There have been a lot of negative views regarding the performance and future of Google+. Some critics have even written the social platform off as dead in spite of all its impressive milestones. Google+ no doubt has its hands full in the ever competitive social space, but every now and then we see glimmers of hope for both the internet giant behind it, and the brands who have inducted it in their bag of marketing tools.

Research conducted by social media analytics company Simply Measured indicates that luxury brands are generating the highest user engagement rates on Google+. The firm?s quarterly report showed that Ferrari, Gucci, and H&M are at the top of a list that also includes big time players such as Nike, ESPN, and Xerox. According to the study, more than 60% of the so-called Interbrand 100″ currently operate pages on Google+. The data shows that following the luxury department, brands in the automotive and electronic sectors are driving the highest engagement.

Excelling at Social Media Marketing

Everyone talks about it, but very few brands are actually doing what it takes to succeed with their social media marketing efforts. It is much more than racking up a large number of followers and offering cost savings. Marketers must truly connect with their audience and offer value beyond saving a few bucks. After Simply Measured put out its recent report, a few observers joked that Google+ users have a taste for the finer things in life, and while that may be true in a sense, it is clear that the luxury brands with the highest engagement rates have found a way to make that essential connection.

While the most staggering finding from the Simply Measured study may be the high engagement rates luxury brands are enjoying, the overall picture showed that Google+ is becoming even more valuable for marketers looking to connect with their target audience in general. The report revealed that compared to the previous quarter, user engagement on a weekly basis is up by 112%, while the average engagement rate for content in general increased by 65%.

Other interesting highlights from the study include:

Brands are expanding their reach – Circles saw a 138% across brand pages over the last quarter, a sign that users are getting more comfortable interacting with marketers on Google+.

The visual element is strong – Images and video content is driving the highest engagement, and according to the report, attributes to the 65% increase on overall content engagement.

The balance of power is shifting – In terms of Simply Measured?s data, the electronics industry has been consistent at driving high engagement, but the most recent study shows the luxury and automotive fields replacing the areas of beverages and internet services in the top three.

Google+ is rapidly approaching its one-year anniversary. It will surely be interesting to see if the platform can increase, or at least maintain user engagement levels when its first birthday rolls around.

About the Author:?Aidan Hijleh is a freelance copywriter and serves as the Non-Profit Partnership Liaison for Benchmark Email. Aidan advocates free email marketing services to assist with the flourishing of grassroots organizations.