening up this channel means that people get a sense of openness, even if it’s just the potential opportunity to talk to ‘them’.
However, level of engagement is low. With the majority of posts getting low levels of comments, shares and +1s, especially in comparison to Facebook. However, the platform is young, and this could just be a product of users simply not interacting with G+ as a whole.
Clarity over what the profile is for
H&M has used its ‘About’ section smartly, getting people to ask questions and share fashion tips while setting expectations about response rates and being clear on moderation.
The photo section of H&M’s G+ profile is great. Full of photos, recent and on-trend, divided into groups and more.
But there are better opportunities at stake on G+. If Obama can do a 'hangout', a brand can. Why not roll out Beckham?
Coca-Cola has just announced that it will be running a 'hangout' that will take people on a tour of the brand's archives storage space, devoted to marketing assets and memorabilia.
Though H&M displays some best practice in terms of running a good G+ page, there’s not enough interaction to maintain this. H&M hasn’t even added G+ to the ‘Find Us’ section of its website yet (though its Facebook and Twitter profiles are listed).
Perhaps it will start to invest more time and resource into integrating the engaging activity shown on its Facebook page once G+ starts to pick up speed with consumers. But as it stands, it’s likely to be overtaken soon when the post Super Bowl buzz dies down.