The initial selling points of Google+ are attractive. The draw of audience segmentation, the ability to share rich media content in a way that’s not limited to 140 characters and the option to decide who of your following you want to share content with is considerable. However, despite the positive qualities of Google+, there has been a fair amount of hesitation (and critique) of the platform’s capacity to reach critical mass.
For most brands, the decision to participate in social media was made because the audience numbers on platforms like Facebook or Twitter made it an alluring marketing opportunity. This opportunity, coupled with competitive brands setting up an official presence, pushed a vast majority of fashion brands to now be present on the most popular platforms. But there are always brands that jump in first, experiment, learn and pave the way for others to follow. The risk they take is that the platform may not, in fact, ever reach critical mass. But if it does, it will be the early adopters who have mastered the platform and gained a significant audience base before others have even really considered it.
At first glance, many of the posts across brands are consistent with the brand’s activity on Facebook. However, the frequency of posts on Google+ seems lower than Facebook, which makes sense. Another distinguishing factor is animated gifs, which allow for a more rich experience, especially for a luxury brand.
While the page structure on Google+ is similar to that of Facbeook, with standard sections like Posts, About, Photos and Video, the interaction elements for users are a bit different.
On Google+, for example, users can “+1” pieces of content individually. While this may seem all too similar to the “like” button on Facebook, items that a user has given a “+1” are saved in a list that can serve as a bookmark or an area of exploration for others to peruse.
The ability to share and comment are there, as expected. However, a novel function offered is the ability to “hang out”. This feature allows users to engage in video chat with friends, watch YouTube or simply “hang out”.
It is yet to be seen just how popular Google+ will become. At a minimum, it is a platform to observe closely for brand marketers. Is Google+ part of your brand’s 2012 digital strategy?
So who are those brands on Google+ in the fashion industry? Here, a short list of those pioneering the new space in impressive ways: