In our recently published report on social media for wealth management, our analysts included Google+ in their evaluation of wealth managers’ activities on the ‘big 5′ of social media platforms. Launched in June 2011, Google+ not only caught up with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube but even reached the second place in user activity after overtaking Twitter, by the mid of 2013. With 34% of all Internet users being present on Google+, only Facebook with 46% is still capable of defending its first position.
Given these developments the findings of our analysts are somewhat striking since the overall performance of the 30 evaluated private banks on Google+ is in clear contrast to its increasing importance. On average only 22% offer a Google+ presence. While the consensus still seems to be that being present on the other social media platforms is important, Google+ will gain influence rapidly. Why?
- Because the trend clearly depicts it: after 88 days Google+ had 50 million users. Facebook reached that after 3 years.
- Because it belongs to Google: presences on Google+ definitely have an advantage on Google Search results.
- Because it’s different: information is posted in real-time, without being limited to either space or channel. It gives a more professional impression than Facebook and has more interactive features than LinkedIn.
- Because of selectivity: information can be spread to the right persons through segmenting posts by ‘circles’ (note: Facebook has introduced a similar feature).
- Because of YouTube: Google’s other big social network YouTube, the most important social video platform, is strongly linked to Google+ - moreover, a Google+ account now even is required to sign in for YouTube.
- Because of smart features: Hangouts can be used not only for private chats but also for webinars, directly being posted on YouTube, or conference calls with up to 10 participants.
What is the take away for wealth managers’ social media strategy? Google+ must not be underrated. As the stepchild of social media is growing up, it should be taken seriously - underestimating its influence might carry the danger of lagging behind in the competition for the eyeballs of your clients and prospective clients.