Pinterest – Google Plus – Facebook: What Can They Really Do for Your Business?

Following last week’s theme, let’s continue talking about the Kardashians. Just when you think there can’t be any more of them, another one pops up from nowhere, doing something to grab their extended 15 minutes of fame. The thing is, you’re not really quite sure what it is they’re doing. And yes, that was another rather clichéd analogy about today’s status of social media sites. Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to take a look at the major social media sites; which ones you should be active on, which are more bother than brilliance, what you should be doing and what you most definitely should not be doing.

PintereWhat?

Let’s start with Pinterest purely because it’s the latest, greatest, social media Kardashian. Simply put, Pinterest is a virtual scrap book, or more accurately, a virtual scrap board. You ‘pin’ images you like onto your boards and then your friends can see what brilliant style you have and ‘repin’ the treasures and inspirations that you have posted onto their own boards. And on it goes. Pinterest has quickly become one of the top five referring traffic sources for several major retailers. A recent study showed that Pinterest drove only a fraction less referral traffic than both Twitter and Google, and more than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.

A few quick Pinterest tips:

Secure a Pinterest user name: Some Pinterest members are already using brand names and logos for which they have no affiliation. Whether you choose to be active on Pinterest or not – at least reserve your options.
Theme It: Pinterest, like a scrap board, is all about themes such as color, food, ‘style inspiration’ etc. Leverage these themes by creating mood boards relevant to the products you carry. The boards should convey a consistent image, not be a simple look book of your products. Feature a mixture of your products and external content. It’s about promoting lifestyle – not a singular product. Draw the visitor in with an eclectic display which makes them want to discover more about you and your store.
Pricing It: Decide whether it’s a pro or con to include prices on product you carry. On one hand consumers want to see the value – on the other hand you have to vigilant to make sure that the pricing you have posted is current and reflects any sales or promotions you may be having.

Google Plus (or minus)?

Unlike Pinterest – which has been referred to as ‘digital crack for women’, the jury is still divided on the value of Google Plus. The majority of active Google Plus users are heavy tech-users as opposed to style searching shoppers. While the newness and lack of following means you’ll stand out from the noise of retailers on sites such as Facebook etc, it also means your followers are less likely to be active or engaged with the product you’re selling (now if you’re a social media/ web/tech promoter we’d say go, go, go). For example, one social media guru has a following of over 1.2 million people on Google Plus – impressive right? But only 0.002% of those ‘followers’ are engaged. Not so impressive. With Google Plus you will need to do your homework, and unless you have a strong social media team in place that can devote time and effort specifically to building up your Google Plus presence, we’d say let’s revisit it in a few more months.

Facebook. What’s The Question?

If you don’t have a Facebook page – why not? Rather than explain why you should be on Facebook (if you’re not already there then nothing we say can convince you) we’ll just simply review the best practice principles you should be using. Do your homework to discover:

  • The most effective day of the week to post content
  • Popular keywords that drive engagement
  • How often to update your Facebook page
  • Give your fans an incentive to visit your business by providing them with a recent, active “walk-in” promotion in their area
  • Allow users to recognize that you are connected with their location by providing details and assets specific to where they are
  • Geotarget your posts even if you don’t have multiple locations — you wouldn’t want to offer a walk-in special to your fans in New York if your business is in Los Angeles

Next week: Should you be fancying a tweet? We take a look at Twitter and TheFancy and discover one site that’s a true hidden gem.

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