Marketing

Instagram vs Pinterest: Which is Best for Your Business?

A phone showing social network icons

Social media presence is the key component of your business’ digital marketing strategy. However, having that strategy succeed hangs significantly upon choosing the right platform. The main thread you should follow is the audience you wish to reach. Depending on your target demographic, you will choose the platform they are most likely to use. The users of certain social media overlap, and it is often true of the format of the platforms themselves, especially to the untrained eye. Instagram and Pinterest are usually considered quite similar. Upon more in-depth inspection, however, Instagram vs Pinterest will show their clear distinctions. So if you are wondering which is best for your business, here are the key differences you should look into.

Instagram vs Pinterest: The basic distinction

Although both platforms are centered around sharing images, this is pretty much all they have in common. As you are probably familiar, Instagram allows its users to take and share pictures and videos from their mobile devices. They can use filters, add a caption, and share the image or a video on various other social networks. Instagram users expect brands to share brief and engaging content. Captivating visuals are a crucial part of the deal.

Pinterest, on the other hand, is a platform centered around discovering and curating others’ content. Boards are often aspirational and serve as literal vision boards for planning events and purchases. Users will frequently treat Pinterest as a search engine to find specific content – a product or tips for activities like event planning, cooking, and crafts. One thing it has in common with Instagram is that its users expect visually engaging content. It also provides an opportunity for brands to educate potential buyers about their products and reach them when they are in the process of deciding to purchase something.

Audience

As mentioned above, the audience you want to reach is the key to deciding which social media platform to use, not just when it comes to the Instagram vs Pinterest debate. Let’s look at some statistics:

  • Instagram: 1 billion monthly active users
    Pinterest: 250 million monthly active users;
  • Both: 50 percent of the users are based out of the US;
  • Instagram: pretty much a 50-50 split between genders
    Pinterest: 70 percent of users are women.

When it comes to the age difference between its users, Pinterest has a pretty varied makeup. Around 30 percent of US residents aged 18-29, 30-49, and 50-64 each used the platform regularly in 2019, with the 30-49 group in a slight lead. As for Instagram in the US, 75 percent of 18-24 use it, 57 percent of 25-29, 47 percent of 30-49, and 23 percent for ages 50-64. As for adults aged 65+ in the US, Pinterest has an edge – 15 percent over Instagram’s 8.

The audience makeup is key to knowing which platform to focus your attention on. If you are selling activewear or sneakers, for example, you would do well to take advantage of the 75 percent of adults aged 18-24 who use Instagram.

Linking

Social media backlinks can be quite useful when trying to optimize your content for search engines. If you plan to use them to improve ranking, your primary focus should be on Pinterest. On this platform, you can use links on pretty much every post. Instagram, on the other hand, only supports this in the Bio section. Even though you could still garner some visits, Pinterest is likely to do much more for generating website traffic if that is your aim.

Mobile vs desktop

Another key difference in the Instagram vs Pinterest debate is how well they work on different devices. Instagram is pretty limited in this sense as, even though it can be viewed on computers, users can only upload content on the mobile app. On the other hand, Pinterest works very well on both types of devices. Its initial appearance was as a desktop app, and even though its mobile version gets a lot of use, desktop users are the ones that provide more conversions for e-commerce sites. The mobile app is perfect for Pinterest’s endless scroll, and it features buyable pins, which is meaningful for any digital marketing campaign.

If you plan to optimize for both desktop and mobile users, Pinterest would be the way to go. However, if you wish to work on your marketing and brand building, focusing on Instagram to provide engaging content will bring you success. Bear in mind that Instagram gets 500 million daily active users on mobile.

Hashtags

The use of hashtags is another significant difference between Instagram and Pinterest. On Instagram, hashtags are an essential function, letting the users discover content, as well as help others find their content. There is also an option to follow a hashtag of your choice to stay in the loop on a particular topic. While you can use hashtags on Pinterest as well, they are only clickable in the pins’ descriptions. There are different filing systems in place that categorize pins and help users find the content they want. In this sense, Instagram makes it much easier to reach the audience that might be interested in your content.

Building a narrative

Both platforms allow you to use visual aid for storytelling. Besides being engaging and entertaining, the images you use should also be informative, educational, and useful to your audience. This is the best way to build your brand’s story that will move people to interact with it and want its products or services. In this sense, the Instagram vs Pinterest debate pretty much draws a tie. Using both of these platforms to tell your business’ story will allow you to engage your audience and get them to take action.

Advertising

The final factor that can tip the scales for Instagram vs Pinterest is the space these platforms make for actual advertising. Instagram advertising provides real-world results, mostly thanks to its ties to Facebook, its parent company. The targeting options you get on this platform are unmatched, making it possible to reach audiences all over the world. On Pinterest, however, you can only use their ad platform if your business is based out of the USA. In this sense, your reach will be limited, but there are different types of ad formats, and you can pay for ads based on engagement or the number of clicks.

About the author

Roman Leakee