When looking to use social media for business, there are a couple of obvious choices: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and maybe even YouTube. But in the past year or so, When looking to use social media for businesstwo other social media platforms have garnered quite a bit of attention: Google+ and the increasingly popular Pinterest. We listened to our clients and heard most of them groan over these developing social media for business sites. Does this mean that they need to get their business on these sites too?
Not necessarily. We first always suggest that businesses download our free Ebook “Social Media 101” to help them determine what they want and need out of their social media accounts. Once you’ve figured that out, it’s a good idea to get the scoop on the different social media sites to decide whether or not it’s right for your business. So without further ado, here are the pros and cons of both Pinterest and Google+ so you can determine which, if either, are worth your time.
Pinterest is a growing social network where users can share/post/”pin” videos and images of different things that they find intriguing or interesting. These images can be their own, or they can be shared from other peoples’ “pinboards”.
- As of February 2012, there were over 10.4 million Pinterest users. Even more promising is the fact that in January there were close to 12 million unique visitors, and that each visitor spent 97.8 minutes on the site! (Media Bistro, comScore).
- It’s one of the easiest social media for business sites when it comes to sharing content on the web. When you sign up for Pinterest, you’re prompted to download the pinmarklet toolbar which allows anyone to “pin” any content that they find on the web to their “board”. Sharing couldn’t be any easier!
- It’s an image driven site, which is great since people love images. If you’re a product-driven business, then Pinterest is definitely the site for you.
- The emphasis on the visual content is not only one of Pinterest’s biggest strengths, but it’s also one of its greatest downfalls. When people think “Pinterest”, they think of visually appealing items like crafts, hairstyles, and furniture.
TIP: That isn’t to say that you need to be visually appealing business to use Pinterest. You can create infographs and testimonials easily by using some easy web graphics. An example of a pie chart template is below:
- It lacks any sort of dedicated brand pages, which can make it confusing to the consumer.
- A lot of people on Pinterest want to keep marketing OFF of it, so they may have an adverse reaction to your business trying to get inbound links or referral traffic by posting there.
- Google+ now does have dedicated brand pages, making it easy for visitors and leads to seek your company out
- No one’s against companies having business pages on Google+, unlike Pinterest where you may receive a bit of a backlash.
- The “Circles” functionality on Google+ allows businesses to really target who they want their messages to go out to.
- Google+ status updates can show up in organic search results on the Google search engine. Just having a +1 button on your blog or landing page means that you’ll have a better chance of ranking higher in the search results than your competition without a Google+ page.
- Google+ can be pretty confusing to a lot of users. For example, what’s the difference between hitting the +1 button or posting to Google+? And does all information posted to Google+ immediately become indexed or can I keep some of the content out of search indexing?
- No one’s spending a lot of time on Google+. The average time spent on Google+: 3.3 minutes. Now that’s a significant difference from almost 100 minutes on Pinterest.
- When it comes to social media for business, not all too many people can tell you why Google+ is any different from Facebook, Twitter, or other social media sites.
Pinterest clearly is a “must have” for any business with some sort of aesthetic-centric service, but it can also work extremely well for a company that’s willing to hire on a graphic designer to help come up with pieces to post to their pinboard.
However, new B2C companies with a small budget and not a lot of time on their hands may benefit more from having a Google+ account and leave Pinterest to later. Also consider that:
- Pinterest is predominantly composed of women between 18 and 34 (83%)
- Google+ is predominantly composed of men (63%)
- Two of the biggest groups on Google are for college students and software developers
- Most Pinterest photos and posts are about fashion, home décor, and design
The truth is that both sites can work for you, but it comes down to what your marketing goals are. If you’re a hairdresser, then Pinterest would probably be the better choice between the two. If you make new apps or software for mobile devices, then Google+ would be far more worth your time.
If you’re interested in maximizing your social media marketing efforts but are having trouble getting started, contact us today to schedule your free marketing analysis.
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