Is Google+ Approaching Twitter’s Marketing Value?

On April 4th at 6:30pm Pacific Time I put up a blog post on this site and shared it on Twitter and Google+ (note: this was 12:30pm on April 5th in Sydney, where I hit publish). Over the next 24 hours, something very curious and new occurred – Google+ drove as many visits to the post as Twitter did, and received a matching amount of engagement, despite the fact that my follower counts on the two networks is dramatically different (Twitter is nearly 2X Google+):

randfish-twitter-gplus

On Google+, 50,296 have me in their circles.

On Twitter, 89,866 follow me.

I have 55.9% of the numerical encirclers/followers on G+ that I do on Twitter. Yet here are the stats from the sharing of that last blog post via bit.ly’s tracking:

gplus-vs-twitter-clicks

 

And here’s the data from my Google Analytics account:

ga-for-11tips-post

Google+ is not quite reaching, nor exceeding Twitter’s traffic, and the avg. visit duration is actually worse, but it’s certainly getting a much higher click-through-rate (CTR) per follower/encircler.

Is this pattern an outlier?

Looking through my last few shares, the answer is yes. I share (nearly) every post published on this blog to my Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Twitter should be slightly overrepresented because I usually share 2-3X there, vs. only once on Google+ or Facebook. Here’s a pretty average breakdown of what my bit.ly stats look like (full data here):

But, traffic isn’t the only reason to be on Google+. The other benefits – markup in Google’s search results that help bias clicks, rel=author that may (today or in the future) help rankings (and already help CTR), social proof for logged-in Google users, benefits in the Google Local/Maps results, etc. – are already pretty damn compelling. And if all that isn’t enough, Google’s doing everything in their considerable power to get people signed up and engaged with G+.

Below is a photo I took in downtown Sydney of a Google booth signing people and small businesses up to use their service.¬†When I tweeted it, I discovered (via replies) it’s not an anomaly, but is happening in many cities around the world.

Google’s not going to let G+ be anything but a success. As a marketer, Ive got the feeling we’ll be talking in the next year or two about G+ rivaling the influence of Twitter for web marketing campaigns of every kind. It’s hard, at this point, to argue against being an adopter of the service.

p.s. I suspect many would make the argument that right now, G+ is primarily/most heavily used by technologists & marketers. I agree. So was Twitter in its early days. The outsized benefits of being an early adopter of that network are pretty clear, so I’m challenged to understand how one could reasonably use that logic to argue against making Google+ part of your marketing mix.