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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. 

Regular content

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. 

Rich content

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.

Vikki Chowney

Published 14 February, 2012 by Vikki Chowney

Vikki is head of community at TMW. You can follow her on Twitter or Google+

249 more posts from this author

Comments (7)

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Simple little things can really add up to something very effective and here is the proof. I will be using the H&M example from now on when discussing google +

over 4 years ago


Alex Smith

This is a great look at G+ - I think that H+M may also be benefiting from being one of the recommended brands to follow during the G+ sign up process. This could be another factor in it's follower count I guess, I haven't resigned up to check mind. :)

over 4 years ago

Vikki Chowney

Vikki Chowney, Head of Social at TMW

Thanks both :)

over 4 years ago



Just Googled 'h&m' and h+m to see if their Google plus page features in the search results and nothing! Google have been saying for a while that it will integrate with search results more to gain users but if the most followed brand on Google Plus gains no SEO value (albeit lots of good social value) then where's the incentive to use it?

over 4 years ago


Liang Chen

In terms of the best practice on G+, Cadbury UK stands out the most for me. Sometimes the number of circles you are in does not represent your real social media merit.

Cadbury UK has done lots of smart and creative stuff on G+, the most impressive for me is the customised chocolate they sent to Vic Gundotra, which resulted in Vic posting a picture of the product on his own G+ social stream.

The engagement level on Cadbury UK's G+ page is many times better than H&M. Consider Cadbury UK's Facebook has 85k+ likes, and their G+ page is in 300k+, I say Cadbury UK is the best on G+.

I say the main reason that H&M is the number one in terms of circles, is simply because of the level of ads investment and the industry it is in.

over 4 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Hi Vikki
Thanks for the post.
Is there really best practise for Google+? Surely it's too early with too few case studies to go down that route.
I don't think brands, customers or the industry really know where it's going and how best to tap into the potential. It's like the early days of social again with people exploring.

over 4 years ago

dan barker

dan barker, E-Business Consultant at Dan Barker

Great post, Vikki.

I was surprised by how little cross-promotion they seemed to have done with their (massive) FB following to encourage them to also follow on G+. This was the only example I could find: https://bitly.com/s1Trc0+

James A: 2 things that may be useful:

1. Try +H&M.
2. The SEO value is that all of those 500k followers are more likely to see any product/page/video/etc that H&M share via G+ within Google search results themselves. For example, I just did a test & added them to my circles, I then went to Google.com (not UK) & searched for 'David Beckham', 'Sofia Coppola', under each instance, the H&M G+ posts showed up in my standard search results, along with image suggestions from H&M, the H&M logo under the top search box so that I could narrow down to just their content, etc.


over 4 years ago

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