Google+ is an interesting conundrum as many people feel obliged to use it in the face of any logic and just because “it’s Google”.

We’re all sitting around expecting that one day Google will unveil its true purpose and all the effort will have been worthwhile, but at the moment I feel that blind optimism is one of the only things keeping it going.

Admittedly the latest updates have improved the usability somewhat and Hangouts are certainly an interesting feature, but in the face of the sheer amount of time spent on Facebook and Twitter’s increasingly important role as a news platform it does seem that G+ is floundering while trying to work out what purpose it actually serves.

Normal users don’t need to fret about this problem and can wait for Google to lure them in with a killer new feature, however for brands it raises a bit of a dilemma.

Do they continue updating their G+ pages and searching for unique content even while nobody is bothering to look at it, or just accept that it’s not going to reap them any benefits in terms of reaching their target audience and focus on Facebook and Twitter instead?

The likes of ASOS, John Lewis and Cadbury are firmly in the first camp and maintain active pages with daily updates in spite of the low level of interaction. 

However many other major brands have dipped their toe in Google’s social network and decided it’s simply not worth the effort.

And in honour of these brave souls, here are 10 brands with dreadful G+ pages...


Walmart was quick to see the importance of G+ and established its page way back in December 2011.

However a mere two updates later and it was hotfooting it back to the safety of Facebook.


Without a single update to its name, McDonald’s is basically cybersquatting in its own G+ page.


The sportswear brand has a terrific social strategy so it’s surprising that its commitment to G+ is so patchy.

Though it goes through occasional bursts of updating its wall several times in a few days, in the past two months it has posted just three updates.

William Hill

Thundering along at a rate of around one update per month, bookmaker William Hill is hardly enthusiastic about using G+.


Another brand that commits to G+ in fits and bursts, Coca-Cola has posted several updates in the past month to promote a Hangout with a Mexican band call Rio Roma and was very active during the 2012 Olympics.

However it also failed to post anything between November 5 2012 and January 9 2013 and has generally only posted a few updates per month since then.


Following a busy January with a whopping six updates, Pepsi has only posted a further six updates since February.


Weighing in at an average of one update per month since last October, Honda obviously doesn’t care too much for G+.


Three updates in 2013 and none since March is enough to keep people engaged, right?


Another brand that hasn’t bothered to post a single update.


KFC established its G+ page back in November 2011 and posted a few updates per month until July 2012, but it has since decided to stay entirely silent.

David Moth

Published 29 May, 2013 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (8)

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Steve Logan

The issue with Google+ is simply adoption. Plenty of businesses, like those above, decided to sign up to protect their brand and generally have a presence, but with low levels of interaction some clearly don't bother to carry on following an initial push.

Google+ still has plenty to offer, but it needs a PR makeover. Most people are happy to continue with Twitter, Facebook or both, so why then go somewhere else and dilute your presence. Admittedly, if you're a global corporation, the concept of spreading your marketing budget too thinly is probably a moot point.

Hopefully it won't turn into a social ghost town, full of abandoned profiles and outdated updates, but these examples (while bad) are only really the tip of the iceberg.

about 5 years ago


Lyon Fournier

I will be honest, we have a presence in Google+ but based on our targeted audience locally, we have a small population to begin with and a post usually comes up with relatively disappointing social engagement. Unlike our tweets and posts on facebook which has better interaction from our current followers. So, plus is in the bottom of our priority.

about 5 years ago

Hannah Dempsey

Hannah Dempsey, Associate Director of Social Media at JellyfishSmall Business Multi-user

If Google+ is a ghost town, then why are some brands managing to do really well? Brands like Cadbury and ASOS have been placed into circles by around three million people. Even lesser known brands are doing well, Your Golf Travel has been added to the circles of over 200,000 people.

It's not going to happen overnight and without any effort. People need to start seeing Google+ less as another social media site and more as a social layer of Google. It's a great place to share content and personally, I'm finding the whole communities feature a really great way to connect with my industry peers and like-minded people.

The brands featured above are right to have' claimed their name' within Google+ but they're really missing out on the initial search benefit as well as the community aspect of G+ by not adding it to their digital strategy.

I'm not saying that Google+ is going to overtake Facebook or Twitter - it needs to be handled a little differently and once you get it right you'll be able to see the benefits.

I always say to be people that they need to experience the site personally first and then start using it as your business, so that you can really get a feel for the features and layout. I'd advise anyone here to do the same.

about 5 years ago

Claire Connachan

Claire Connachan, Youth Scotland

This is an interesting post - I'm a bit confused as to why the writer calls out Cadburys as having low levels of interaction and engagement. The Cadburys page and communities are very vibrant and alive; I follow the account and think they do G+ really well.

I think that a major problem is that many brands use G+ like Facebook. It's a different platform with different strengths, and people don't really seem to be getting this. There are massive benefits to G+, especially for retailers and those with physical locations (G+ Local, anyone?).

At the moment you actually have to work pretty hard with G+, because there's no ad cheat to bolster your communities. Maybe this is another reason why brands are not feeling it? They actually have to work like community managers instead of flinging money at social ad spend?

Remember G+ is less than two years old. Can you remember what Twitter and FB looked like when they were two? :)

about 5 years ago



Honestly speaking, we too have a G+ page, and we almost regularly post comments on it, but compared to our other social media presence like in facebook, we are hardly being interacted and reach out to the selected audience. But with the recent strategy Google has implemented, I believe Google Plus will regain its lost ground to twitter or facebook to a certain extent. Specially challenging to the recent changes that facebook is ready to make, Google Plus needs to be proactive in offering its fan base with more added features, when social media is on its brim to evolve as the most important marketing ground for companies around the world.

about 5 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Managing Editor at Barclaycard

@Claire, admittedly that was an error citing Cadbury as a brand that didn't get much traction G+, particularly as I've previously highlighted it as a brand that is performing well...

about 5 years ago

Heledd Jones

Heledd Jones, Marketing Manager at Admiral Loans

A good reason for keeping your Google+ page updated at least once a day is owning some more real estate in Google searches for your brand (your Google+ page will appear in the top right hand corner) as previously reported in an Econsultancy post (can't find it sorry!).

We do this, and although it's hard to put a monetary value on it and difficult to measure any impact, it does stand out on the page and as we're in a competitive brand space we decided to continue with it.

about 5 years ago


Rob Yandell, Publisher at Personal

We've set up a G+ page and stuck with it, without major impact, simply because of the notion that it will eventually help our Google rankings for search. If that wasn't a consideration we wouldn't have bothered in the first pace. It's a pain to think of too many social platforms, but then again do we want domination by a handful?

about 5 years ago

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