A quick guide for using Pinterest and Instagram for your brand
Following a lovely Sunday afternoon tea with my good friend Andrew O'Brien of Grow, I thought I'd share with you a snippet from our conversation about how to get the most from Pinterest and Instagram. If you're not yet using Pinterest or Instagram to both build your brand and drive traffic to your website, this one's for you...
I know it can feel overwhelming when Yet Another social media platform pops up - especially if you've only just started to get your head around their predecessors. The thing is though that the way customers are shopping for your services is changing - more on that in the next couple of days - and you owe it to your business to be taking advantage of every opportunity out there to sell.
This quick guide will tell you a bit more about both Instagram and Pinterest - enjoy!
Pinterest is an online platform designed to gather and share images that inspire you. Once used mainly by brides to plan their weddings (and let me tell you, it's still mighty handy for that), these days its used by brands both big and small to build their online presence. There's an estimated 72.8million Pinterest users worldwide, making it a serious contender in the world of social media, and a platform you need to know about.
- It's free to use and quick to set up an account
- It's brilliant for visual or creative businesses who tend to have highly shareable, photogenic images
- You can gather 'pins' - or images - from absolutely anywhere on the internet, and store them in one place
- You can create as many public 'boards' as you like, and a limited number of secret boards for stuff you want to keep private
- Opt for either a business or personal account - both are free but a business account gives you more insight and regular reports on your popular content
- It's increasingly popular with bloggers, who share images from their blog posts onto Pinterest to drive more traffic to their blog
- If an image is pinned directly from a blog or website, it'll retain the link of the website it originated from. That means that if you're using Pinterest to build traffic to your website or blog, you must always pin from your images' online location rather than uploading it
- Users can search Pinterest to find relevant content in the way that you might use Google, so take the time to edit your image decriptions to include relevant key words
- Works best on desktop, but has a highly usable mobile app for pinning on the go
Also free, instagram is a lot like twitter from a users' perspective, but focusses on sharing images. You can add descriptions to your images - and as far as I know there's no upper limited on how many characters your description can be (unlike the 140 character limit on twitter). Instagrammers are very good at building communities, and are generally a very sociable and chatty bunch - which probably explains why there's currently over 300 million worldwide Instagram users. With this many active users, you're missing a trick if you're not on the Instagram bandwagon.
- It's free to use and you can set up your account in just a few minutes
- Just like Pinterest, the posts which will get the best reaction are well composed - so try and make your pictures pretty! This is easy to do as Instagram has a number of built in filters for you to edit images before you post them
- You can't include links into your images on instagram, but you can include a link in your profile, so that's the place to put your website/ blog link in
- Instagram is primarily for mobile use, so uploading images from your desktop is clunky
- Work those hashtags! Whilst you need to think about keywords for Pinterest, hashtags are your friend on Instagram so be sure to include relevant tags in your post