You can easily call the main trend in the development of social networks, relevant today, if you use some of them or are professionally engaged in SMM. Creating the conditions for publishing, sharing and discussing visual content is the main focus of social media developers.
Photos, videos, infographics and other types of visual content are more often viewed, get more likes and reposts. It is no secret why this happens. The amount of information on the Internet is constantly growing. Users do not have time to consume increasing amounts of data. Therefore, they pay less attention to each specific unit of content appearing in the news feed.
Visual content wins in this situation. And there are two reasons for this. Firstly, it more effectively attracts the attention of the audience, and secondly, it is easier to digest. As we wrote in one of our past articles devoted to the Pinterest service, a person perceives visual information tens of thousands of times faster than verbal information. This makes it possible to convey the necessary information to the audience even in today's conditions.
Social networks are aware of the benefits of visual content and confirm this with their actions: Facebook bought Instagram for $ 1 billion, and Twitter, an application for creating and publishing short Vine videos. The phenomenal growth in popularity of Pinterest is also not surprising, since the demand for services for working with visual content creates supply.
Pinterest and Google+
People prefer to receive information through photos, videos, infographics and presentations. So do not be surprised that the average length of a Pinterest user’s visit in January 2012 was 97 minutes. Rate this amazing figure in comparison. The average length of a Google+ user’s visit in the same period was some 3.3 minutes.
Obviously, Google+ does not want to keep up with competitors. Therefore, many recent changes in the functionality of this social network are a step towards users wishing to work with visual content. Moreover, some updates can be diplomatically called the direct response of Pinterest.
In this regard, content marketers are faced with the challenge of choosing between Google+ and Pinterest. Which of the two similar sites to choose for the implementation of marketing campaigns? The answer to this question depends on many subjective and objective factors. The first are personal preferences, beliefs, and marketer experience. The second is the type of your business, the preferences of the target audience, as well as its demographic composition.
Below you will find an analysis of the main factors influencing the choice between Pinterest and Google+. If you want to save time and get a quick response, here it is - use both social networks at the same time. And to understand why it is worth doing, read on.
Postcards in fashion
Google+ and Pinterest layouts resemble each other. Each post on these sites is issued in the form of a postcard or a card on which there will be a place for both a photo and signatures. This approach to creating a layout has become standard for many sites and applications, especially if they are related to Android or Google.
The popularity of this approach is determined by its convenience and versatility. Users have the ability to quickly view the publication, designed in the form of cards, and choose interesting posts.
The Pinterest layout has five columns, and the Google+ layout has two or three columns depending on the screen resolution. Google+ users can also choose to display the tape in a single column using the “More - Show Ribbon” menu. However, in this case, the screen looks empty.
So, Google+ has become similar to Pinterest due to the design of posts in the form of postcards. As conceived by the developers, this should increase the number of post views and the average duration of user visits. The ability to publish a full-sized photo and a link instead of a picture in preview mode will also interest marketers. Full-size photography makes publishing visually attractive, which makes it easier for brands to attract the attention of the audience.
Social networks were created for communication, not for marketing. It is therefore not surprising that Google+ and Pinterest initially did not allow companies to open corporate pages.
Google quickly corrected this flaw as soon as its social service began to turn from a regular social network into a hub, through which users could access other services of the company. Pinterest did not stay away for a long time, allowing brands to register business accounts in November 2012. After that, the similarity of services increased even more.
Google+ and Pinterest audiences can interact with brands in one of two ways. First, readers can go to the business page and select their posts of interest. Secondly, they have the opportunity to subscribe to the publication of brands and read them in their news feed.
The social network Pinterest was originally conceived as a service for working with visual content. Google+ developers have spent a lot of time just to understand exactly what they want to create. Numerous experiments and errors, such as failures with Google Buzz and Google Wave, confirm this. But these errors seem to have helped Google+ developers find the solutions they need.
Where Pinterest ends and Google+ begins
The social networks Google+ and Pinterest have a lot in common, but they also have many differences. The audience of these sites does not match, which makes these resources different from each other in terms of content marketers.
Pinterest is a predominantly female site, since women between the ages of 18 and 34 make up about 83% of its users. Design, fashion and decor are the most popular topics of publications on this resource. Google+ is a predominantly male site. Men make up about 60% of the audience of this resource, and the most popular topics of publications here are technologies.
This difference can be decisive when choosing a social network for content marketing, if your business operates in a typically male or typically female industry. For example, if you sell haute couture clothing, then the choice of resource for you is obvious. But don’t be in a hurry to write off the “male” resource Google+.
As noted above, Google+ has made working with visual content more convenient. Since May 2013, you can upload full-size photos, as well as enjoy some additional features that are not on Pinterest. For example, auto-enhancement allows you to adjust the contrast and brightness of a photo, as well as recognize faces and remove glare from them. And the Auto Awesome feature allows you to create animated images.
Perhaps the function of auto-improving photos or creating animations will seem useless from the point of view of content marketing. However, it's not about them, but in the general direction of the development of Google+. This social network pays a lot of attention to the convenience of working with visual content, it is integrated with other popular Google services, including Gmail, Disk, Calendar and others, and reposts and +1 affect the ranking of sites mentioned in posts.
Therefore, do not underestimate this service, even if the target audience of your business prefers Pinterest. Women between the ages of 18 and 34, who make up four fifths of the total number of Pinterest users, can become the core of Google+ audience faster than you think.
Let's sum up
Social networks are developing opportunities to work with visual content, trying to meet the needs of the audience. They offer users similar functionality. This is especially noticeable in Google+ and Pinterest.
Choosing a platform for content marketing, be guided by the preferences of your audience. However, do not rush to abandon Pinterest, if your potential customers are men. Also, do not rush to close a business account on Google+, if the majority of your customers are women.
As noted above, working simultaneously with Pinterest and Google+ is the best choice today. These resources are developing rapidly and may soon become universal social networks that are equally popular among men and women, adolescents and businessmen, marketers and consumers.
Adaptation of the material Pinterest vs. Google+: It's All About The Visuals by Vishal Pindoriya.