Case Study: Pinterest Vs. Instagram

90% of the information processed by the human brain is visual based and people tend to understand the visual incomparable faster that text. Thinking from this perspective it’s obvious why so many websites are using extremely interesting and beautiful images and the users like them. By sure, none should be surprised by the success of Pinterest and Instagram, two of the most famous social networks that have at their roots the idea of photo-sharing. The social media marketers used to name these types of communities as visual social networks.

The fantastical growing of social media determined a complete and unbelievable shift in marketing and advertising and both Pinterest and Instagram are decisive “players” in this profound modification. Anyway, both platforms are very important for marketers and many corporations and huge companies use these as important pillars for the branding strategy. In conclusion, it’s quite important to have a solid grasp about each of these visual social networks.

Instagram Identity Card:

Pinterest vs. Instagram

→ Birth date: October 6, 2010
→ Founders: Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger

Instagram is a relatively recent Facebook acquisition, but this fact didn’t change radically the initial policy. It’s a wonderful photo sharing network and the pictures uploaded may be enhanced using various filters. Most probable, the possibilities of enhancing images are Instagram strongest point.

Pinterest Identity Card:

Pinterest vs. Instagram

→ Birth date: March, 2010
→ Founders: Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp, Ben Sibermann

Pinterest was the first social network that threatened the supremacy of the couple “Facebook-Twitter”. It’s practically impossible to determine which features determined the Pinterest success, but surely, it comes with many innovative ideas (i.e. the infinite scrolling).

The clients ask the marketers which of these two networks is more efficient for their projects and this dilemma created a lot of buzz and unfortunately, there is no precise answer. Personally, I think that no clear solution will be identified, as long as each project has its own particularities.

Disclaimer: the idea that can’t be identified a clear “winner” between these two websites isn’t only my personal opinion. It’s the opinion of the majority of the marketers and social media experts, but there are still adepts that either Instagram or Pinterest is better no matter the project.

Instagram and Pinterest have many common features, but also there are many differences. While the similitudes are crystal clear, the differences are more subtle and in order to have a good understanding of these, we will analyse them.

1. The audience:

Pinterest vs. Instagram

→ Pinterest
The percentages are varying, but all of them are showing that the women are the most numerous Pinterest users. This special feature is capital for a well-done branding strategy of any company. Under these circumstances, an aggressive campaign is a waste of time and resources; instead, a strategy based on emotions and eventually warm feelings is way more efficient. On the other hand, Pinterest isn’t a women dedicated online presence; there are many men that enjoy this website.

→ Instagram
Instagram is very appreciated by the young people, both boys and girls. A serious and official behaviour on this network surely won’t fulfil high expectations, therefore any strategy should be based on the fact that the users are young and don’t have enough patience. Definitely, the big brands should “play smartly” on Instagram. An official style and offering some promotional offers are very bad solutions and these ideas should be totally forgotten. A way better idea is to show people that behind any serious company there are people that have their needs and wishes. BMW is a very reliable, luxury cars producer that has as main market segment mature persons, but their Instagram account is adapted to the particularities of the network. Check their account and you will be impressed by the interesting images uploaded.

2. The Pinterest/Instagram structure:

Pinterest vs. Instagram

→ Pinterest
Probably, at this level is the most significant difference. Pinterest is created with the purpose of organizing the content, to group the images according to some algorithms or preferences. The users have the possibility of pinning the images and overall the Pinterest looks way more elaborate than Instagram. It seems that users prefer curating the images, to make order into an ocean of images.

→ Instagram
Unlike Pinterest, Instagram wants to delight the users, there are few rules and everything radiates fun and relaxation. Much more, Instagram is dependent on the smartphones’ camera, the desktop version being pretty plain. Under these circumstances is clear why youngers prefer this network.

3. Traffic driving opportunities:

Pinterest vs. Instagram

→ Pinterest
Pinterest is way more complex and it allows a better quantification of the advertising results than Instagram. A post may be pinned and it is already a huge advance in determining its success. In conclusion, using Pinterest seems to bring more pragmatic data about the traffic received from this platform. Another relative advantage of Pinterest is that it was created to be enjoyed mostly for desktop navigation and the profile of the average user is “more stable” as the one that uses a handheld device that is almost always “on the go”.

→ Instagram
Instagram isn’t famous as a source of constant traffic, but a good image is easier transformed into a viral item and consequently, it may bring instant traffic. The huge advantage of Instagram is the brand awareness. It creates a special relationship, a very friendly approach between brand and potential clients.

Well, I guess that the question still remains…which one is a better solution for promoting? In my humble opinion, it’s extremely difficult to offer a clear answer. I consider that a serious brand can’t be present only on Instagram and Facebook and neglecting Twitter and Pinterest. Social media is a conglomerate and anyone willing to build his brand using these must act properly. In conclusion, using a single social network isn’t a smart strategy. What do you think – am I wrong? Which visual social network does you like the most?

– Written by Daniel –

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