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Now the real work begins for brands on Google+

Brands have been swift to embrace Google+, but the fledgling social network has a long way to go to catch up to Facebook.

Brands have been swift to embrace Google+, but the fledgling social network has a long way to go to catch up to Facebook.

Digital services provider BrightEdge has analysed the 100 brands featured in the latest edition of media research agency's Millward Brown's annual ranking of the most valuable intangible assets globally.

Overall, it reported that 61 percent of this group were active on Google+ less than a week after corporates got the go ahead  to join the new platform.

"Brands have been quick to embrace a presence on Google+, but clearly there is a long way to go in establishing social networks that really have scale and deep user engagement," said BrightEdge chief executive Jim Yu .

Just 12 percent of big brands had added a link to their Google+ profiles to their official website homepages, while 94 percent had created pages on Facebook, and 53 percent had buttons on their main online portal driving traffic there.

About a quarter of the brands monitored had failed to sign up a single fan on Google+ where most have thousands, and often millions, on Facebook.

One area Google+ has a clear advantage, however, is in search, with the average brand page appearing in 12th position in Google's search results, versus 13th or 14th for Facebook.

Google itself boasts the largest number of fans on Google+ at roughly 65,000, but the more common experience, as shown by Coca-Cola, Verizon and McDonald's, was possessing "dozens" of followers.

"Now the real work begins for these brands if they want to extend their social presence on the Web from Facebook to the new Google+," said Yu.

"It will be interesting to see how these communication and marketing channels will grow in a way that remains meaningful for the world's top brands."