Has your Small Business registered an interest in Pinterest yet?
If not, you could be missing out on a slice of one of the biggest surprise success stories of 2012 so far…
When it comes to choosing the most popular Social Media channels with which to engage, delight and sometimes slightly annoy your audience, it’s fairly obvious that our old friend Facebook is very much top dog in this arena, and by quite an impressive margin.
Twitter is generally seen as having a very firm and steady grip on second place…but which Social Media Channel is currently holding onto the pretty powerful third position?
A brand new report by Experian Hitwise has just revealed the full fascinating data of who ranks where in the Social Media charts, and one of the results in particular has proven to be quite a surprise….
Whilst the report was conducted specifically for the US, our Social Media habits in the western world do tend to follow the very same patterns, and these results are actually a useful indicator of the upcoming Social Media trends that could potentially have a pretty big impact on all of us.
As you would naturally expect, Facebook and Twitter are still riding high in first and second place respectively, and look unlikely to be toppled at any point in the immediate future.
But who exactly is snapping right at their heels with the fiercest determination and the sharpest teeth?
And what about Google+ itself?
It’s been hotly tipped in the past as a serious rival for the current big guns, with some experts suggesting that it has the built-in potential to give even the mighty Facebook a run for its money.
But its certainly got a long, long way to go yet, as Google+ doesn’t even make it into the current top 5.
Perhaps this is one platform that hasn’t caught on with the masses quite as quickly as some had hoped….although, of course, it’s still relatively early days for the venture.
But whilst everyone has been making a big noise and fuss about the dramatic arrival of Google+ for quite some time now, the real surprise contender has quietly and almost effortlessly snuck right into third position with barely any whistles or bells at all.
I am of course talking about Pinterest, which has artfully leapfrogged over the likes of Google+ and Tumblr, and has now even overtaken LinkedIn to become the proud new Number Three in the Social Media Universe.
It seems quite staggering considering that not so long at all, nobody had ever even heard of it.
If you’re completely new to the concept of Pinterest, then you might just want to check out my earlier Blog article Pinning Down Your Small Business which takes an introductory look at this intriguing new platform.
But essentially, Pinterest is very similar to other Social Media channels, but with a dynamic visual twist.
Users are encouraged to share images, ideas and notes on Virtual Pinboards.
A Small Business that signs up to the service has an opportunity to craft compelling marketing images and designs and updates which can be pinned to your board, and hopefully inspire the loyal followers of your board to share (or ‘repin’) the idea with others on their own boards!
Perhaps the biggest attraction of Pinterest is that it’s just such a uniquely image-driven experience, and allows you to really get those creative juices flowing to produce funky and zesty marketing in a brand new graphically engaging style.
It initially had a perhaps unfair reputation for being a women-only zone, geared heavily towards recipes, arts and crafts, makeup, weddings, hairstyles and baby showers.
Whilst it’s still a very popular platform with the arts and crafts enthusiasts, it’s also worth noting that the scope is now rapidly widening out to cover just about any mainstream topic under the sun – which perhaps accounts for its recent rapid surge in popularity across the globe.
So, if you haven’t already pinned your future marketing hopes on Pinterest, is it now worth taking a look?
Any free Social Media channel that so rapidly gains as much steam as this is well worth a little investigation, especially as this particular success story looks likely to snowball even further in popularity over the coming months.
It might be an idea to jump aboard now, and ensure that your Small Business doesn’t miss the boat altogether!
Choosing the right Social Media platforms to focus on can often be a tricky old business, though.
Some of us might like to put all our eggs in one basket, whilst others might end up spreading ourselves too thinly by signing up to everything that’s going!
But it’s generally a cunning plan to try and capture different chunks of the market by channelling your efforts into just a few very popular but very different platforms.
For example, there are plenty of Twitter users out there who are perfectly happy with their tweeting, and may never really bother with Facebook at all – so ignoring the power of Twitter can completely cut you off from a unique corner of the market.
It’s a similar story with Pinterest.
I strongly suspect that Pinterest are pulling in a whole new crowd of users who might not have much interest in the status updates and tweets of other platforms, but are instantly attracted to this stylish new visual format.
So this is a terrific, free, and easy way of connecting with a brand new growing audience.
It’s different and it’s very popular. So why not get your Small Business involved?
We recently conducted a little mini-poll of our own in Martin Print H.Q, to uncover our top choices of the most important Social Media channels on which every Business should have a strong presence right now.
Naturally, Facebook and Twitter were the clear two winners of our own poll, with Google+ and Pinterest coming in at joint third place.
There were also very strong showings for LinkedIn and Tagged….and even one vote for, erm, Friends Reunited, which I assume came from Old Bert as it’s probably the only one he’s ever heard of.
Personally, I still think that Google+ is going to become increasingly important in the not too distant future, as the benefits of the integration with the Google Search engine become more apparent to business.
Perhaps the biggest challenge currently faced by Google+ is the uphill struggle to really build its audience by simply pulling in more everyday personal users.
It might just need some more fresh innovative features in order to convince larger chunks of the population that this isn’t just another Facebook clone.
And I’m sure they’re working on it right now….
In the meantime, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a finger in a few diverse Social Media pies – including, of course Pinterest – as long as they’re popular enough to be worthwhile, and different enough to grab a whole new audience.
But which lesser-known Social Media channels would you wholeheartedly recommend as a powerful marketing tool for Small Business?
Do you have any interest in Pinterest?
Or do you think that much more interesting results can be reaped elsewhere?