In the world of digital and social media, the landscape is always changing and opportunities are never ending. We’ve got to grips with Twitter and Facebook but now there’s Instagram and Pinterest too. If you’re hoping to follow a career in marketing/PR, media and advertising, you will certainly need to show you’re aware of how these sites work and how best to use them.
Visuals prove a core part of anyone’s advertising campaign or brand so it’s no surprise the impact Pinterest and Instagram is having on the digital landscape and how companies are using them to enhance their brands and campaigns.
On tablets and mobile devices, consumers often respond more favourably to something which is visual, rather than having to scroll through a load of text. But how can you use these sites to connect with your target audiences and which site is best for the message you wish to communicate?
Here’s a very quick summary to help you get in the picture.
Instagram - easy, instant and engages the consumer
In a nutshell, Instagram allows you to take photos with your smartphone, apply filters and share them on Twitter, Facebook, and other networks. Basically it does nothing more than you could do with other apps but its power is translated by the number of registered users.
Companies are using Instagram to showcase their products – it is much easier to post a picture of a product than trying to describe it. If you like the picture, you will share it and so on and so on.
Other big companies use Instagram to run competitions – encouraging consumers to submit images in return for a chance of winning a desirable prize. It doesn’t cost the company to advertise this and if it’s something which captures the public’s eye and is timely, and newsworthy, the results and awareness can be huge.
Instagram can also be a great personal platform for a company - it can make the end-user feel a part of a brand’s story. You might be working on a new product line and as part of a teaser; you share early images of the packaging or design/logos you’re putting together. This creates a buzz and anticipation for a product and engages the consumer – it feels like they’re gaining inside knowledge.
Pinterest – sharing stories, building profiles and connecting
The concept behind Pinterest might be a bit more complicated than Instagram’s. The basic idea is that you have a digital notice board and post everything you find interesting there. You have the option of creating and managing theme-based image collections and you can like or re-pin other user’s content. The idea behind Pinterest is to connect everyone through the things they are interested in using the tool. As with Facebook Fan pages, you will need to work at building a profile and obtaining followers.
Pinterest is the best tool for when you want to share an in-depth story. The Pinterest boards allow you to share links to written content, videos, products and quotes that can be combined to tell a more engaging and detailed story. It’s also a fantastic way of increasing traffic to your blog or website as you can have links back these. Of course, with any social media website your goal is to get the end user to engage and connect with you. So, this hopefully leads back to your website where the consumer or customer can find out more.
Another way Pinterest differs from Instagram is that it allows you to incorporate other peoples’ content into the story you are telling with your boards. You can use their moods and tones to help empower the message you wish to communicate about your product or brand.
Companies also like to use Pinterest if they have a large product and diverse product line. They can have different boards to display the various products or services offered; and users can choose to follow the boards individually, allowing them to have control over what they see in their feed. This is very important as it means are less likely to unfollow you as they won’t be targeted with messages they have no interest in.