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Pinterest vs Instagram – Which is best for Your Business?

Apr 25, 2024 | Latest, Marketing Tips, Social Media Marketing

Pinterest vs Instagram – Which is best for Your Business?

As a business owner, you’re probably well aware of the importance of online marketing to increase your visibility. With so many social media platforms to choose from, each offering its own unique set of features and benefits, it can be challenging to know where to focus your attention. Two of the most popular social media sites are Pinterest and Instagram, and they both have much to offer businesses looking to expand their reach and connect with their target audience. In this blog we explore Pinterest vs Instagram and what makes each platform special. 

We’ll dive into the types of people who use these platforms and the ways you can leverage their features to achieve your marketing goals.

By understanding the strengths and advantages of each platform, you’ll be better equipped to make informed decisions about your social media strategy.

What is Instagram?

With over 2 billion monthly active users worldwide, Instagram has become a powerhouse social media platform.

It’s a vibrant hub where people come to share photos and videos, engage with content, and discover new brands.

One of the things that sets Instagram apart is its emphasis on visual content, making it an ideal platform for any type of industry.

It’s not just limited to fashion or travel brands but can be a powerful platform for coaches and entrepreneurs. 

Instagram provides a canvas for brands to create a narrative that resonates with their target audience and showcases their unique personality and offerings.

Pinterest vs Instagram

Instagram also offers a variety of features that businesses can leverage to engage with their followers and drive conversions. 

For example, Instagram Stories allow brands to share behind-the-scenes content and create a sense of urgency, while Instagram Reels provide an opportunity to create short, entertaining videos that can go viral. 

Additionally, the platform’s Shopping feature allows you to tag products in your posts and stories, making it easy for customers to purchase items directly from the app.

To make the most of Instagram, businesses should focus on creating visually compelling content that aligns with their brand aesthetic and messaging. 

Engaging with their audience authentically through comments, direct messages, and story interactions is also key to building a loyal following. 

It’s worth noting that Instagram works best as a mobile app. While the platform can be accessed via desktop, the full range of features and the best user experience are available through a mobile device.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a visual discovery platform that has captured the hearts and minds of over 450 million monthly active users worldwide since its launch in 2010. 

At its core, Pinterest functions as a virtual pinboard, allowing users to explore, save, and organise images and videos, known as “Pins,” into customisable collections called “Boards.”

One of the standout features of Pinterest is its powerful visual search functionality. By simply clicking on a specific element within a Pin, users can instantly discover similar items, making it easy to find products, ideas, or inspiration that resonate with their tastes and interests. 

Pinterest vs Instagram

This intuitive search feature not only enhances the user experience but also presents a unique opportunity for you to showcase your offerings and drive traffic to your website.

Pinterest is more than just a social media platform. It serves as a visual discovery engine that is enriched with search engine optimisation. It empowers users to explore, save, and organise the ideas that inspire them. 

With Pinterest, you can create meaningful connections with your target audience, showcase your products and services and ultimately drive engagement and growth.

Key Differences: Pinterest vs Instagram

Purpose

While both Pinterest and Instagram are visual platforms, they have different purposes. Pinterest functions as a visual discovery and bookmarking platform. 

It’s a place where people go to find inspiration, uncover new ideas, and save them for future reference. 

Think of it as a virtual bulletin board, where users can curate collections of images and videos, known as Pins, and organise them into themed Boards that reflect their interests, hobbies, or aspirations.

On the other hand, Instagram is a social networking platform that revolves around sharing photos and videos with a strong emphasis on real-time updates and storytelling. 

It serves as a visual diary, allowing users to share moments from their daily lives, showcase their creativity, and engage with their audience through visually compelling content. 

Pinterest vs Instagram

Instagram is all about capturing and sharing experiences as they happen, creating a sense of community and connection through the power of visual communication.

Ultimately, the choice between Pinterest and Instagram depends on the specific goals and preferences of individual users or businesses.

If you’re looking to showcase your brand’s products or services in a visually compelling way and increase website traffic, Pinterest may be the perfect fit. 

On the other hand, if you’re looking to raise brand awareness, build a loyal following, build engagement, and create a sense of community around your brand, Instagram’s focus on storytelling and social interaction may be the way to go.

Target Audience

Pinterest has a user base that is primarily female, with around 60-70% of its users being women. 

These Pinterest users are typically between the ages of 18 and 49 and are attracted to the platform for its wealth of creative ideas, DIY projects, home decor inspiration, fashion tips, cooking recipes, and lifestyle content. 

They approach Pinterest with a mindset of discovery, eager to find new ideas and projects.

Instagram, in contrast, has a more diverse target group, although it still leans slightly towards a female audience, particularly among the younger audience. A significant portion of Instagram’s users are Millennials and Gen Z, who are drawn to the platform for its focus on self-expression, visual storytelling, and social connection. 

They use Instagram to share moments from their daily lives, explore the latest trends in various areas and engage with their favourite influencers. Instagram users value real-time interaction and visually appealing content.

To leverage these platforms, it’s important to understand your target audience’s demographics and behaviours. 

By aligning your marketing strategies with the unique characteristics and preferences of each platform’s user base, your brand can effectively reach and engage your audience.

Pinterest vs Instagram

Key Features

Pinterest and Instagram both have special features to help businesses get noticed and reach more people, but they focus on different parts of the user experience. These key features shape how people use each platform and what kind of content creators and businesses can do to connect with their audience.

Instagram

  • Feed: The main feature of Instagram is scrolling through photos and videos from people you follow.
  • Stories: A fun way to share quick photos and videos that only last for a day. You can add stickers, words, and filters to make them more interesting and engaging.
  • Reels: Short, entertaining video content (15-60 seconds). It’s a great place to show off your creativity and show up in the feeds of audiences outside of your followers.
  • IGTV (Instagram TV): Post and watch longer vertical videos (1 minute to an hour). It’s perfect for creators and businesses who want to share more detailed content.
  • Explore Tab: Instagram suggests new content based on what you like and interact with. It shows popular posts from accounts similar to the ones you follow.
  • Instagram Ads: A key feature that allows you to reach potential customers on the platform by promoting your products and services. 
Pinterest vs Instagram

Pinterest

  • Pins: The pictures and videos you save on Pinterest. You can save them from the internet or upload your own. Pins are like the building blocks of ideas on the platform. 
  • Boards: Where you organise and keep all your saved Pins. Each board can be about a specific topic, interest, or project, so it’s easy to find what you’re looking for later.
  • Visual Search: A feature that lets you find similar items to a Pin by clicking on specific parts of the image. This makes it easier for users to discover product pins and helps businesses get their products seen.
  • Shopping: Businesses can tag products in their Pins, so users can click on them to learn more and buy directly from them. It almost acts as an online shop.
  • Idea Pins: These used to be called Story Pins. They’re big, full-screen posts where you can share multi-page stories or tutorials using images, videos, text, and interactive elements. They’re great for inspiring people and telling creative stories.
  • Pinterest Trends: A powerful tool that helps you identify popular and emerging search terms on the platform. By using this feature, you’ll discover Pinterest keywords that are frequently searched by your potential clients, allowing you to optimise pin titles and description field of your post. 

Use of Hashtag

On Pinterest, hashtags are mainly used to organise and find content. When people add hashtags to their pin descriptions, it makes it easier for others to come across their posts when searching for related topics. 

Clicking on a hashtag on Pinterest takes you to a feed of pins that all have the same hashtag, so you can explore similar content.

However the use of hashtags in Pinterest is not as prominent as on Instagram, and their impact on content visibility may vary. 

Instagram, on the other hand, relies heavily on hashtags for content discoverability and engagement.

Users add hashtags to their posts so that more people beyond their followers can find them. 

Pinterest vs Instagram

A lot of Instagram users follow specific hashtags they’re interested in, so content related to those topics shows up in their feeds.

Hashtags are also often used in Instagram Stories to help them reach more people and get more engagement.

So, while hashtags do similar things on both platforms (organising content), Instagram puts more focus on using them to get your posts discovered and increase engagement.

Algorithm

The algorithms of Pinterest and Instagram differ in how they prioritise content for users. Pinterest’s algorithm is heavily focused on personalisation and discovery, aiming to show users the most relevant and engaging content based on their interests and interactions. 

Pinterest shows content that aligns with users’ tastes and preferences, even if they don’t follow specific accounts.

It looks at things like:

  • Pins with high-quality content
  • Engagement (e.g., saves, clicks, and comments)
  • The pinner’s interests and behaviours
  • The freshness of the content
Pinterest vs Instagram

Instagram’s algorithm, on the other hand, cares more about how popular a post is. 

It pays attention to:

  • How many likes, comments, shares, and saves a post gets
  • How recently it was posted
  • How much you’ve interacted with the account that posted it before

Instagram is more likely to show you content from accounts you engage with more frequently and posts that get a high volume of attention right after they’re posted.

So while both algorithms want to make your experience better and get you to interact more, they do it in different ways. 

Pinterest focuses on finding content that’s tailored to you, while Instagram puts more emphasis on showing you popular posts from accounts you care about.

Content Creation

Content creation on Pinterest and Instagram differs in approach, audience engagement, and content longevity.  

Pinterest thrives on curated collections of content, which are often organised into themed boards, making it ideal for showcasing inspiration, ideas, and aspirational content

The content that does well on Pinterest is usually:

  • Visually Appealing: Pictures and graphics that are high-quality and visually stunning are key for grabbing people’s attention as they scroll through their feeds.
  • Informative: Pins that offer helpful information, such as tutorials, recipes, DIY projects, step-by-step guides, and infographics, tend to perform well on Pinterest.
  • Evergreen: Content on Pinterest sticks around longer than on Instagram because of how the search and discovery features work. Pins can show up in people’s feeds months or even years after they were first pinned and use the power of SEO.
  • Action-oriented: Pins that clearly tell users what to do next, like “click for more,” “save for later,” or “shop now,” can get people to engage more and drive traffic to external websites.
Pinterest vs Instagram

Instagram, on the flip side, is more about sharing content in the moment and getting immediate reactions from your followers.

Content on Instagram is usually more off-the-cuff and lifestyle-focused, often giving a peek into moments, experiences, and behind-the-scenes.

Tips for content that works well on Instagram include:

  • Authenticity: Authentic content that people can relate to does well on Instagram. It helps create a sense of connection and community and builds trust.
  • Telling a Story: Captions are a big part of Instagram posts. They let you share stories, insights, or feelings that go along with the visual content.
  • Encouraging Interaction: Instagram’s algorithm loves content that gets a lot of engagement, such as likes, comments, shares and saves. Getting your followers to interact meaningfully can help boost your visibility and reach.
  • Timing: Because Instagram is all about sharing in the moment, content has a shorter lifespan compared to Pinterest. Posts get the most attention right after they’re shared and can quickly get buried in people’s feeds over time.

To make the most of each platform, it’s important to understand what makes them unique and tailor your content and calls to action to match.

This can help you get the most engagement and effectiveness on both Pinterest and Instagram.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

If you’re using a social media platform to market your business, it’s important to track the right KPIs. This helps you see what’s working and what’s not, so you can make your strategy even better. 

Here are the KPIs you should keep an eye on for each platform:

Pinterest

  • Engagement Rate: This is the total number of engagements (likes, saves, clicks) divided by the total number of times your pins were seen (impressions).
  • Pin Saves: Count how many times people save your pins to their own boards.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): This is the total number of clicks on your pins divided by the total number of impressions.
  • Referral Traffic: Look at how much traffic Pinterest sends to your website or online store.
  • Conversion Rate: See what percentage of people from Pinterest actually do what you want them to on your website (like make a purchase or sign up for something).
Pinterest vs Instagram

Instagram

  • Engagement Rate: Add up the total number of likes, comments, and shares, then divide that by your total number of followers. Multiply the result by 100 to get a percentage.
  • Reach and Impressions: Keep track of how many people see your Instagram posts and how many times they’re seen.
  • Instagram Stories Metrics: Look at things like completion rate (how many people watch your whole story), taps forward/backwards, and swipe-up actions.
  • Follower Growth Rate: Watch how quickly you’re gaining new followers over time.
  • Website Clicks: Count how many people click the links in your Instagram bio or the swipe-up links in your Stories.

By keeping track of these KPIs on Pinterest and Instagram, you can learn more about how well your social media marketing is working.

This info helps you fine-tune your strategy and get the results you want for your business.

Final Thoughts

In the end, deciding between Pinterest and Instagram for your business comes down to what you want to achieve, who you’re trying to reach, and what kind of content you want to share. 

Pinterest is great for curated content that people can discover and engage with over a long time through saved pins. Instagram, on the other hand, is all about sharing in the moment and getting immediate reactions from your audience, especially through Stories.

Whether you prioritise visual inspiration and discovery or real-time engagement and storytelling, leveraging the right platform can significantly impact your brand’s visibility, engagement, and ultimately, your bottom line.

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Next Step

Feeling swamped by the work of keeping up with your business’s social media? Or maybe you just want to make sure you’re getting the most out of it. We can help!

We offer social media management and strategy services to make your social media plans as simple as possible.

Click here to learn more about our social media management services and book a free call with us to learn more about how we can help you. 

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission.

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