In the next of our social media marketing guides we provide an introduction to using the photo-sharing sites Pinterest and Instagram for business.  Whilst these are at the forefront of a new wave of social networks showcasing images uploaded by brands, artists and the general public they are often forgotten about when it comes to marketing smaller businesses in favour of the larger more obvious social platforms.

So Why Pinterest?

Pinterest has over 53 million monthly unique users around the world with circa 2.6m of them in the UK (October 2013), of which two thirds are female.  This largely female user base means that fashion and shopping brands in particular, are utilizing the channel as a way to market to their target audience.

Fashion chain Topshop for example collaborated with Pinterest in November to encourage shoppers to “pin” their favourite products from its website to their own Pinterest pages.  This enabled shoppers to create their own personal Pinterest Christmas gift lists.

The retailer then featured the most pinned products on its own website and offered prizes for shoppers who entered their Christmas themed Pinterest Boards into a competition.  They also used giant touch screens in flagship stores in London to promote the most popular products and followed it through with tags on the actual products in the stores.

It can also work for smaller businesses too, particularly those operating in a very visual market such as photographers, artists and designers.  A “verified account” will enable it to link from the Pinterest account to their website as well as add a “Pin It” social sharing button.

There are also a range of “rich” pins which contain additional information that can be used such as the new place pins which include a map, address and phone number or the article pins which include headline, author and story description so that users can find and save content.

And Instagram?

Instagram, owned by Facebook, reportedly has 160 million monthly active users globally who upload 65 million and like a billion photos daily. They also state that users spend three times as long on Instagram as they do on Pinterest and twice as long as Twitter.

There are a number of UK brands using Instagram including Burberry, which used the channel to post live pictures of its fashion shows (including London Fashion Week) and in doing so has grown its Instagram following organically to over one million.

Additionally, Red Bull documented a cliff-diving competition in Wales via Instagram and Jaguar has used the channel to publish a series of short films to promote the launch of the F-Type Coupe.

To find out more about these two social networks or how they could be used to help promote your business download our Free Guide to Pinterest and Instagram or contact the team on 01793 766040.