Boost Your Social Media Smarts

Published Tuesday, March 13, 2012 9:22 PM

Have you jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon yet? The social networking site is exploding in popularity and "pinning" is now giving "tweeting" a run for its money.

If you've only vaguely heard of Pinterest, its time to upgrade your social media smarts. Facebook isn't the only game in town you know.

Pinterest: An online "pin board," Pinterest lets users "pin" images from across the web to virtual bulletin boards on its site. Pinterest now has 11 million users, and unlike many other social networking sites, is most popular among women ages 18-34. For users, the site makes aggregating images, recipes and other content simple to collect and search. Businesses, particularly retailers, need to be paying attention; Pinterest is now driving more traffic to retail sites than Google+. This post provides a succinct overview of the site, why it's useful and describes its business model. See what Pendaflex is doing on our Pinterest boards here.

Google+: If you're a Gmail or Chrome user, you may be wondering what's the deal with Google's latest initiative Google+? Google's foray into social networking was strong out of the gate last June but is now languishing behind  the big three:  Facebook, Twitter and MySpace. The Wall Street Journal goes so far as to call it a "ghost town" in a recent article.  Still, the site offers options that others don't such as "Hangouts" which allow for video conferencing for up to 10 people at a time. Google says it's in for the long haul, so the site may get a chance to become more relevant. For more, read Time Spent on Google+ Dwindles While Pinterest Draws Growing User Interest.

Instagram: In a little over a year and a half, Instagram  has grown to be the most popular mobile image sharing application available. Translation: if you took a cell phone picture in the last year and a half, odds are good you shared it via Instagram. For users, Instagram offers users the ability to experiment with the high quality images and filters that mobile devices now offer, in a simple, easy to use interface. For businesses, Instagram offers more than just a chance to showcase product pictures, the platform provides opportunities to deepen brand building, so go ahead and post photos of products on the assembly line, provide a sneak peek behind the scenes of a fashion show, or share images of celebrities or regular customers interacting with products. For more read, Instagram: 10 Tips to Tell Your Brand's Story 1,000 Words at a Time. 

Foursquare: Never again wonder where everyone is hanging out without you: geo-location social networking site Foursquare  lets you track the people in your life. The site provides more than a virtual peek at where everyone is at any given moment, it offers user generated recommendations, coupons and other freebies from nearby businesses. For more, read Foursquare CEO: Not Just Check-ins and Badges. 

So consider upping your social media ante by giving some of these up-and-comers a try. And if you aren't yet a regular user of the major players-Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and LinkedIn- it's time to jump in and see just what Facebook's other 800 million plus users are up to.

What is your favorite social networking site? Are there some sites that make you think "no way, not for me" or "heck yea, sign me up." Share your thoughts here and on the Pendaflex Facebook page.


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