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With Google+ and Twitter rolling out updates like crazy in the last week, it's a good time to compare growth of individual fan communities of the top brands on these social networking platforms.

When we work with brands and media companies from all around the world, and a question we get asked a lot is: 'which platforms should we focus on?'

The answer can vary for brands and media companies...

The answer was quite clear for us, but until now we were not backing it with a good numbers visualization. We changed that.

If you look at the infographics below, you will see the comparison of the Top 40 brands across different social media platforms. We looked at several aspects:

1. Total fans

The interesting thing to watch here is the Facebook vs. Twitter, as Google+ is in general simply too small. The interesting piece here is, how much Twitter really impacts media.

The difference is huge, and with Retweets being a bigger of a thing then "Shares and likes", we can probably say that Twitter is at least as important of a tool for media companies as Facebook is. We will be clarifying those numbers soon.

2. Growth of fans

We have taken the overall growth of fans in about a month, and again we looked at the trio. Now this part got really interesting: Brands on Google+ are growing faster than brands on Twitter.

This is shocking, and even though Google+ is at its beginning, it will definitely continue to grow (also supported by its largely controversial "Google plus your world").

In the media world, we can see that the difference of growth of Facebook and Twitter media groups is not very different, so this is also quite interesting.

3. Overall top 

In the third section, you will see the individual Top 10 brands and media companies on these different platforms, and you can state a couple facts:

  • Google+ pages are largely driven by those that go and support it, and to us it currently seems like a lot of advertised traffic that does stop over some time, no organic growth is there.
  • Twitter doesn't seem like a natural platform for brands, brands have to push it to really get up there.
  • Facebook seems like a natural platform for brands, and also works for media companies.

Summary

In this time and world, you have to focus on all platforms, thats obvious. You should definitely be present on all platforms regardless, but focus on those bringing you good results.

For media companies, this is Facebook and Twitter for now, with a more passive Google+ presence.

For brands, this is Facebook, and it seems like Google+ is the next place to be, but it's still far behind Facebook (see first chart).

Infographic source: Socialbakers

Jan Rezab

Published 13 January, 2012 by Jan Rezab

Jan Rezab is CEO at Candytech & Socialbakers and a contributor to Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter

8 more posts from this author

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Kier Wilkinson

It completely depends on the company/organisation and it's target market/audience. Even if the Facebook is experiencing by far the highest fan growth, it doesn't necessarily mean that this is where every company should concentrate its' social media presence.

I don't think for certain brands that Facebook is the right platform, and that Facebook users would be uncomfortable with interacting with them on what remains a very 'personal' social media site.

over 4 years ago

Niranjan Sridharan

Niranjan Sridharan, Digital Auditor at ABC

Hi, Can we have a bigger picture s'il vous plait?

over 4 years ago

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Adi Gaskell

I think the key, as you mention, is to be where your audience are. For many B2B companies for instance, LinkedIn is the best place for them. A few months ago I wrote a blog outlining some things to consider before joining a social network.

1. What's their target market? Most new social networking sites have a target demographic. It shouldn't take too much research to find out what this is and then ask yourself whether this market fits with your own.

2. How much time will it take to become established? Some social media afford you the luxury of getting immersed quite easily, whilst others require many hours. How long will it take you to create your profile? How long to become established as a worthy player? How much time will you need to devote to managing your new community?

3. How do you plan to use the new community? The answers from the first two questions should give you an idea of how you can use the new community. Will it be for a particular product for instance? Maybe you'll use it as a customer service channel? Ask yourself how this fits into your overall marketing mix.

4. How will you define success? Whilst ROI shouldn't be the focus of your community building efforts it is still important to know why you're there and what you hope to achieve. As with many new ideas it is best if you set small goals initially for a pilot launch and build from there if those goals are met. That way you have a proof of concept and can attract larger internal resources.

5. Is the platform likely to be around in a years time? The likes of Facebook and LinkedIn are well established so you can enter them with confidence. Google have already scrapped a number of social media efforts so there must exist higher risk with Google +. You need to know if your efforts will be wasted and if the site will have longevity.

over 4 years ago

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Jonny Rosemont, Managing Director at Rosemont Communications Limited

Great analysis although there are other reasons to consider being on social media platforms e.g. SEO, customer service, reputation etc. Google's highly aggressive approach to become a big player in social media means it is to be taken as seriously as the others. An integrated approach is what is required.

over 4 years ago

Jan Rezab

Jan Rezab, CEO at Socialbakers

Jonny: Thank you for the opinion, I think I implied that in the summary, we are just stating the priorities there. :) But thank you for the comment, I know I haven't touched on those topics a lot, I really just "read the numbers". Next time I do a deeper look.

Niranjan: I will see what I can do with the size.

over 4 years ago

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emre

Good stats updated as far as i see, but can be better to contain engagemnt rate which is considered as interaction of users on sites. We See many cases users get the high engagment in the sites whose numbers of fun relatively low in comparison the sites low engament and higher fun space take.place. moreover, one thinng i think have to be menioned for further cases is respond rate which shows how to respond by site owner to the users who devote themselves to participate in brand, media sites. It is actually.more famillar with the subject enngagemnt rate i highlighted above, but the small dffrnce is self interaction or natural interacion of users with only themselves by creating contents based on user generated indicates for engagement rate whereas response rate indicates site administrator drives the enforcement to users by creating content for actively interactin with each other.
Best

over 4 years ago

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mike

Thanks Jan. Great analysis and rundown of the social media platforms. As more and more platforms come into play it becomes more and more difficult to know where to spend your time and energy...

over 4 years ago

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Jason

Great post, very interesting stats, despite these stats I still believe that in a number of years time, maybe around 2020, Twitter will be as popular as Facebook, also having used Google+ I think the growth of this can only increase greatly.

over 4 years ago

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Jon Leon

Interesting article and it's important for brands to interact equally on the major plaforms but also ensure they're testing engagement.
We focos on our core platforms but still maintain an active presense on others based on the results we see. It's important for us to both understand how new platforms work but also to expand our exposure and by maintaining multiple social accounts we are able to do this effectively.

about 4 years ago

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