Friday, November 2, 2012

[G] Social Fridays: Google+ proves a recipe for success for Epicurious.com

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Inside AdSense: Social Fridays: Google+ proves a recipe for success for Epicurious.com


Every Friday, we’re posting Google+ tips to help publishers make the most of all of the features and resources available. Be sure to check back each week for the latest in our educational Social Fridays series!



A Condé Nast site, Epicurious.com publishes original content from its own editors and leading food authorities from around the world every day. It incorporates more than 30,000 professionally tested and created recipes from celebrity chefs, premier food journalists and renowned cookbook authors, as well as 200,000 member-submitted recipes. Epicurious launched its Google+ page only late last year, and has now grown to over 2 million followers. Achieving the impressive milestone is down to a combination of factors: installing social sharing utilities on the Epicurious site, developing content tailored specifically to both the Google+ interface and to its audience, and embracing the features that are unique to the platform.



“We started projecting growth based on similar growth with new networks,” says Jennifer Gaonach, Digital Consumer Marketing Director, Condé Nast, about their early days on the platform. “But we’ve exceeded the expected growth by many times. It’s great to see; by far it’s our largest network. It’s really taken off.”



A number of slick design features at Epicurious.com help visitors share content and easily interact with the Google+ page. There’s a social sharing sidekick on the site that floats in the left margin alongside most content, as well as a ‘Connect with Epicurious’ module featuring social networks that sits on the top of the ad rail. These social networks also appear in the Epicurious email templates.



Epicurious continues to refine its content strategy to best suit Google+ followers. “We really want to understand how we can engage these users and give them a great experience, and then when it makes sense, drive them back to Epicurious.com,” explains Jennifer. “As our audience has been growing, our editors have increased the frequency of our posts so that anyone who’s following us can know the latest article that’s being posted.” The team usually adds between three and five posts a day, and have found that visual content on Google+ performs particularly well.



Social Reports in Google Analytics reveal that users coming to Epicurious from Google+ are more engaged than visitors from other social media platforms. Google+ is in the top 10 social referrers to the Epicurious pages, and the average visit duration from Google+ is 12% longer than it is from other social media platforms. The number of pages viewed per visit from these users is among the highest of all platforms too.



What’s next? The Epicurious team plans to use Hangouts – high-quality videoconference functionality on Google+ – to create even deeper experiences for followers, including cook-alongs and exclusive chef chats.



Hungry for more? Read the full case study on Epicurious.com’s use of Google+, and feel free to leave a comment on our AdSense +page about this story.



Posted by Arlene Lee - Inside AdSense Team



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