Making its debut on June 28 last year, Google Plus, the much touted social network from Google has managed to gather more than 12 million Indians, within this one year ((Source: PlusDemographics)). And all this despite its late entry into a Facebook dominated market. India has nearly 49 million on Facebook, making it the third largest country of Facebook users, after the US and Brazil. That, however does not mean Google Plus has lost its charm; it only appears to be finding its place in our social lives. Following the introduction of brand pages four months later in November, many brands had adopted Google Plus. Interestingly, they are still going strong!
We have with us here, a list of the top 20 brand pages on Google Plus based on the number of people who have circled them also called circlers. The list has been built with the help of Social Statistics, a tool that tracks and generates detailed statistics for over a lakh Google Plus profiles.
T-Series, the number one music label company tops the list with a staggering 452,962 circlers. Content is focussed around music and shares videos and clips of its labels. The tone is conversational and interactive and posts show very good engagement with comments, shares and +1s. On the occasion of World Music Day, the brand had launched a simple contest to share a favourite song dedicating it to someone, and gave away music CDs for prizes. One can also receive exclusive music updates of its upcoming movies.
2. Zoom TV
Zoom TV, India’s premier Bollywood channel is at second position with 324,344 circlers, which is less than the topper by more than a lakh. Bollywood is always king when it comes to Indians. Content is related to exclusive Bollywood entertainment news, features, music, fashion, celebrity interviews and more, and is reflective of the spunky tone used in the channel. The most spicy Bollywood channel also manages to score in its Google plus page with the same spiciness. Engagement is also decent with good number of comments, shares and +1s.
Firstpost, India’s first digital newsroom is at the third position with 225,284 circlers, which is nearly half the number of followers of the topper, T-Series. Content comprises majorly of links from the website with Indian as well as global news and analysis - current affairs, politics, sports, technology and more. What is interesting is the tone and manner of the posts, links are shared with an accompanying text that makes you click and also leave a comment. Firstpost maintains a similar tone in its news analysis and perspectives as well. The posts have a decent rate of engagement in terms of comments, shares and +1s.
4. Google India
Google India, the official Google+ page for Google in India, takes the fourth place with 176,178 circlers. Content ranges from news, announcements, tips and tricks with all of Google’s products and services. The page is an information repository of all things Google and a wonderful treat for Google lovers. This is also the only page that contains more textual content along with images, links and videos. The page also scores in engagement with good amount of comments, shares and +1s.
IBNLive, the website of CNN-IBN stands at fifth place with 164,946 circlers. Content shared is mainly links from the CNN-IBN website among other current news topics. But when compared to Firstpost, the content isn’t intriguing enough. The tone of the updates is non-conversational and most of the updates with links have no accompanying text. However, being a news providing entity stand to its advantage. The page shows a fair amount of engagement with comments, shares and +1s.
6. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the revered spiritual and humanitarian leader and Founder of the Art of Living occupies the sixth place with 134,033 circlers. The content on the Page majorly relates to the art of living and emphasizes on simple values like love, humility and being oneself. There are answers to ‘How to handle criticism?’ and what to do when you are worried or tensed. It is refreshing to see a shower of comments, shares and +1s in each of the posts. Sri Sri’s profile being on top is also a reflection upon the quintessential Indian cultural need to follow a spiritual leader.
7. Forbes India
Forbes India, the business magazine from Network18, that was recently in the news for its cover story - What’s wrong with Flipkart, stands in seventh position with 93,870 circlers. Content is centred mainly around business stories on its print issues and blog and shows a fair amount of engagement. True to its tagline ‘The drama critics of business’, Forbes India seems to have carved a niche on Google Plus with concise, bite-sized nuggets from the world of business. The page has a good amount of engagement in terms of comments, shares and +1s.
NDTV or New Delhi Television, the pioneer in India’s news television, stands at the eight position with 50,777 circlers. Content shared is mainly links from the NDTV website. One look at the posts and you find a semblance to IBNLive page. The page provides links to its news articles without any accompanying text. There is no scope for a two-way dialogue between the provider and the consumer. However, being a news provider works in its advantage. The page shows a fair amount of engagement in terms of comments, shares and +1s.
9. IDBI Bank
The Industrial Development Bank of India better known as IDBI, takes the ninth place with 16,586 circlers. Content shared is about banking and finance. Interestingly, this is the only bank in the entire list. While the majority positions are occupied by news and Bollywood and technology, it is refreshing to see IDBI in this list. The updates are a good mix - questions, quotes, advise, tips and tricks and financial information that appeals to the common man. Undoubtedly, the page shows a fair amount of engagement in terms of comments, shares and +1s.
10. Don 2
The sequel to the new Don movie by Bollywood director, Farhan Akhtar, Don 2 is at tenth place with 15,710 circlers. The movie that was released last year a little after brand pages were introduced, did make a huge splash on Google Plus with hangouts and some excellent engagement. Content was obviously around the music, scenes and dialogues from the movie. However, the page hasn’t been updated since December. Shahrukh and Bollywood will always attract a huge following in India, whether they create a profile on Google Plus, Twitter or Orkut!
11. Sunny Leone
Sunny Leone, the Indo-Canadian pornographic actress and model, who shot to national fame with her debut in big Boss Season 5 last year, holds the eleventh position with 15,211 circlers, a very close margin with Don 2. Content is titillating, by nature of her profession and only speaks with pictures. There is no information whatsoever of her activities or upcoming Bollywood films, whereas there is a moderate level of comments, shares and +1s by her circle.
Flipkart, the ecommerce brand that started by selling books online, takes the twelfth position with 3780 circlers. Content shared is informative, seasonal and reflects a deep thought process behind its strategy on Google Plus. For a brand that exists only online, it is imperative to build its image online and Flipkart scores high in this regard. The posts are interesting, concise and actionable - if you like what you see and read, the link below will help you buy it! Going by the engagement on the page in terms of comments, shares and +1s, the brand seems to be doing quite well on Google Plus.
13. Tech Guru
Tech Guru, India’s award winning Technology Show Brand in Hindi and Marathi, stands in the thirteenth position with 3597 circlers. However, content shared is in English and mostly about technology reviews and updates. The posts look interesting and merit a click on the link but a lot is left to be desired in the content. Engagement seems to be good but there are no updates since December last year. The Tech Guru page seems to have taken the Don 2 route for now!
14. Pradeep Sanyal Photography
Pradeep Sanyal, an acclaimed India based photographer stands at the fourteenth place with a modest 2026 circlers. As Pradeep does all kinds of photography from weddings to wildlife and advertising to social documentaries, the page is a treat to the eyes. The array of photographs speak for themselves and content seems to be well appreciated too. However, there is no conversation happening through the updates. Apparently, the strategy on Google plus is similar to Sunny Leone’s. Both are employing the network as a portfolio to showcase their work. The page does show some decent engagement from photography fans.
15. UTV Stars
UTV Stars that calls itself the official channel of Bollywood, is sitting at the fifteenth position with 1,872 circlers. Content is focussed around Bollywood with the latest updates on stars, the inside scenes and gossip and of course the latest movie trailers. For a TV channel about Bollywood, the posts are a delight to the average Indian, since she need not go elsewhere for her daily dose of Bollywood news. Besides, there is a conversational tone to each of the posts unlike the previous place holder. The page seems to have given a thought to its followers just like the pages topping this list. Engagement level is decent with good number of comments, shares and +1s.
16. Yash Raj films
Yash Raj films that dishes out as many hits as its flops, is at the sixteenth position with 1322 circlers. Content is only about the movies under the Yash Raj banner and most posts are of a similar nature although there is some scope for variety in their content strategy. But the engagement is of a conversational style and tries to make the content exciting. Additionally, being a Bollywood property gives it an edge over the others. The page has a good rate of engagement with comments, shares and +1s.
17. Salman Khan
Salman Khan, the actor tuned painter and humanitarian, is sitting comfortably at the seventeenth position with a little over a thousand circlers – 1203 to be precise. Love him or hate him, trust him or the controversies he gets into, his Google plus presence is however quite solid. Content is only speaking with pictures – either his photographs at events, social causes or from his past and current movies. Sadly, there is no conversation from him or his team. However, followers are engaging well with a good amount of comments, shares and +1s.
18. Teach for India
Teach for India (TFI), the Indian non-profit organisation that aims to provide education to all children, is at the eighteenth position with 1145 circlers. The about section gives complete information about the NGO with the required links and contact numbers. Content is conversational and focussed around education. One point worth a mention here is that some thought has been put into its content strategy. It is not boring, there is variety apart from sharing only about the NGO’s activities, one can find amazing inspirational blogs, quotes, speeches and videos about TFI fellows or people associated with it. The page gives a feeling of celebration and positivity and encourages you to join the cause. The page shows decent engagement too.
19. Navbharat Times
The popular Hindi news website, Navbharat Times, sits snuggly at the nineteenth position with 832 circlers. Content is in Hindi and by nature, all about news – politics, sports, technology, Bollywood and more. The tone is in the typical news style, creating debates and indulging in dialogues and throwing in a little bit of sensationalism too. The page shows good engagement for a Hindi news provider and also serves as an example for other Hindi content providers.
20. Ebay India
Ebay India, India’s leading online marketplace unfortunately does not lead here. It stands at the last position with 793 circlers. Content shared is only about the products being sold at the website with a short description and a link. When compared with Flipkart, one can easily spot the difference in response with respect to the engagement. While a few posts have been +1’ed, none of the posts seem to be shared or commented upon. There has been no attempt whatsoever to engage with the followers. Ebay India is on Google Plus as just another marketing channel!
While you may be wondering where are the usual suspects in this list, they all exist but way down. There are many ecommerce players in the range of above 500 circlers but below 800. And the majority of the chunk is within 500 and mostly less than 100, reason being they haven’t really explored Google Plus or engaged as regularly as when they had first created the page.
Hope this list is insightful and encourages you enough to check in to your Google Plus page and kickstart it by circling your favourites right away!