10 Top Brands with the Worst Google Plus Pages

 10 Top Brands with the Worst Google Plus Pages

Google+ is one of the world’s most popular social networks. Many brands maintain an effective presence on the site, creating well-executed pages which drive conversation and increase revenue. However, this is not universal. Some brands have shockingly bad Google+ pages.

Here are 10 top brands with the worst Google plus pages.

#1. Domino’s

Domino’s is the largest pizza chain worldwide, with over 9 million fans on Facebook and Twitter combined. However, this success doesn’t spread across all of their social media profiles. The content on their Google+ page is relatively good – previous posts include attractive photographs, information about new products, and special offers.

Worst Google+ Brand Pages

However, the posting is erratic and irregular. Months often pass between updates – the longest gap was an incredible 9 months between September 2012 and June 2013. This is excusable if a brand has been working on an incredible new product or partnership, but Domino’s updates are never particularly exciting.

#2. McDonald’s

McDonald’s is one of the world’s most famous brands. The golden arches, found in over 100 countries around the globe, are instantly recognisable. You would expect a company of such size and popularity to have a firm grasp of social media.

Top Brands with the Worst Google+ Pages

However, their Google+ page suggests otherwise. The pixelated cover image is poor and confusing, and visitors to the page are greeted with a paltry two posts from 2011 – consisting of random, unconnected images.

#3. The Discovery Channel

The Discovery Channel Google+ page has the potential to be excellent. There are endless opportunities for exciting content, such as behind-the-scenes footage, or interviews with experts. There are some great posts from July and August 2013, when the page was updated every few days to promote Shark Week. High-profile brand partnerships, exclusive video content, and Google+ Hangouts were all shared with followers and the page became very popular.

Top Brands with the worst Google+ pages

However, since then, the Discovery Channel has all but abandoned their profile – a shame, given the good start.

#4. Gap

Gap are also guilty of abandoning their Google+ page. Between late 2011 and early 2012, they posted some fantastic content – followers were treated to exclusive interviews with bloggers and designers, product information, and song playlists. They also attempted to open conversations with their customers, asking questions and creating polls.

Top Brands with the worst Google+ pages 3

However, they quickly ran out of steam, with the last post being sent out in February 2012. Gap would be wise to delete the page altogether, as an untended profile looks unprofessional.

#5. MasterCard

Some brands struggle to come up with relevant content for their social media channels. MasterCard seem to have taken this to extreme lengths on their Google+ page. Aside from a short bio and profile picture, there’s no content whatsoever on the page – they’ve even neglected to change the cover photo from the default picture.

10 Top Brands with the worst Google+ pages

This isn’t indicative of MasterCard’s performance on social media in general, as their Twitter and Facebook profiles are regularly updated with fresh, innovative content. It’s always wise to focus on a handful of social media channels, rather than struggling to maintain a presence on every site available – however, it’s never a good idea to leave a half-completed profile live on a service.

MasterCard either need to bring their Google+ page in line with their other social media, or delete the page altogether.

#6. Amazon

Amazon are in a similar position to MasterCard – their Twitter and Facebook profiles are executed perfectly, but their Google+ page has fallen by the wayside. Their page wasn’t always poor – scrolling back through 2012 reveals a steady stream of content, from ‘Deal of the Day’ posts to conversation-starting open questions. Throughout the latter half of 2012, the posts became less frequent, with the final update being shared on July 25th 2013.

Top Brands with the Worst Google+ Pages

Evidently Amazon are more than capable of running a successful Google+ page, so it’s a mystery why the quality dipped as suddenly and drastically as it did.

#7. Kodak

Kodak’s Google+ page is surprising, given that they sell visual products. A scroll down the page doesn’t reveal any Kodak moments. Instead, visitors are met with a wall of text, interspersed with a few images – almost none of which are photos.

Top brands with the Worst Google+ pages

The cover picture – often the first thing a visitor to the page will see – is blurred and low-quality, which looks unprofessional. Kodak are also members of the infrequent-post brigade, often leaving months between spates of activity – fatal for a social media profile.

#8. KFC

KFC’s Google+ page is perhaps best described as “uninspiring”. To date, there have only been 21 posts since the page began in 2011, and many of them simply serve to remind customers of pre-existing products. Any innovative content – such as a competition to win a scholarship fund, or the discovery of a manuscript written by Colonel Sanders’, has been re-posted several times, to the extent that it loses the sense of excitement and urgency.

Top brands with the worst Google+ pages

The page isn’t particularly bad – until it’s viewed in comparison with a competing page. Taco Bell’s page, for example, is a world away from KFC’s offering. It’s full of attractive, inviting images and videos, the content is always kept fresh and updated, and the posts make full use of Google’s hashtag compatibility.

#9. Dr Pepper

KFC are not alone in looking shabby next to their competitors. Dr. Pepper’s Google+ page was evidently registered, assigned a profile picture – and then forgotten. It’s unsurprising that the page has only received a meagre 1840 +1’s.

top brands with the worst Google+ pages

Compare this with Dr. Pepper’s competitors, Coca Cola and Pepsi, which have 1,148,797 and 809,262 +1’s respectively. It’s clear from the figures that social media efforts don’t succeed unless companies properly invest in them.

#10. Macy’s

Macy’s have an impressive reputation. They own the largest store in the world, sponsor the annual New York Fourth of July fireworks display, and host the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. However, the magic of the Macy’s brand hasn’t filtered down to their Google+ page.

Top brands with the worst Google+ pages

The cover photo hasn’t been updated from the default picture, and few of the posts contain images. The page is essentially a steady march of dull, almost-identical posts, each advertising the same “extra 15% off select sale and clearance apparel”.

Many of these brands are guilty of leaving Google’s default picture as their cover image – which instantly tells visitors that the page is probably low quality. Others commit the crime of posting far too infrequently – or not at all – and failing to provide interesting content.It’s vital to update or remove neglected Google+ pages – as on any social network – as an unfinished or lacklustre profile can appear unprofessional, and tarnish the reputation of a business.

Guest author: Sally Swales who is the Marketing Manager at EOG London.



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  • http://www.jamie-anderson.com/about-me/ Jamie Anderson

    I unfortunately fall in to the same category as most of these big brands, my Google+ profile definitely needs more regular updating and promotion.

    However, I’m guilty of this on all my other social profiles too! Too much to do, never enough time!

  • Bill

    It’s possible they all suck because G+ is just not as popular as the other platforms. I am still trying to figure out the best way for my clients to use G+.

    • Marnie Davey

      exactly what I thought when I read this … is G+ only popular as an email platform and for social sign on etc rather than as an actual social network where millions are communicating? I usually forget about it, only updating occasionally and don’t think I’ve ever had a conversation on it.

      • Digett

        Agreed with both Bill and Marnie. There’s too many unknown factors here. What if these companies have researched and decided that their audience is not really on Google+? Why spend time and effort posting to a platform that’s not being visited by anyone?

        However, I do think it’s a little lazy for these companies to leave their profile pages so empty. Why not spend a little time doing some basic branding (using a nice cover image, etc.), then leave a message on the page saying that if you want to interact, you should connect with the company on Facebook/Twitter/wherever they are most active?

  • Mike Johansson

    Kodak may be forgiven since that company is no longer really in the consumer photograpy business and is focusing on B2B …..

    • http://printfirm.com/ Katherine Tattersfield

      All the more reason to be active on Google Plus. The majority of the site’s user base seems to be business oriented. In fact, many people are calling Google Plus “LinkedIn Lite”.

  • Chris Munz

    I am not surprised at this list (3 restaurant brands who are usually slow adopters to new digital channels) but I don’t think it is due to companies not paying attention to G+. Right out of the gate Google did not offer 3rd party integration, then it was cherry picking 3rd party tools they wanted to work with. In the end they did not make it easy when they did open it up so brands where already set in their ways. I also think that brands where not made aware of the impact that G+ could have on there business. This list will change once brands understand the importance of G+.

    One last point and that is I agree with @MrJamieAnderson:disqus in that brand managers are overloaded with other social channels and to add another channel that the benefits are not easily understood is something they are not willing to take on. It will take time for brands to adopt G+ strategies and the technology is getting there. It will be interesting to see what this list looks like next year.

  • http://www.hkfreelancers.net/ Brian Jeuan Ho

    If that’s just one or two top brands having this issue, maybe it’s a silly oversight. But with so many top tier MNC brands? I think there’s a deeper question here – why is this happening on Google+ ?

  • http://www.ubermarketing.co.uk/ Shell Robshaw-Bryan

    Great article! Proving that the big brands don’t always lead the way! I work with small businesses and can proudly say that the 7 Google+ business accounts I manage are head and shoulders above these examples.

    Small business owners take heed, carve a niche for yourselves on Google+ whilst competition is still relatively low!

  • http://www.ubermarketing.co.uk/ Shell Robshaw-Bryan

    That’s the mistake a lot of people make. They avoid or neglect Google+ but as with all social networks, you get out what you put in. If your content and frequency is poor you’ll never grow your community.

    For those of us using G+ since day one, we get a lot out of it and are highly effective at what we’re doing simply because we don’t treat it as an after thought.

  • Joana Ferreira

    I wish I could say I was surprised by this list but unfortunately I’m not. It seems a lot of brands jumped on the G+ bandwagon early on by setting up pages and verifying them etc. but then quickly lost interest and abandoned the platform. It could just be a case of brands testing the waters and not getting the immediate results they hoped for. As G+ grows, hopefully these brands will regain interest in the platform and start to place a bit more effort into their activities- but at the moment, many brands are not seeing the value of G+, particularly if their target audience is not interested.

  • Steve Rix

    It does seem that less consumers are using G+ than Twitter and Facebook so I guess brands are focusing their efforts on the channels that are giving the most return. I think G+ is a great platform but I’m guilty of not utilising it to anything like the degree I should be. So many social media avenues but so little time!

  • Flash G

    I think this says more about Google+ than the companies in the article.

  • http://sproutsocial.com/features/social-media-engagement Sarah @ Sprout Social

    Not incredibly surprising that many brands aren’t regularly active on Google+, but it is odd that they haven’t deleted the pages instead of allowing them to be a ghost town.

    • http://TrafficSmartMarketing.com/ Tom Southern

      Sometimes, it could be because social media is given to interns who then leave.

  • Jesse Andrew

    I think Google+ is a good platform for B2B since a good chunk of Google+’s audience is in business… These brands are B2C, so I can see why they haven’t invested much in the platform, their target audience is a minority on Google+.

  • Jennifer Agrazada-Schreiner

    I guess they have decided not to focus on Google+ because their market is on Facebook. It kinda makes sense.

  • http://TrafficSmartMarketing.com/ Tom Southern

    It’s interesting that some brands got off to a good start then petered out. It shows that maintaining momentum can be a problem for even large companies when it comes to using social media platforms to build custom and audiences. So it’s little wonder that individual bloggers struggle to keep up momentum.

    The problem is too many social media platforms and people thinking that they need to be everywhere in order to have a chance. Not so. Pick one or two where your audience is active already (you might have to do a bit of discovery here before you find them) and stick to them.

    And have a strategy for what you want out of your engagement on these platforms. One that is continual that both runs off what’s gone before and you can plan in advance.

    The trick is to pace yourself. Not to overdo it. And not to stretch yourself too thin. Put your energy and talent into social media platforms you can manage well.

  • http://www.annbevans.com/ Ann Bevans

    My sense is that far too many brands – both big names and names you’ve never heard of – underestimate the importance of Google+ to a well rounded social media strategy. I suppose it’s understandable, if not forgivable, when we’re talking about small companies with limited resources, but these big brands have no excuse!

  • David Nicholson

    I find this completely baffling. Let’s put this in perspective: Dominos Pizza did 1.4 billion in revenue in 2008. Google+ , although considered a weaker social media platform at the moment, has 359 million active users and that is up 33 percent from June 2012, according to GlobalWebIndex. Lets say Dominos is getting 5% of $1.4 for franchise fees and getting another 2.5% for advertising fees. This would mean they have around 35 million to spend on advertising (I realize these are ballpark numbers to say the least) The fact they are putting absolutely no money into Google+ (example: Months often pass between updates – the longest gap was an incredible 9 months between September 2012 and June 2013) to me is an example of a completely out of touch advertising company. Whoever they are outsourcing their social media advertising to should be fired. Sounds harsh but the reality is they have no idea what they are doing.

    • Gareth Mailer

      It’s pretty simple really…Google Plus isn’t a social media channel. It’s a unified login.

      While I agree the metrics seem pretty compelling i.e. active users, it depends on what your definition of active is – the average user spends something like 7 hours per week on Facebook. The average users spends 7 minutes on Google Plus.

      Why? Because G+ isn’t set-up as a social channel, the social networking aspect is merely an add-on.

      • Patti Dalessio

        I would question “active users” — I’m with you, it’s the unified login that causes the #’s to be inflated for google+ the big brands with the big dollars know nothing is happening on Google+

  • http://www.theq411.com Jennifer Quinn

    Great article, Jeff! Good research and commentary. Brands not taking full use of Google+ clearly don’t “get it” yet.

  • http://www.KeithJCaldwell.com/ Keith Caldwell

    This is an exciting time for social media marketers to help educate the Brands and other businesses about the importance of including G+ in their social strategy. Personally, this is like low hanging fruit for entrepreneurs that see the future and that future is Google+

  • http://www.KeithJCaldwell.com/ Keith Caldwell

    There’s opportunity for entrepreneur’s to help brands and other businesses understand why Google+ must be part of their overall social strategy. You can’t ignore Google in the long run.

  • http://www.top-soccer.com/ Rick

    I agree with you! The results for brands on Facebook and Twitter far exceed that of Google plus, so its understandable why this is happening.

    • http://www.foodassault.com/ Trent Carpenter

      It will be interesting to see the uptake of Google plus now Facebook is reducing natural engagement and pushing more with Facebook Ads to become more visible.

      That and Google Plus being more serp friendly, I’m finding greater engagement withing Google plus over LinkedIn & Facebook and spending more of my time there than other platforms.

    • Jesse Andrew

      Also, these brands are B2C, the majority of the Google+ audience is in business, so B2B brands tend to focus more on the platform.

  • Jen Holmes Olney

    Speaks to the fact that they don’t really believe G+ is a player in social business…not so much the brands themselves but why hasn’t Google made the push to get back into the game on G+?

  • joanna@xposureuae

    Trent Carpenter, I agree. Lots of companies have invested heavily in Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but Google+ is largely ignored. From as SEO point of view, this is not a sensible move.

    • http://www.foodassault.com/ Trent Carpenter

      Exactly Joanna, work on platforms that promote externally from the platform (G+), not trying to keep everyone & everything within it (FB) while charging you for it or limiting views/sharing of content.

  • Nirmala Santhakumar

    Great research Jeff :)

    Google Plus has lot of benefits than facebook and hence it is essential for a brand to stay active over there with the good pages.

    I got staggered with the brands which you’ve mentioned here and I hope they are missing some valuable things with Google plus.

    Thanks for this excellent post, I just now made a post on how to use Googple plus to increase brand awareness of the business and found your post through Twitter.

  • Capture Comms

    This is interesting! Unfortunately, some massive brands (such as those featured above), can ‘afford’ to not be engaging effectively on Google+ at the moment until it becomes more mainstream – it will be interesting to see how their pages gain momentum throughout 2014. It’s the rest of us, the smaller businesses, that are working really really hard to get noticed and are fully embracing Google+. We’re the trend setters!

  • http://www.actionmarketingfl.com Gloria Lafont

    Most of these have in common that they started with enthusiasm and stopped at some point. Could it be that it didn’t produce as much results as the other platforms?

  • http://mdigitallife.com Greg Matthews

    With all due respect, I think that “knowing the numbers” is exactly the problem. I believe that the reason that facebook & twitter have continued to grow both in terms of users and ad revenue is that they make it very easy for people or brands to connect with their audiences. Google+ does not. It’s nearly impossible to find relevant people on G+, and their API is essentially useless in terms of extracting insights around audience behavior. If Google+ still exists in two years, it will be as someone said earlier – as a single sign-on for Google services. It will never be a social network until it makes it easier for people to be social.

    • http://www.digytouch.com Konrad W. Gorak

      I agree with some of what you said. Just one simple question – do you think that Facebook is really “social”?

  • http://www.iamtypecast.com Nickie

    A lot of this is social media management and the money spent on it. These brands usually have a huge budget behind their “launch” (of a social media channel or campaign) and then it’s left to Kathy in the office to continue that “POW” moment. Now, if Kathy in the office was given the appropriate training and/or marketing money was continuously allocated to social media management then the pages would continue to flourish.

    Half of the problem here is that generally the social media managers (or community managers) aren’t given enough time to spend on social media (my own experience) or they truly do not understand G+ – or even a mix of both.

    I’d love to pitch to many of these companies with my ideas however if they haven’t already picked up on the fact that G+ is still important, I doubt they’d listen or be prepared to invest.

  • Joe Bananas

    Who the hell wants to use Google+ anyway?