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Author: Jacquie Tannenbaum

Art hanging in galleryYou know you should know. You know you should be doing it. You even sort of know you want to, but you’re just not certain you understand what IT is (or in this case, its.) Pinterest vs Instagram? What are they? What is the difference? Why should I care?

I Heard You Got Pinned

Pinterest is essentially an electronic cork board or wall wherein you “pin” images that you like to your different boards. Pinterest is image driven, relying on aesthetically pleasing, informational or unique pictures, videos and graphics. You can even pin this post (see below.) Within your Pinterest account, you can set up and curate boards relating to different interests that you have, much like having a collection of photo albums. Other users can re-pin images you’ve shared and vice-versa and they can follow you like they do on other social media platforms. Pinterest also connects to other social networks, much like Twitter and Facebook. You can easily install a “pin-it” button to your internet browser and on your mobile devices so that you can just pin away as you surf online, saving images directly to your boards without having to be on Pinterest.

Pins for pinningPinterest is great for getting new ideas (recipes, crafts), sharing fun pictures (beautiful scenery, kooky cats), and generally stimulating your visual cortex. Pinterest can also be a powerful tool for your business. Each pin provides the viewer with detailed information and can link directly to the related page on your website.

Pinterest is similar to Facebook in that you have your personal page and a separate business page.  It is a good idea to start on Pinterest with a personal page. Once you feel comfortable using the platform, than you are ready set up your business page. You can even convert your personal page into a business page if you prefer. For businesses like vacation property rental companies, there is no better sales tool then quality images of your properties and their environs. Even better, you can easily engage with your customers and get them to share images of your properties, your own and theirs, with their followers, thus expanding your reach.

There are many best practices that one should follow; naming your profile, labeling your photos, creating the right type of boards and labeling them correctly, integrating keywords, using hashtags, linking, etc. There are many other details you should pay attention to when setting up Pinterest for your business in order to maximize the effectiveness of your account.

Instagram Gratification

Unlike Pinterest, Instagram is an basically an app that is accessed on your smartphone.  Like Pinterest, Instagram is all about sharing visuals. You can post using the Instagram app or directly upload photos and short videos from your mobile device. Instagram provides you with filters  to help you edit your images quickly and simply. Your images are stored on your “camera roll” and shared with your followers who can easily favorite (♥) and comment on them. Instagram states as part of it’s mission, “We imagine a world more connected through photos.”Instagram Camera

You may also easily cross-post images to your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Hashtags are used on Instagram, but you want to be careful to use targeted and relevant keywords in your hashtags. Instagram may be useful as a business tool, and the fact that your pictures will appear on your other social media platforms instantly can help you maintain your posting frequency.

Should I Pin Or Should I Go?

Both of these social media platforms are growing exponentially. Pinterest recently surpassed Twitter’s popularity in the United States. Instagram is the fastest growing of all social media sites world-wide. Pinterest has incorporated sponsored posts into the platform in order establish its version of advertising. Last month Pinterest unveiled “buyable pins,” allowing users to make an immediate purchase from that pin on IOS platforms, creating an instant e-commerce opportunity for your business.

Instagram is a great outlet for creativity. Original content is king on Instagram. All that time spent carefully curating of your Pinterest boards is not readily tolerated by Instagram users. Content that you share is assumed to have been created, edited and shared by you directly; content that is original and unique.

Keep in mind the demos you are reaching with these two social media stages. Pew Research Center conducted an exhaustive survey of social media users last year and found that 42% of women online use Pinterest. The study found more than half of all internet users ages 18-29 use Instagram, while Pinterest users tend to skew a bit older. Pew also found that while 58% of American adults are on Facebook, 52% of those users also use multiple social media sites; limiting oneself to Facebook is perhaps a bit shortsighted when looking at future trends in the industry. Pew learned that 17% of Pinterest users visit the platform daily, but almost half of all Instagram users, 49%, visit that app every single day.

Neither platform should be used as a highly commercialized outlet to push your wares. As with Facebook, you want to engage with your followers by sharing interesting and useful content not by bombarding them with a hard sell. You want to provide visual  content that they will inspire them to want to share it with their friends and followers.

I Think I Get The Picture Now

If you enjoy taking pictures and editing and sharing them in creative ways to engage users to view, comment and potentially share without concentrating on curating related content, and your target tends to be a bit younger and mobile, and you are way into apps and mobile,  than Instagram is for you.  Think trendy art gallery.

If you enjoy digging around toTaking a Selfie find information and images that appeal to you and you enjoy sharing and re-sharing fun things and even might be interested in pursuing e-commerce directly from your images, and your target skews female and slightly older, Pinterest can be your new favorite hang. Think high-tech scrap-booking.

The best advice? Set up a personal account on both of these platforms and play around. See if you actually enjoy these types of engagement. If nothing else, you are going to see some pretty pictures and you might even find that elusive recipe for an authentic Gruyere souffle that you have been searching for, complete with a picture of how it’s supposed to look when it’s done (not like a doughy hockey puck, fyi.)

Not sure what is going on with your social (media) life? Let Blizzard do a social media evaluation of your platforms to help you figure out if you are doing well, or how Blizzard can help you get more of a life.