There has been a lot of buzz lately about the two newest social media channels — Google+ and Pinterest. Many of my clients have been asking me which one should I choose? The answer is the same as it was before G+ and Pinterest exploded on to the scene, go where your audience hangs out the most. As I go through the two platforms, you’ll learn which one would work best for your business.
Google+ — Land of the Geeks and the Guys
Google+ is a social network that allows individual users and businesses (brands) to share status updates, images, and videos. By clicking the +1 button you can support and share these interactions. The circles feature in google+ allows for extreme message targeting and customization and just having a +1 button can increase the traffic to your site. According to HubSpot, websites using the +1 button generate 3.5x the google+ visits than sites without the buttons.
Do you want to learn about the latest technology or attract men to your business – Google+ is your place. The biggest group of users are software developers. 63% of Google+ audience is male. The biggest topic of conversation on Google+ is (no big surprise here) – technology. If your business focuses on technology (or you just want to keep up on the news) or if search traffic is very important to you then Google+ maybe worth checking out.
The big downside of Google+ is that people don’t spend as much time there vs. Facebook or Pinterest. Google+ users tend to swoop in, get the information that interests them and then leave.
Pinterest — If Martha Stewart created a social network…
Pinterest exploded on to the scene in fall of 2011 and it is growing very quickly. As of February 2012, Pinterest had 10.4 million users spending on average 100 minutes on the site. The face that users spend so much time on Pinterest (believe me – this is all to easy to do) shows that the site is “sticky” and providing value to users. Pinterest is a visual social network for “pinning” images or videos to the users own or others “pinboards”. Pinterest reminds me of one gigantic virtual vision board.
In direct contrast to Google+, 83% of Pinterest users are women. The most pinned items on the site are home decor, fashion, design, recipes. If you are in one of these markets, Pinterest is a must. Even though Pinterest doesn’t have dedicated brand pages, I’ve noticed some very creative use of inboards by B to B businesses. I’ve seen client appreciation boards, info graphics, videos and more. The site is also *very good* at providing referral traffic.
When I suggest Pinterest to my coaching clients, I often get either “I am not very visual, how can I use Pinterest?” or just blank stares. I tell them to start by simply posting the picture they used in their blog post and linking to the post. Also, spend some time exploring – looking for new things to share. You’ll find that many businesses are using Pinterest very creatively from posting infographics, motivational quotes, pictures from live event locations and more.
The downsides of Pinterest is that there aren’t really “business” or “fan” pages – also that adding Pinterest to your marketing tool set might require additional time on your part to get involved and engaged.
Pinterest and Google+ are two very different platforms which attract very different audiences. Choose the one that fits your business the best.