Visual content has become one of the most effective ways to communicate brand messages. People can get lost for hours on Pinterest and Instagram just looking at all the beautiful content.
So which platform should you use?
This post will show you the fundamentals of each platform and how you can use each to grow your business.
What is Instagram?
Instagram is a social media site where people share posts in the form of images and photos.
Here are some interesting stats:
- More than 1 billion people in the world use Instagram
- 88% of Instagram users live outside the U.S.
- 80% of users follow at least one business page on Instagram
- 75% take action (e.g., visit a website)
- 70% buy products via Instagram using their phone
Image source: socialnomics
Here’s how to use Instagram for business.
Use the right hashtags.
People who don’t already follow you can find your posts through hashtags. Hashtag research is a must before you post content.
Aim for a mix of broad and specific hashtags, and keep in mind that the more posts that use a specific hashtag, the more competition there is to show up in Instagram search. If your account is new or you only have a few followers, use long-tail hashtags with fewer posts competing for them.
Reach out to influencers.
Influencers can promote your product for a fee and drive targeted traffic to your website. The more followers an influencer has, the higher the cost.
You should look for influencers in your niche that have high engagement on their posts. This is an indication that they have more influence on their audience.
Micro-influencers (with less than 50,000 followers) often have more engagement than macro-influencers and will likely charge less for your campaign.
Run paid ads.
You can run paid ads targeted at audiences with similar interests. Keep in mind that Instagram ads have become popular and costs have gone up. It can also be challenging to make your ads stand out from all the other ads.
Many users glaze over ads because they’re used to seeing them. So be creative with your ad copy and images.
Instagram story ads tend to get more engagement than feed ads and will likely yield a better ROI.
Add captions to your posts.
Don’t forget to add text below your post. You can add 10-12 sentences to describe your post and capture people’s attention. Use emojis and let people know if you want them to comment or share your post. This will give your posts more reach. You can also tag others and use location hashtags if you’re a local business.
Repost other people’s content.
Reposting other people’s content can help expand your reach and gain newfollowers. It’s also a handy way to fill your feed when you’re struggling to create your own content.
Just be sure to credit the original creator in your captions.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is not a social media site. It’s actually a scrapbooking site and a visual search engine, much like Google, only with beautiful images.
When people log in to Pinterest, they’re not looking to be social. They’re looking to research brands and products that will help them become better versions of themselves.
- More than 250 million people worldwide use Pinterest
- 80% of Pinterest users log in from a mobile device
- 39% of the users have an annual income of more than $75,000
Pinterest users are shoppers. Businesses have an incredible opportunity to reach their audience and increase sales.
Here’s how to use Pinterest for business:
Create personal boards.
Personal boards carry more weight these days than group boards, so make sure you set up at least 10 to start. Aim for a mix of broad and specific boards. For instance, you might create a “Social Media” board and a more specific “Facebook Ad Strategies” board.
Make sure you add images (called “pins”) to each board so that Pinterest knows what the board is about.
Optimize your account.
Include important terms that people would use to find your business in your profile title and description, and board titles and descriptions.
Be careful not to “keyword stuff” though. Use descriptive sentences and be creative with where and how you place keywords. People should be able to easily understand your text.
Claim your website.
Claiming your website is just a fancy way of saying, “Help Pinterest verify that the pins you share are yours.”
But it’s important to do. Here’s why:
When you claim your website, all pins shared from your website will display your profile picture and a link to your Pinterest profile.
Pinterest users like to buy from businesses they trust, so when they see your branding they’ll click through to your website.
To claim your website, you need a business account. You can either create a new account or convert your personal account over. Then head to Settings, select Claim Your Website, and copy the meta tag. In WordPress, install the Yoast SEO plugin and paste it in the field provided (Social tab).
Apply for rich pins.
Rich pins are pins that include more information about your pins to the right of your image.
There are many types of rich pins you can use, including article pins and product pins.
Article rich pins display the headline, description and author of a pin. Product rich pins display the name, description and price of your products. They’re a great way for e-commerce marketers to get more traffic to their stores.
Image source: hostsorter
Optimize your images.
Vertical images work best on Pinterest.
The recommended size is 600×900 px, although any 2:3 ratio will do. You can stretch the length, but just know that infographics don’t hold the weight they used to. If your pins are too long, Pinterest may squash them in the feed or not show them at all.
The next step is to add keywords and hashtags to your pin descriptions so that people can find them using search.
Pinterest SEO can make or break your traffic – and it’s always changing. Make sure you keep up with the latest strategies.
Promote your pins.
Not many businesses are running Pinterest ads just yet, so get in while you can!
Promoted pins give you a huge opportunity to reach your audience without breaking the bank. In fact, you’ll likely get better results than Facebook or Instagram (the targeting is similar).
Image source: flipweb
Wrapping it up
Whether you decide to focus on Instagram or Pinterest, posting regular content is the key to getting more traffic and followers. Focus on one channel first and master the strategies you need to get results. Then move on to the next channel.