February 19th, 2020
What are the main differences between Instagram and Pinterest?
7 Jan 2016 Dominic
Some small businesses when looking at ways to improve the reach of their brands online look to social media as a channel thinking there is a quick fix and in the last few years there has been a huge jump in the popularity of both Pinterest and Instagram.
However when speaking to small business there is still an element of confusion over the main differences in both of these networks so I thought I would do a quick post on the main differences between them.
Whilst Instagram is about sharing your images with your network, Pinterest is more about curating photos and images from either your own or other peoples networks.
It is important to understand what messages and images resonate with users on each of these social platforms in order to maximize your chances of user engagement, brand awareness and market feedback which will propel your business and presence forward.
The great thing about how people use Instagram is that it allows users to take video, images etc from mobile devices and apply filters and captions before sharing them on a variety of social networks. What Instagram users look for is about sharing personal experiences be they lifestyle or brand experience. This shows Instagram users through shared content an insight into what the users or businesses are about.
Pinterest however focuses moreso on collections of visual content grouped together into specific interests (the name gives the game away!). When users find engaging content they can group that content together and create boards to be shared with other similar groups.
On Pinterest, every pin is a link to the source of the image, usually an external site. Therefore, one of the common goals for businesses on this platform is generating website traffic and using Pinterest for SEO purposes.
Instagram only has one place you can direct people to a link and that is in the bio so not a major factor here.
Women account for about 70 percent of Pinterest users and are about five times as likely to use the virtual scrapbooking tool as men, the largest gender difference of any social network. These users also tend to skew a little bit older, although the core demographic is still 18-34 year olds, representing 56 percent of users.
Instagram however has a more even distribution of the sexes – fifty percent of the Instagram users are outside of the United States, making for a much more global demographic. This network is also more popular with the younger crowd—two-thirds are between the ages of 18 and 34 and popularity drops a bit with the older part of this demographic.
Instagram makes it simple to create stunning photos that make your business look professional and creative. Instagram is able to apply digital filters to photos while Pinterest cannot within the application. Pinterest users pin existing photos or alter their own before pinning in programs like, Canva.
If you are looking for conversation then Instagram is the network for you – it is much more conversational than Pinterest. In the description field of your post, ask your followers for comments and questions about the content you are providing to encourage them to get a little closer to your business and what you are representing.
Optimize your chances of being found by users with the inclusion of key hashtags. Hashtags are encouraged on both Pinterest and Instagram, but the quantity used on each platform varies. Don’t clutter the beauty of a pic on Pinterest with more than one or two hashtags. Instagram allows up to 30, however a thoughtful 8-10 will work best.
On Pinterest you can do this through the strategic use of themed boards. This is a great way to cultivate an engaged audience. Telling stories visually equates to even more engagement. Using promotions and contests on Pinterest can be very effective when integrated with your storytelling.
Instagram enthusiasts want a personal experience with a brand that is engaging, informative and accessible through quick messages, photos and short videos. Instagram pictures can give your clients a creative connection with your company and you, while providing unique ways to communicate about products and services customers care about.+
Pinterest versus Instagram: The Bottom Line
What is your goal?
If your goal is to generate website traffic, go with Pinterest. Instagam will not help much with that. If your goal is to increase engagement with your audience and grow awareness, Instagram is probably a better fit. Instagram is also probably better suited to share “moments” like conferences, behind the scenes of your business than Pinterest that is more geared toward content discovery.
Who is your audience?
Instagram will help reaching an international audience made of men and women, Pinterest will be the network of choice for women in Northern America. You can still reach men outside this US, but there will be more of them on Instagram.
What content do you have?
The main difference between the two platforms is definitely on the content side. On Instagram, followers expect to see visual content about you, your events, your personality as a business and your “human” side. On Pinterest, they are looking to discover content, in all forms, to be inspired, learn and share. Not only the motivation of the audience is different, but the type of content is different too. If you are mainly creating useful content on your blog, and curate useful content from others, Pinterest is the right match. That type of content will have to be modified to be shared on Instagram and that’s a lot of work.
Ideally, creating and sharing both types of content is best (what I know and can help you with, and who I am). But let’s face it, creating content takes time, and most businesses will only have one type of content to share. That should help you choose the visual platform you want to focus on first.
Pinterest and Instagram are not just social media platforms to lump together as one streaming entity. If proper attention is paid to the unique attributes of each social outpost while you are strategizing, you will see better results in your marketing that will lead to the increased growth of your business through the right social choices and efforts
To sum up both these platforms will help your business grow but I would say if you want to develop your brand personality then go with Instagram – especially in a visually engaging world like fashion. If however you have a business which allows the build of great content over time the look at Pinterest – this is a short video which should help you decide which network is good for you:
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