Apr 16 2012

Google+ vs. Pinterest: Which One Is Worth Your Time?

Category: social mediaTom Shivers


The folks over at HubSpot have provided another dandy whitepaper on a topic near and dear to marketers involved in social media. I’m going to break down the high points for you in this post so you can get on with it… your social media marketing strategy.

Advantages of Google+

  • Circles allows you to segment by sending updates to specific groups of followers rather than all of them resulting in higher click rates and engagement.
  • Google+ updates and content endorsed with a +1 appear in the search results. Websites using the +1 button generate 3.5X the Google+ visits over sites without the button.

Disadvantages of Google+

  • General confusion: “What’s the difference between posting to Google+ and just +1’ing content?” “How can I use Google+ to share content without it showing up in search results?”
  • According to eMarketer, in January, users spent an average of just 3.3 minutes on Google+ compared to nearly 8 hours on Facebook and 100 minutes on Pinterest.

Advantages of Pinterest

  • Rapid growth: As of February 2012, Pinterest had 10.4 million users and the average time spent on the site per visitor was 97.8 minutes. If these numbers continue to go up, then Pinterest is no fad.
  • Users can download the pinmarklet which allows them to pin from any where on the web.
  • Studies show that people love browsing through images online. Can your business find ways to share beautiful images on a booming social network dedicated to sharing images? Umm, yep.

Disadvantages of Pinterest

  • If you’re not a retailer or product driven business, it can seem challenging to find a use for Pinterest. But, infographics, blog post images, charts and graphs all work on Pinterest.
  • Lack of dedicated brand pages – Google+, Facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn all have spaces specifically for businesses. The challenge marketers face on Pinterest is figuring out how to market without it seeming like marketing.

Choose Google+:

  • If you don’t have much time
  • If your target demographic is male
  • If you care about organic search

Choose Pinterest:

  • If you can invest the time
  • If your target demographic is female
  • If you care about referrals

Get HubSpot’s full whitepaper: Battle of the New Social Networks, Google+ Pinterest.

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8 Responses to “Google+ vs. Pinterest: Which One Is Worth Your Time?”

  1. Jahnel says:

    A very good post. I agree with the observations you have for both Google+ and Pinterest.
    Jahnel recently posted..Is jamplay goodMy Profile

  2. Tom Shivers says:

    @Jahnel which one fits your business better?
    Tom Shivers recently posted..Social Media Flowchart [Infographic]My Profile

  3. Waitsel says:

    Hi, Tom. Great read and summary. I use both Google+ and Pinterest. I didn’t believe in Google+ until I ran across this guy: https://plus.google.com/101026577208733031226/posts His posts have convinced me that, in some of the ways that matter most, Google+ is better than Facebook. Because it’s still in the beta stage, they still have some annoying glitches that occur. Pinterest is still somewhat of a mystery to me. I use it to advertise both products and services. I still don’t understand how you keep yourself out in front of people, nor how they find you. Their search function doesn’t seem to work the way most do, nor does their key-wording. If you’d like to check out my pages on both, Google+ is https://plus.google.com/113548403424395895310/ and Pinterest is http://pinterest.com/waitsel/ (Note the difference in address. Don’t like the Google+ address.)

  4. Waitsel says:

    Here’s what Jessie (“that guy”) says about Google+ vs Facebook and Twitter:

    “Google+ has so much more engagement than Facebook & Twitter. I have more conservative & Christian connections on either Facebook or Twitter than I do on G+, but when I posted the same exact thing this morning at the same time on all 3, I got 18 +1 (likes), 7 shares and several comments on G+. I got 1 favorited (like) on Twitter with a retweet (share) and 0 comments. On facebook I got 1 Like, 0 comments and 0 shares. This is one reason I like G+ better. It is so much more engaging.”

    Here is another comment:

    “Two things I like about Google+ notifications over Facebook notifications
    (1) A drop down box will show me the entire notification, conversation, etc. while allowing me to take action such as +1, commenting or circling back.
    (2) I can click a next or previous button to move on to the next notification, instead of clicking notifications again and starting all over.”

    Thought you might want to share these with your readers. He is one satisfied customer!

  5. Waitsel says:

    Unbelievable! I just discovered that I am on Google+ twice and didn’t realize it. Because they use numbers for member’s addresses rather than names, I couldn’t figure out what had happened to some of my posts and didn’t realize I had registered twice – AND NEITHER DID THEY – using the exact same password, etc. Well, there’s a negative for Google+ Here’s my alternative page: https://plus.google.com/108279286977758998728/ which you’ll note is quite a bit different from the other one. Man, you’ve got to love technology. 🙂

  6. Tom Shivers says:

    Hi Waitsel. Great insights. I agree Google+ has a lot of work to do to clean things up; in my view, part of the problem with facebook and twitter is they have become ubiquitous – no longer a clear niche of users. At the same time niche and early adopters are what G+ and Pinterest have going on – actually its a little beyond early adoption.

    I’ve found Pinterest to be a great place to share images that interest women and I do see traffic coming from P.
    Tom Shivers recently posted..How Women Spend Time & Money OnlineMy Profile

  7. Becca says:

    I have been using Google + for a while now with not much success, i think its long way behind Pinterest. Will follow your advice and see how i get along.
    Becca recently posted..24 Hour Electrician WoollahraMy Profile

  8. Grady Pruitt says:

    I know I’ve been using Facebook, Google+, and Twitter a lot, but have yet to really look in to Pinterest. Perhaps I might need to consider this. Thanks for the comparison!
    Grady Pruitt recently posted..The Abundance in the World Around UsMy Profile