What are Pinterest and Instagram?

Social media is a critical element within an online marketing strategy as these networks can be used to create brand awareness and credibility.
Two social networks that have been receiving more attention lately are Instagram and Pinterest. These are photo- and video-sharing platforms.
Here are a few reasons why you should think about using Instagram and Pinterest as part of your social media engagement efforts.

They Lend Themselves to Businesses Whose Prospects Look for Visuals

As the most popular social media tool centred on images and videos, Instagram is an ideal platform if your business can and should leverage visuals to attract interest.
You can not only take and share pictures, but edit them with a suite of options and filters to improve how they look. Along with hashtags, you can add a location tag to each piece of content you share; users in your geographic area will have an easier time finding your images and videos as a result.
Pinterest can benefit businesses in visual-heavy industries, as you can build a virtual library of images and videos to display on your profile.
You can organize them into “themes based” on by offerings.

They Are Strong Platforms for Engaging Customers

Instagram boasts the highest per-follower engagement rate – 4.21% – among all social media platforms, according to a study by Forrester Research. This means that 4.21% of followers liked, shared, or commented on posts created by the businesses in the study.
As 93% of Pinterest users are on the platform to plan purchases, it is an ideal tool for engaging serious buyers with content dedicated to your products and services.
Pinterest is also rolling out a new “Buy It” button. If you share a picture of a product, you can add the button to the post. When users click it, they’ll go to a payment system. How the button impacts engagement remains to be seen, but it certainly gives you a new way to promote your products and to encourage your prospects to buy.

You Can Target Large Audiences

A fifth of Internet users are on Instagram, giving you the ability to share pictures and videos with 300 million people.
This number is multiplying, as more people from older demographics are registering for accounts. Although it’s traditionally thought of as an important tool for reaching younger audiences, the Pew Research Center reports that people between the ages of 30 and 49 made up a quarter of users in 2014. This was a 7% increase over 2013.
Since the number of users is steadily growing, it’s an advantageous time to build your presence as new users look for brands to follow.
Pinterest’s male user-base doubled in 2014, challenging the notion that Pinterest should be used to target predominately-female markets. They may currently make up 71% of the 73 million users, but the ratio is balancing as more men join.
It’s not uncommon to see brands that largely target males – such as landscaping equipment companies – taking an active approach to the platform and generating favourable results.

The Bottom Line

Pinterest and Instagram offer the ability to share high-quality visual media, while giving you access to growing audiences that actively engage with brands. If you’re targeting prospects who deem visuals helpful when making a decision, these platforms should be part of your social media mix.

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Ben Molfetta
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