May 28, 2012
by Jeanine Vecchiarelli return to JayVee Media Link LLC
Let’s move our focus away from social media heavy hitter platforms like Twitter and Facebook for today, and instead draw our attention to the two most promising rising stars in the field: Google Plus and Pinterest. Both appear to be in fierce competition for the spotlight; which will be the victor? The answer: BOTH! While on paper Pinterest seems to have the edge, which one wins depends on a number of variables. Let’s take a closer look:
Google Plus in this corner…
With 20 million users within the first three weeks of its launch and the expectation that that number will reach 400 million by the end of this year, Google Plus is shaping up to be a major social media influencer. It is continuously adding and improving business friendly features, such as live streaming Google Hangouts, which can be used as free webinars, and new photo editing and mobile photo sharing services. And remember that Google indexes its social media platform for higher search rankings. Sites that incorporate it get up to 3.5 times more traffic than those that don’t. 40% of marketers consider Google Plus a prominent component in their social media strategy tool boxes.
…and Pinterest in THIS corner
On the other side of the equation, Pinterest boasted 10.5 million users as of February, 2012. Since January, the number of users has increased by 145%. 80% of pins are repinned, demonstrating the potential for business to go viral with the
platform’s help. Its lead conversion rate is 15%. Pinterest is now the third most popular social media platform (behind Twitter and Facebook), as it refers more traffic for some websites than Google Plus, Linked In and Twitter. Recent studies have also demonstrated Pinterest’s value in generating much sought after quality back links, and hence creating “buzz” and higher visibility.
The Main Event
The preference of Google Plus over Pinterest or vice versa ultimately comes down to issues like the field of business and the type of people in that business’ targeted marketing campaign. Let’s look at some specifics. Approximately 63% of Google Plus users are male; the dominant occupations on the platform are college students and software developers. So think technical. With its system of displaying pictures, as well as the aforementioned addition of mobile photo sharing and picture editing services, Google Plus is also capturing the niche for professional photographers and photography enthusiasts.
Conversely, up to now almost 80% of Pinterest users have been female. But that is a demographic that is shifting toward more gender equality, as an increase in male membership is being noted. The platform appears to be excellent for businesses that are trending – especially when those businesses can promote themselves with strong visual images. Some examples of companies that are doing very well with Pinterest in their marketing tool boxes are Better Homes and Gardens, Martha Stewart, Whole Foods and the Travel Channel.
Both platforms obviously have excellent value and wonderful potential. In the end, the “victor” between Google Plus and Pinterest for me in business will be determined by the specific needs and niche of each of my clients. Who knows? Both may even be in order! For me personally, it’s really hard to say! But I think I would lean more toward Google Plus. How about YOU? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below!