Pinterest vs Instagram: Where Should Business Owners Spend Their Time?

July 30, 2013


When it comes to social media, photos and visuals are big factors in attracting attention. I know when I’m looking at my phone, I usually just scroll through text, but I will stop to look at a picture. Are you the same way?

According to HubSpot, 40% of people respond better if something is visual rather than just text. Social media outlets Pinterest and Instagram thrive on this concept because they are largely based on interaction with images (and now video with Instagram).

A lot of businesses may know of Pinterest and Instagram, but are not sure how they can help them connect with their target audiences through the use of images. Also, companies may be confused about which one of these sites is right for them.

Pinterest and Instagram are both great ways to tell a story, they just do it in different ways. This is why different situations call for using one or the other.

Keep the guide below handy for effective pinning and Instagraming.

Pinterest vs Instagram | Fiore Communications

1)  You Want to Tell In-Depth Stories. Pinterest is definitely the winner here.  Pinterest boards allow you to share links to written content, videos, products and quotes that can be combined to tell a more engaging story. Instagram limits you to still photographs and video and lacks a good way to organize them.

2)  You Want to Share Behind the Scenes. Instagram is a great option for sharing behind the scenes content because it only takes a moment to connect with your audience. If you are at a conference or something interesting happens at your office, most likely you are not going to upload a picture and figure out what Pinterest board to put it on. Uploading it to Instagram is easy and can be done on the go.

3)  You Have Great Testimonials. Pinterest is the way to go because you can make a board of all these testimonials in one place, whereas on Instagram you have to upload each image separately and can’t put them together on your page.  Also, it’s much easier to link to a Pin later on than link to an Instagram photo.

4)  You Want to Increase Traffic to Your Blog. Pinterest is the ideal choice because you can link back to your website and your blog posts. When using any social media website, the goal is for the user to connect with you, which hopefully leads them back to your website to find out more. This why having a link is so important for this type of post.

5)  You Want to Show Off Your Personality.  Instagram makes it easy to take self-portraits, or share pictures or video from vacation or of your family, which makes it a more personable site. It is also much more common to see these types of personal pictures on Instagram than it is on Pinterest.

6)  You Don’t Have a Lot of Time to be on Social Media. Instagram is a great tool when you don’t have very much time to create content, while Pinterest takes a little bit more time and planning. If you use Instagram, just take a picture, write a caption and you’re done.

7)  You Want to Curate Content. Pinterest is great for this because you can incorporate other peoples’ content into the story you are telling with your boards. On Instagram, it would be out of place as Instagram is about sharing personal content.

8)  You Have a Diverse Product Line. Pinterest is your best bet because it allows different boards to display the various products or services offered.  Pinterest users can choose to follow your boards individually, which lets them have control over what they see in their feed. Instagram users could be exposed to products they have no interest in and could decide to unfollow you.

9)  You are Hosting a Company Event. If you want people to share the pictures they taking at your event, Instagram is definitely the right choice. This way you can tell guests to use a certain hashtag for these pictures which will collect them all in one spot. While Pinterest does allow you to use hashtags, it lacks the spontaneity of Instagram.

10)  Your Company Is Geared Toward Women. With 79% of Pinterest users and only 55% on Instagram being female, using Pinterest is your best choice if your company’s customers are mainly women.

11)  You are Holding a Contest. This would be a great opportunity to use Instagram because it allows your followers to easily connect with you, while on Pinterest it would take more time. When someone takes part in a Pinterest contest, it could include joining a group board, which they may not want to do. On Instagram, all they would have to do is use a certain hashtag, which makes it simpler for the participant.

What other situations can you think of in which one site is more effective than the other? Leave a comment below!

Anna Fiore is a Content Marketing Assistant at Fiore Communications. You can follow her on Pinterest and start pinning with her.

Pinterest Blog Posts Button | Fiore Communications



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