Chances are, you’re already exploring ways in which your organization can connect with your audience through one or more visual social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram. As the social web goes visual, new platforms will blow up, and existing platforms (like Facebook and Google+) take notice and evolve. But for every Instagram and Pinterest comes a stream of rip-offs, imitators … and a few gems.
Here’s a look at some of the new players in the space worth keeping an eye on and how they can support your digital marketing efforts.
If you’re looking to avoid copycat apps, you may be tempted to brush off Pinstagram right away. But the platform is actually quite useful and fills a much-needed gap in the visual-social space.
Although the Pinterest mobile app is nice for image viewing, it can be difficult to browse the Web and “pin” on the go. Instagram has the opposite problem. It’s great for adding snapshots to the photo stream using the handy mobile app, but it lacks a sufficient desktop space to view your photos and share via social networks. Enter Pinstagram.
Pinstagram fills in the gap between these two big image-based social networks by allowing you to sign in with your Instagram account and view your photos on the big screen using an elegant Pinterest-like interface. It’s a great way to share your Instagram photos on other social networks that you couldn’t share on the mobile app. For a brand’s community manager, it also serves as a better dashboard for monitoring the photo streams of your follows/followers.
Fancy looks like a cross between Tumblr and Pinterest, but the key ingredient in the mix is e-commerce. Fancy aims to be a Pinterest-like catalog where buying/selling “pinned” products is made easy. Although Pinterest has been a recent powerhouse for driving traffic, Fancy has been making headway with user engagement.
When you click an image, you are greeted with a wide-array of options including “Fancy It” (similar to “Like” button), “I own it” and “Feature on my profile.” Users can also purchase the product or sign up as a seller. These options sound similar to what Facebook is trying to do by evolving the “Like” button.
In fact, Fancy seems to be ahead of the curve when it comes to social e-commerce. It’s clearly more optimized for conversions than Pinterest, so a brand that wants more control of the sales process may prefer it. However, the site lacks the audience that Pinterest has built, so it remains to be seen if it can catch up.
Pinterest for Men
Although Pinterest has acquired millions of active users in the past two years, the user base still leans on thefemale side of the spectrum. If this is keeping you from building your brand on the platform, you might want to look into some of the “Pinterest for men” sites. There are plenty of options, including Gentlemint, MANteresting,Dudepins, each with its own interface perks and drawbacks. If you have the resources, it may be worth exploring these platforms to drive male traffic to your site.
Of course, as more diverse brands and users begin to use Pinterest, we should see more men joining the platform. There’s really nothing inherently feminine about the site other than its current user base, and even that is changing. Even if you are finding success on the “manly” pin sites, don’t rule out Pinterest completely.
If you’re looking to expand your brand outside Pinterest and Instagram, there are plenty of image-based social network options. Some may be copycats, others may be niche, but you can’t deny the massive shift that is happening to the social web. Pictures are taking over, so start creating quality visual content today!
via Eckel & Vaughan