Social Shopping: Pinterest Vs. Instagram

Brands can now offer their products directly to their consumers through their social feeds. Social selling results in 45% more sales opportunities than companies with no social media set up, according to LinkedIn. The question is, where are consumers social shopping the most?

Pinterest isn’t talked about nearly as much as Instagram these days but it is still a valuable platform social shopping for e-commerce brands that want to maximize their potential.

Pinterest crossed the threshold of 200 million monthly active monthly users last year. To put in perspective, though, that’s a small percentage when compared to the 800 million+ users on Instagram on a monthly basis. Regardless of the size of each platform’s base, there are compelling reasons to adopt and prioritize both social media outlets to ensure your brand is as visible as possible. 

Purpose and Audience Engagement

Pinterest allows users to discover everything from home decor to recipes to holiday party ideas. The site enables users to post pictures of unique ideas and images that can be shared with the world. It also allows users to link helpful content, such as DIY, step-by-step instructions, to make visual concepts a reality to the viewer.

Pinterest takes a more direct approach that is inspirational and instructional. Users on this platform actively seek and buy what they need to complete projects.

Instagram is primarily designed to allow users to share their own photos. Pinterest, on the other hand, enables users to share, curate, and retain content that is posted by others. Brands active on Instagram are taking note of its sharing potential to other content, including videos and blogs, especially through Stories.

Instagram relies on attention grabbers to engage users to read more content, watch more videos, and eventually, make more purchases.

Social Media Demographics

Pinterest is driven primarily by female users, and 70% of all active Pinners are between 18-49 years old. The way users interact with and react to the photos on Pinterest varies when compared with Instagram. Typically, Pinterest users aren’t looking for images that contain faces.

On the other hand, Instagram boasts a less dramatic skew toward female users (30% of men use Instagram, while 39% of females do). Most trend a bit younger in age than Pinterest devotees. Interestingly, in the 18-34 age bracket, there are 20 million more male users than females – an important stat to keep in mind when crafting a marketing campaign that may be gender-relevant.

With the majority of e-commerce purchases being made on mobile devices, review your analytics to better understand if your sales conversions pass through at a higher rate on desktop devices versus mobile platforms. Then, update your marketing strategy and budget accordingly.

Brand managers who want to maximize their social reach and push social shopping should take the time to leverage both Pinterest and Instagram. Each provides a unique value but based on demographics, consumer use, and overall engagement, determine where your audience frequents most.

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