Social Media Tools Comparison
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. Pinterest. Hundreds of others. There are an endless number of social media networks and tools for businesses and likewise there are several articles out there that compare the social media beasts (Facebook and Twitter)….but now you’ll find that the momentum, follower growth and buzz is surrounding visual social networks such as Instagram and Pinterest.
The Moving Millennials
Facebook is popular with several businesses globally, simply due to the large audience that exists on it. Twitter is often considered as a complementing social media network to Facebook helping businesses generate traffic to their sites using 140 character tweets (Solis, 2010). However, Facebook appeals to an elder demographic and that teens are starting to move across to Instagram and SnapChat (Jackson, 2015). Twitter on the other hand is a popular network for the younger generation, but it is seen to be a noisy platform with a busy news feed and content that takes you away from Twitter’s app or website. Millennials therefore are finding Instagram to be current, friendly and trendy (Clason, 2015). I fall under the category of a “millennial” too, but it took me a while to adopt yet another social network to be kept updated. Yet, once I started using it, I noticed it has a simple and clean layout. It is not polluted with links and advertisements and this made it an attractive alternative for me to adopt. Pinterest has gained its appeal from being visual with images at the center of the attention. Comments are minimal and stacked and the platform enables you to pin without actually being on the site like you have to on Facebook or Twitter (Buck, 2012). This makes it an inspiration hub for millennials (Doherty, 2012).
Key Differences Between Instagram And Pinterest
Instagram, allows businesses and individuals to share images and videos from a mobile device and distribute it across other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr (Cornier, 2014). The ability to add captions and apply filters to images and videos make it a popular application for the younger generation and Marketers alike. Pinterest, can be thought of as a curation platform; a board of pictures pinned and grouped by a particular theme or topic. Each ‘Pin’ links to the image source and is a valuable tool for businesses that aim to use Pinterest for gaining website traffic, engagement, and building an emotional connection with fans and followers.
Users And Growth
Instagram boasts 400 million users around the globe, making it bigger than Twitter as it continues to gain popularity across the world (Instagram, n.d.). Pinterest on the other hand has 100 million monthly active users and is a social network that has experienced tremendous growth since its launch in 2010 (Beck, 2015).
Demographics of the Users
According to Statista (n.d.), over 32% of the US Instagram are between the ages of 25 and 34, followed by 18-24 year olds who have a 28% share, becoming the new go-to social network for teens and young adults (Guimaraes, 2014). Women dominate Pinterest (42% are females). This social network, similar to Instagram, skews toward the younger demographic (Patterson, 2015).
Instagram In Action
Instagram is used by M&M’s to celebrate moments using their characters to depict everyday situations encouraging their audience to share their favourite M&Ms moments with the #CelebratewithM hashtag. Ferrero Rocher include their chocolates in stunning photos for their Canadian audience and Toblerone artistically portray their triangular cross-sections of their chocolate in creative ways. According to Forrester, content on Instagram generates 58 times more engagement per follower and 120 times more than Twitter making it a ripe network to have a presence on for candy brands. (Elliot, 2014). That is huge! Instagram allows brands to build their trust and personality, connect with their target audience, and benefit from an increase in website traffic. Snickers, Cadbury’s, Nestle and others have still not adopted this social network, but would benefit from doing so. It will provide them with an opportunity to share new products or flavors, tease their audience into a new launch, provide special offers, run competitions and be able to show ‘behind the scenes’ photos to connect with their audience (Istvanova, 2014).
Pinterest In Action
Several candy brands are using Pinterest to share images with their fans, with many of the brands sharing family, seasonal, and interesting recipes (M&Ms, Lindt and Hershey’s). Nestle showcases vintage ads, graphics and recipes. This comes as no surprise as the food and drink niche has become one of the most largest and active categories that pin and re-pin images making it an ideal platform for the confectionery industry to utilize (Helm, 2012).
The Future Is Waiting
There is no doubt that visuals are processed by our brains quicker than text is, making visual social networking platforms like Instagram and Pinterest ideal for businesses that want to leverage it for marketing. Instagram has an appeal for mobile users and caters well to a young demographic. Pinterest works well as a platform for curating and sharing images giving brands a lot of flexibility and the ability to discover and be discovered.
What are your thoughts? What works for you – Instagram, Pinterest or something else?
I’d love to hear your comments below!
Beck, M. (2015, September 17). Pinterest Says It Has 100 Million Monthly Active Users. http://marketingland.com/pinterest-says-it-has-100-million-monthly-active-users-143077
Buck, S. (2012, March 20). Why Is Pinterest So Addictive? [INFOGRAPHIC]. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2012/03/20/why-is-pinterest-so-addictive/#XMD0FQFhMEq9
Clasen, A. (2015, April 22). Why Instagram is so important to Millennials. Retrieved from http://blog.iconosquare.com/instagram-important-millennials/
Cormier, D. (2014, July 24). What’s the Difference Between Pinterest and Instagram? And 9 More Instagram FAQs. Retrieved from http://blogs.constantcontact.com/difference-pinterest-and-instagram/
Doherty, M. (2012, August 31). Pinterest Offers Unique Millennial Opportunities. Retrieved from http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/181898/pinterest-offers-unique-millennial-opportunities.html
Elliot, N. (2014, April 29). Instagram Is The King Of Social Engagement. Retrieved from http://blogs.forrester.com/nate_elliott/14-04-29-instagram_is_the_king_of_social_engagement
Guimaraes, T. (2014, December 9). Here’s Why Instagram Demographics Are So Attractive To Brands. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/instagram-as-a-brand-platform-2014-9
Helm, J. (2012, March 12). 8 Best Practices for Food Brands on Pinterest. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2012/03/12/pinterest-food-marketing/#p5esPZP1mGqG
Instagram. (2015, September 22). Celebrating a Community of 400 Million. Retrieved from http://blog.instagram.com/post/129662501137/150922-400million
Istvanova, L. (2014, June 16). 6 Benefits of Using Instagram For Your Business. Retrieved from https://www.koozai.com/blog/social-media/6-key-benefits-using-instagram-business/
Jackson, D. (2015, September 2015). Facebook vs. Twitter: Which Is Best for Your Brand. Retrieved from http://sproutsocial.com/insights/facebook-vs-twitter/
Patterson, M. (2015, May 4). Social Media Demographics to Inform a Better Segmentation Strategy. Retrieved from http://sproutsocial.com/insights/new-social-media-demographics/
Solis, B. (2010, February 5). The Roles Of Facebook And Twitter In Social Media Marketing. Retrieved from http://www.briansolis.com/2010/02/the-role-of-facebook-and-twitter-in-social-media-marketing/
Statista. (n.d.). Distribution of Instagram users in the United States as of December 2015, by age group. Retrieved from http://www.statista.com/statistics/398166/us-instagram-user-age-distribution/