Have you pinned all of your marketing hopes on Pinterest? If so, it's time to reconsider the law of working with new tech platforms: One day a platform is in, the next day it's out—so don't fall into the trap of pouring all of your time into the hottest one of the week.
You're much better off spreading your efforts across multiple sites. Here are eight Pinterest-like services to check out. Sure, they might not have incredibly high page views (yet), but you never know when one of these might suddenly attract the attention of millions of new surfers looking for ideas.
This brand new start-up, still in beta, is like Pinterest with video reviews. You can still browse through product categories and scan quickly through images, but other users post their thoughts about the product so you can decide if it is worth your time or not.
The site All I Really Want (AIRW) claims to cut your clicks in half. Well, that's true: With Pinterest, you click once to see an object of desire and then again to access the link for purchase. So, with AIRW, you can click once to see the purchase site for a new pair of glasses or a dress that catches your eye.
Postwire is more like a private version of Pinterest. There are pages with links to products and services, and the same visual browsing slant. (The human eye can scan images faster than text.) But each page is a private link for articles, videos, and docs you send to potential customers.
"Instead of sending your client off to your website for a pricing page, your YouTube channel for customer testimonial, your Facebook page for a photo, and your blog for an article last week, we allow you to collect all of those disparate pieces of content into a simple, easy-to-view page where you can focus your client on the content that really matters," explains co-founder Craig Daniel.
This one might be a stretch, but there is a site discovery slant. Basically, Pearltrees lets you click on similar interest "trees" to find videos, links, and products. For a small business, there's an interesting paradigm here: You can create an interest tree for whatever your product does. For example, here's one tree for creating a website.
5. Main and Me
Pinterest is all about crafts and objects of desire. Main and Me offers a similar purview, but with a local feel. You can browse through items in your local area (or where you might be heading for a business trip). Geo-locating your business on a site like this might spur sales. The quick "nearby me" link can draw customers to your site, but the higher population areas will get the most traffic.
6. The Fancy
The Fancy is a pure-play Pinterest clone: It has thumbnails for unique products, including clothes, cars, and craft items. The big difference is that you can "fancy" something instead of using pins. End users let Facebook and Twitter friends know they have found an item-say, for a wedding. While that might not differentiate the site too much from Pinterest, it is another sales avenue.
I like the visual style of StyleSays, which has the same pinboards as Pinterest but the objects (with more of a home decor and personal style theme) are all sizes and shapes. There's a clean white background, and instead of just pinning an item, you can "re say" something as a "first love" or "addiction." For business owners, you have more control over the photo size of your product.
It's no secret that Pinterest has a primary user: those who are about to get married and want to let others know about gift ideas. Knack dispenses with the subtleties. Users look for gift registry ideas and share them with those who will be attending their wedding. In many ways, this makes the site like a wedding-centric version of Amazon, but the site is focused on smaller shops and artisans.