In the personal social media world, Instagram is where you add filters to your pictures so you don’t look so pale. Pinterest is where you pin all the outfits you’ll never be able to put together, and the food you will inevitably fail at cooking. (Or is that just me?)
In the business world, using Instagram and Pinterest for marketing purposes is a whole different animal. Each serves a specific online marketing purpose and has its own benefits. Before you go out there and start posting, it’s important to develop a strategy to get the most out of each platform.
Instagram for Business
Users are on Instagram to be visually stimulated. This is not a place where anything sales-y will fly; your posts have to be purely artistic and aesthetically pleasing. Instagram is where you best establish your brand personality and give users and authentic view of your company. Instead of flooding your feed with pictures of products, use Instagram to showcase the behind-the-scenes happenings with your brand.
Red Bull’s nailing it. It’s so rare to see a can of Red Bull in any of their posts.
Let’s be honest – this pictures is way more interesting than a picture of a can. They’re selling their brand culture and personality – which ultimately sells their product.
As far as community engagement – Instagram is a great way to show customer appreciation and highlight users within your community. You can repost, comment, tag and ‘heart’ other users’ photos.
The best way to do this? Search photos relevant to your business.
Check out this example from Tocabe, a restaurant in Denver:
Pinterest for Business
Unlike Instagram, Pinterest has the potential to be one of the best marketing tools for conversions and referral traffic out there. Sure, you can use Pinterest to express brand personality by creating culture relevant boards and pinning industry relevant quotes. However, Pinterest is the place to shamelessly post your products (assuming your products align with the category that the board fits into) and promote your content. Users are on Pinterest to discover and interact with other people’s content – so the user experience isn’t affected by multiple product and salesy posts.
While most types of companies can benefit from using Instagram, the group of industries that will reap the biggest rewards from Pinterest is narrower.
They are as follows:
- Arts & Crafts
- Food & Drink
- Health & Self Improvement
- Weddings & Event Planning
Brands within those industries should be focusing their marketing efforts on staying active on Pinterest because they will see results in terms of referral traffic, brand awareness and ultimately conversions.
And for those of you thinking TL;DR, here’s the quick rundown of Instagram vs. Pinterest: