Hot social media sites Pinterest, Instagram let you showcase the latest and greatest eyewear
BY DANIEL FELDMAN
Published in the March/April 2014 issue
Funny thing about cliches. Most of the time, they’re true. Take the adage, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” That statement is becoming truer day by day on today’s Internet, as our eyes, our attention and ultimately our wallets gravitate to images before text.
How can images help you reach more customers as a seller of eyewear? We know the dangers of assuming, but we will presume you have a decent website and do some social networking. If not, your office walls should be covered with thank-you notes from your competitors. But what social media platforms are most worth your time? With Facebook as a given, let’s look at the two major photography social sites: Instagram and Pinterest.
We will take close to 900 billion photographs this year. Over 70 billion of those will end up on Facebook. 20 billion will be posted to Instagram (purchased by Facebook in 2012) and some 1.5 billion will find a home on Pinterest. That’s a lot of pictures! How many of those photos will promote your practice?
Visuals are vitally important in social media because photos are “liked” online more than twice as much as links or text updates. People will also share your photo twice as often as a text-only post. (They will share a video 12 times more often, but that’s another column.)
Instagram was launched in 2010 and today has over 150 million users.
More than 55 million photos are uploaded to the site every day and a good number of those are shared on Facebook, too, due to the tight integration of the two websites. Instagram’s best features are the photo filters built into their mobile app that allows users to edit their photos before sharing them. With or without filters, Instagram is a great way to feature your customers and their new eyewear, as Santa Fe Optical of Austin, TX, does on its Instagram page. (Check it out at invmag.us/3142)
Pinterest also debuted in 2010 and has about 70 million users. Roughly 80 percent of them are female, and the average user spends 87 minutes on the website each month. Because of how Pinterest is set up, items are more thoroughly shared than posts on Instagram. In fact, roughly 80 percent of the pins (items) on Pinterest are repins from other Pinterest pages.
With roughly 2.5 billion page views every month, Pinterest has a robust search feature — better than Instagram’s — that can allow more people to find you who are not already connected to you. Pinterest shares can also be easily integrated into Facebook wall posts. Check out how The Optical Shoppe of Baton Rouge, LA, organizes its Pinterest boards by brands, styles and even “Eye do” wedding photos. invmag.us/3143
Which is better for your business? That comes down to whether you are a creator or a curator. If your practice sells truly unique eyewear, you might want to spend your time on Instagram posting those one-of-a-kind photos. (Have a look at how Eyes on Fremont in Seattle, WA, uses Instagram at invmag.us/3144.) If on the other hand, you sell name-brand designer eyewear, you might want to concentrate your efforts on Pinterest and repin designers’ professional photos, as Vizio Optic in Brookline, MA, does (invmag.us/3145). Or go with a fun blend of celebrity shots, designer releases and store promos like Madeira Optical of Cincinnati, OH (invmag.us/3146).
No matter which site you choose, make sure you devote at least some time and resources to keeping up with your social media. Your efforts will pay off with more likes, more shares, more pins — and eventually the really good stuff: more customers and more sales.