The Visual Social Media Fight: Instagram Versus Pinterest by #katieandjane

by Katie McDermott and Jane Whitehead | Featured Contributor

On our social media travels we’ve had many clients questioning which social media platforms they should plough most of their efforts into with many asking about the familiar ‘power three’; Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Because we know that an image is worth a thousand words (or a 120% higher engagement rate on social media) we love to inform our clients about the power of our two favourite, and increasingly popular, visual-led platforms; Instagram and Pinterest.

Instagram for Business

Instagram is a photo sharing app which allows brands to interact with users by taking and uploading images to a dedicated account after editing them through simple filters and adding a caption. Users can follow others so that they appear in their ‘newsfeed’ and comment and like individual photos. It has been active since 2010 and has amassed 150 million active users worldwide.

Pinterest for Business

Pinterest, a visual-led social media network centred around users pinning images (pins) to virtual pinboards with the ability to share (or repin), like, comment and add a location tag to pins. Brands can utilise Pinterest in the same way as individuals, creating a personality behind the company. There are 70 million users and the platform is now the third largest source of referral traffic on the internet with 104 million hits per week.

Using a few of the key elements of what makes a successful social media strategy; use of features, content and objectives, we’ll discover which platform we think wins the fight!

Who Comes Top in the Feature Stakes?

Both platforms have some great features but depending on a brand’s social media objectives one will probably come in first place and we say that’s Pinterest. The platform is currently set-up for brands better than Instagram with the fantastic sharing or repinning ability, easy link-shares by clicking on a pin or within the comment section and the inclusion of rich pins and place pins.


What About Content?

We know how important content is when creating a successful social media presence but making that content easily found and shared is key. Both platforms make use of hashtags – a vital part of increasing reach on Instagram and Pinterest but we think Instagram wins the gold. Hashtags can be created out of any word or acronym you choose by simply putting the # symbol in front of the letters and Instagram makes it very easy to do this in the comments box and makes it even easier for others to search for them which is a native part of Instagram but not so much over on Pinterest. Quick tip… when posting on Instagram take a look at what hashtags others are using in the same category as your image to increase your chances of appearing next to images your target audience are searching for.


How About Achieving Objectives?

Let’s take increasing brand awareness as an example objective as many of our clients use this as a key aim as social media is a great, simple way to do this and, with the right strategy, using image-led platforms only assists in achieving this. In terms of upping brand awareness Pinterest is the perfect platform. Businesses can use it to inspire customers, getting them engaged in the brand’s ethos and personality, which, if great images are used, spreads like wildfire! An example of this is shown through British clothing brand Jack Wills which use product pins alongside inspirational boards such as ‘In Bloom’ and ‘#GreenShoots’ bringing both their inspiration and product ranges together. By using boards in this way the lifestyle represented will start to become synonymous with the brand, keeping consumers engaged.

So, the winner is…

Pinterest! In our (not!) very scientific findings, Pinterest comes top in two out of three elements. Of course, exploring both visual platforms is very important whilst looking at your brand’s social media strategy, objectives and target audience. Don’t forget, with both platforms, increasing your knowledge is the number one thing to do before jumping onto Instagram or Pinterest followed by creating a tailored strategy and gathering juicy content.

Pinterest Winner

We hope to see you over on Pinterest… or Instagram very soon!

Katie & Jane


Katie McDermott and Jane Whitehead – Social Media Trainers and App Developers – Co-Founders of ‘Katie & Jane’ based in Birmingham, UK

Katie&JaneKatie & Jane are on a mission to make their mark in the tech world through social media and app development with a difference.
Firstly, Katie & Jane are experienced social media trainers with a mission to make social media simple through bespoke training and consultancy, helpful toolkits and fun eCourses. They know social media isn’t rocket science so aim to lead and inspire people to use social media effectively in business.

Secondly, they are addicted to apps! Katie & Jane get excited about the role they play now and will continue to play in the future and the power they have in connecting and engaging people every day.  Some friends go so far as to call them ‘app-geeks’ (but they don’t mind!). Katie & Jane were finding it increasingly hard to get their hands on beautifully designed apps that were fun to use, meaningful and packed with useful features, so… they started to create them!

Discover more about Katie & Jane on…

Twitter: @KatieAMcD @janiexx #katieandjane

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