Hailed as the rising stars of social media, Pinterest and Instagram are the talk of the town (or rather, web). With phenomenal traffic and engagement stats, it’s no wonder marketers want a piece of the action. But in the battle of Pinterest vs. Instagram, how do you weigh up the benefits for your brand?
First, a bit of an explanation into how they work…
Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that lets you organise and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. This can be done by uploading an image directly, using the Pin It bookmarklet to pin an item from any website or repinning other people’s pins.
Instagram on the other hand is a much faster interaction. It’s a feed-based mobile app that lets you share your photos in a fun and interesting way. You can also apply filters to your photos for a weathered, vintage effect. Some are even calling it the ‘web’s answer to Polaroid’.
While both platforms allow brands to represent themselves through images, it’s important to recognise first off that neither platform is a place for a brand to continually push products, rather, a visual tool to connect with audiences in a creative space and provide a pathway to deeper content.
The trick for brands is to use these image sharing platforms just like any other user would. But how do decide which is best to tell your brand story, and where does it fit within your wider social media strategy?
Pinterest Ettiquette makes it pretty clear that it is not a place for self promotion. Brands that are seeing great success on Pinterest are those that are experimenting with creative ways to incorporate their product range amongst an anthology of sourced images and original content. Wholefoods, Etsy and Kate Spade NY are a few of our favourite examples.
Retailers are particularly making the most of Pinterest. According to this article on Daily Finance, the average ‘pinner’ now follows just over nine retailers (compared to 6.9 on Facebook and 8.5 on Twitter). With soaring referral traffic rates too, Pinterest has experts considering if it’s the next big thing in social commerce. Bottom line; for any brand that has something to sell, Pinterest offers a creative, low-cost way to connect with potential customers.
For Instagram users, a simple ‘peek behind the curtain’ can spark engagement and forge personal relationships between a brand and its audience. It can also provide invaluable insight into how people interact with your brand and sometimes, a little ‘leak’ can go a long way in testing the waters with a new product or campaign.
When you think about it, the idea of Instagram is pretty simple: see something cool, take a photo, share with friends. So why not use this process to engage with your fans and tell your brand story? A good way to facilitate the dialogue on Instagram is to enlist the help of a brand ambassador or expert as the voice behind your brand, like what cosmetic brand M.A.C have done with their make-up artist profiles on Twitter.
Two fast growing social networks. Two new visual ways to connect with audiences. Does your brand lend itself to one over the other, or can you find success with both?
If you love both but can’t find the time, there’s always this clever little start-up to consider… Pinstagram!
Posted by Ashley Gatte