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This is not a big surprise and a confirmation that social circles have a bit role to play. Integrated services are also valuable.
Top 100 brands see huge growth in Google+ and YouTube in 2012

It's not surprising that Google+ adoption has increased over the past year as Google has integrated the social platform with all its services and YouTube is on the rise as more brands are offering video as part of their content and marketing strategies. But what are the big brands doing?

This morning BrightEdge released their latest Social Share report focusing on social media adoption trends of the top 100 global brands. This quarter, they are focusing on Google with the latest on Google+ and YouTube.

In the past year, we've seen three quarters of the top 100 brands establish active profiles on Google+ and their customers have followers. These brands now have 20.9 million fans which is a growth of 9400% since December 2011 when only 222,000 followed them collectively.

But this growth isn't that widespread across the hundred. In fact, the top ten brands on Google+ account for four out of five followers (78% of the total top 100 fans) which is 16.3 million followers. Four out of ten of these are big automotive brands including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan and Porsche, who are definitely taking advantage of the visual nature of Google+ (click on the image to the left to enlarge).

In the last year, there's also been a marked improvement of Google+ pages showing in - surprise, surprise - Google search results from 0% to 20% in 2012. Obviously the marked improvement in followers and results have been due to major brand adoption and 25% of the top 100 integrating Google+ into their home page.

Youtube on the other hand, is continuing to grow into the brand space, slowly shedding itself of the rapid association with cat videos. 87% of the top brands have their own YouTube channel and collectively the top 100 have had over 3.15 billion views of their videos.

As you can see in the chart below, Red Bull, Google and Apple lead other brands in terms of subscribers and as YouTube makes the move to paid subscriptions, we're sure to see even more broadcasters and brands follow.

Are you surprised by the numbers? What do you see happening with Google+ and YouTube and big brands in the coming year?

For more information, see our Conversion Maximization - The Essential Workflow report: 

Arguing that marketers need to fundamentally shift their approach to conversion optimization, this report explores the importance of up front thinking around the value exchange, conversion barriers and conversion drivers before focusing the on the tactics that result in conversion maximization. The author, Boris Grinkot is a long time practitioner and thought leader in conversion rate optimization, and a winner of a 2012 Digital Vision Grant to produce this report.

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