Pinterest vs Instagram – Which should you be using in your business

By 12th May 2016 August 14th, 2019 Archive

Aren’t they both the same, you may be asking? While both are similar in their ways of picture sharing, don’t be fooled into thinking that if one works well for you, then the other will as well.  There are a number of questions to ask yourself when making this decision.

Are either of these platforms right for my business?

There are so many social media platforms out there but it is extremely important that you are choosing the right one(s) for your business. Choosing platforms that are not effective for your business can result in you wasting a lot of time and missing out on opportunities that other platforms could have provided.

Another mistake people make is that they try to do too many. The result? You end up doing a lot of them poorly, rather than just concentrating on one or two and doing them really well.

If you have a business that is image heavy – say, a photography studio or e-commerce site – then using Pinterest or Instagram makes sense. If you don’t have quality content to post regularly (but not so regular it becomes annoying!) then the follows, likes, regrams and pins just won’t be there.

The informality of these two platforms gives you the benefit of coming across as ‘human’ as opposed to the hard line, cold sell business approach, so they can work really well to support your presence on other social media platforms.

Both these platforms have the upper hand over Twitter, Facebook and the like in respect of how easily your visual content could go viral to thousands of people, purely based on the quality and attractiveness of the content. And don’t forget that once a photo has been shared enough times, so has the link to your website, thus creating the opportunity to expose your business to an infinite amount of people. To put it into context, Facebook has 1.15 billion active users per month yet Pinterest has the highest revenue per click of any other social media.

Who is your ideal customer?

We hope by now that you have an idea of the kind of person your business is aiming to target and the demographic breakdown of each individual customer. Statistics, as boring as they are, do come in handy sometimes and it’s interesting to see that 80% of Pinterest users are women between the ages of 25 and 45 whilst the majority of Instagram users (70%) are female between the ages of 18 and 35.  So an initial question you should be asking is: based on their age range, which platform is my ideal customer more likely to use?

Are your current/prospective customers using smartphones?

As with all social media platforms some work better on different media. Instagram is a programme that can be downloaded onto iPhones and some other smart phones. While you can manage your account on a computer, you can’t upload images from there. Pinterest on the other hand is available on both an app and on a PC/Laptop.

You may be thinking, doesn’t everyone own a smart phone? The answer is no. While more and more people are moving over to smart phones there is still a large number of people who are yet to. If this applies to your ideal customer, it is pointless posting on a platform they are unlikely to use.

Can you create flawless photos that tick all the boxes?

With Pinterest and Instagram you don’t have written content to hide behind! Pinterest should only really be taken on if you have great images to share concerning your business. Whereas with Instagram you can adjust the exposure and contrast of the image through Lux and also add one of the many filters available to enhance it.

If you are enhancing your images in this way be very careful if you are also selling products. The last thing you want is returns or complaints because what your customer has received doesn’t look exactly like the Instagram image! However, if you’re like me and don’t like your photograph being taken, it can make the process that much more bearable.

Will you be using video?

You’re all probably starting to hear how video is the next big thing and I agree. A video is much more interesting than a single image. Also, how often have you struggled to follow written instructions and ended up looking on YouTube in the hope that someone has recorded a how-to video? You may have even bypassed the written instructions altogether and gone straight to YouTube.

The good news is that both Pinterest and Instagram allow you to upload videos. Instagram is limited in the sense that you can only upload videos of between 3 and 60 seconds long, whereas with Pinterest you can upload videos for much longer. I’ve watched videos on Pinterest lasing up to 30 minutes! Pinterest also allows you to upload slideshares and audio podcasts.

Don’t feel intimidated by bigger businesses

Pinterest and Instagram, as with any other social media platforms, have their giants that dominate with likes and follows such as National Geographic.

Pinterest and Instagram are great for personal promotion and connecting with others. Building your brand on either of these platforms is easy…if you put in the effort. On Instagram you can use specific Hashtags to tap in to your chosen industry, you can join the picture ‘conversation’ and make a dent in that virtual universe.

An example of this is Joe Wicks or more commonly known as The Body Coach. By promoting his nutrition coaching and fitness plan through Instagram he went from a small one-man business to having 90,000 clients and 50 members of staff in just 2 years and is now depicted in the media as an ‘Instagram star.’

Pinterest allows you to partner with influential guest pinners and a growing is the use of contests, with businesses asking potential entrants to pin a particular image from the brand onto one of their boards.

Although Pinterest and Instagram can add great value to your business, remember that pictures aren’t everything; Infographics, how-to guides, artwork and other visually stimulating content work just as well.

So, Pinterest or Instagram…Which one will you be choosing?

Gemma Rolstone

Gemma Rolstone

Helping good managers to become great leaders