Should My Business Use Pinterest or Instagram?
A picture is worth a thousand words.
It’s an old cliché, but there’s truth to it. Visual media has become an increasingly important part of marketing, even for businesses whose products aren’t particularly picturesque (think Starbucks and Redbull).
Pinterest and Instagram are two of the hottest social media platforms used by brands and consumers today, causing many businesses to reexamine their own social strategies. You might be wondering if it makes sense for your company to build a community on one of these channels, and if so, which one is a better bet.
Benefits of using pinterest or instagram
Years ago, it was easy to write off Pinterest and Instagram as marketing tools. With the exception of organizations that have highly visual products – like retail or travel companies –many SMBs kept their focus on familiar turf like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
But our view of Pinterest and Instagram—and visual marketing in general—have changed. In a post about the power of infographics, Web Marketing Group (WMG) noted that 40% of people are visual learners. This is a powerful statistic that should not be ignored.
A visual marketing strategy on Pinterest or Instagram can enhance communications with people online and drive revenue into your pocket.
choosing the right social platform
In an ideal world, you could use both platforms in your strategy, but that’s just not feasible for most businesses. It’s far better to have a really strong presence on one or two social media channels than having a lame presence on several, so until you have the resources to do both of them well, I would devote your energy on one or the other.
While they seem similar from the outside looking in, Instagram and Pinterest are quite different in how they work and what people use them for.
Pinterest is a virtual scrapbooking tool, where users find images they like and “pin” them to their own boards, which are like pages with curated images. The user-base skews heavily toward women who everything from recipes and designer clothes to inspirational quotes and parenting posts. The pinning and re-pinning aspect of Pinterest makes it a terrific way to share content and encourage other users to share it as well. You can also embed links alongside your pins, allowing people to click through to your website to purchase a product or learn more about it.
Instagram is more like Twitter with photos, except with no character limit. You can share photographs and caption them with text and hashtags, and your followers can like, share, or comment on them. As a result, Instagram is a great place for building an online following and having conversations with customers. Brands use Instagram to showcase hip photography of customers using their products and images that speak to the lifestyle and attitude behind the company. They also use it to share behind-the-scenes views, launch new products, and get feedback on existing ones.
The choice between these two sites really comes down to your goals. If you want to drive traffic to your website, then Pinterest is probably the way to go. If you want more interaction with customers, then Instagram is better.
Either way, you will need a visual marketing strategy that aligns your business objectives with your day-to-day interaction with followers, and when you’ve found a way to truly blend with the experience people love about these channels, they will reward you with love, and eventually, their money.
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