Businesses are always looking to increase their marketing potential, and to expand their clientele. Social media platforms are one of the most popular form of free advertising for businesses to customers from around the world. My personal favourite social media platforms are Pinterest and StumbleUpon, and they both just happen to be two of the most effective ways to promote a business. If learning how to be social media savvy with the best up-and-coming websites for advertising, then read on!
Pinterest is a social media website that allows users to “pin” photos of places, people, objects, and more onto a virtual pin board. These photos become links when clicked on, and will transport the user to the website from which the photo originated. You can “repin” someone else’s photo onto your board, and vice versa. This is essentially the same concept as sharing a post or other content. A pin can travel from person to person, while friends or even strangers “like”, repin, or comment your photo as many times as they care to. These pins can be organized onto boards, where other people can follow you, or just follow a specific board.
Pinterest offers a lot of visual potential for a business to promote products and their brand. When people see something that they like on Pinterest, they will click on it, and be instantly navigated to that businesses website to learn more about the product, or just to browse for other products that generate interest. I would use Pinterest for this feature alone, just because Pinterest is a visual representation of the product; so, if the product is directly linked to the website it came from, then who’s to say that person won’t explore the rest of the site, and possibly make a purchase? The number of likes and repins categorizes the photo as “recently popular”, which can be displayed on the home login page for Pinterest as a result (see photo, bottom left). The amount of exposure for pins and products is huge, especially since Pinterest has recently launched a new app, making the Pinterest and sharing experience mobile.
Indigo is a chain of bookstores and retail stores, which are partnered with Chapters and Coles. I follow this brand on Pinterest, and I am always impressed by the different types of content that they share with their followers. All products have their own boards to shop through, including books that changed lives, home décor, back to school, and exploring the world. I have repinned several of their pins of books I have read, and I have had some of those pins repinned by my followers. This is the power of social media, and Pinterest allows companies like Indigo to showcase their products all over the Internet to persons from all over the world. If your company has a charity or event that they support, then create a board for that event with pictures, so then followers can search the board and pins for that event, and generate awareness.
Another great social media platform for businesses is StumbleUpon, a website that uses a member’s interests and searches the Internet and other users’ pages or likes for content that is relevant to the member’s chosen interest. Interests could include humor, nature, photography, fashion, fitness, and many more. You can also “like” or “dislike” the page you are viewing, so that StumbleUpon can customize its searches to suit your preferences and style. Viewers can “stumble” through their interests, which basically means that it is a randomized search through the content for your interest.
I am fairly new to the StumbleUpon website, but I have found it to be extremely useful. I was looking for photos for a project, and I needed a specific travel picture. I searched under my “travel interest”, and found several photos that I could use. If a business decided to create a channel (a page designated to that business), they could add website, photos, and videos and categorize them under an interest category, viewers that subscribe to that interest category will see the content that was shared.
The World Wildlife Fund(WWF) is a great example of an organization using StumbleUpon. They created a channel for their organization, and filled it with initiatives to help animals and environments in peril, as well as information on endangered animals and news around the world. Approximately 13, 000 people follow this channel, and the WWF channel displays a link to their Twitter page for its followers to check out and tweet at the organization. Viewers can search through channels easily and effortlessly (see photo, bottom right).
By using Pinterest and StumbelUpon for business, awareness for a company’s brands and initiatives have reached users, using “interests” as their ultimate weapon. For example, if a viewer selects “food & drink” as one of their personal interests, then information and photos from multiple websites are filtered to your account to read as long as that website has anything to do with food. The possibility of using a person’s interests as a method to instantly share content from that company, whether it be clothing, electronics, or household items, people will notice and will become customers to this company. The power of sharing content with what the viewer is primarily interested in is a useful tool to all companies, and platforms like Pinterest and StumbleUpon allow these methods to come alive for businesses as easy advertising.
There have been recent advancements in technology, and most people own or have owned a smartphone, tablet, or a computer. With this technology emerged a new market for different platforms in the form of apps and websites for people to use at leisure, or for business motives. These apps and websites have opened the doors for businesses to target customers by exposing their products with the apps that the customer uses. Since these large social media platforms have become more accessible and compatible with the usage of smartphones and tablets, businesses are able to offer services at anytime, anywhere. I use both the Pinterest and StumbleUpon apps almost everyday on my Samsung Galaxy S Captivate, and I will admit that it is so much easier to use these social media sites, especially if I don’t have access to a computer where I am at the time. All I need is a secure Internet connection, whether that is WiFi or my data plan. I would join Pinterest and StumbleUpon just for the fact that there is already an app made to help consumers access your products, where you didn’t even have to create an app at all!
The possibilities of these social media platforms are enormous, and I recommend using at least one of these two websites if I ran a business. Pinterest and StumbleUpon are two of the fastest growing social media sites around the world, with Pinterest users growing rapidly in the North American continent. And like I’ve said before, it is essentially FREE ADVERTISING. Its doesn’t cost anything for a business or a person to have these accounts on Pinterest or StumbleUpon, as well as many other social media accounts, and your products are still getting some publicity. If you’re interested, follow me on Pinterest and StumbleUpon (both Clara Quinn) to see what its all about!