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Social Media Marketing for Business

Vivek Patel


February 25, 2016

3 Ways to Leverage Pinterest and Instagram for Effective Brand Building

February 25, 2016 | By | No Comments">No Comments

Effective Brand Building

Every year, the number of social media channels is multiplying. And, each one of them caters to a different audience and engages them in a different way. The way people interact on each of these platforms is unique. But, to harness the potential of social media marketing, you first need to have an effective social media campaign.

One marketing trend that cannot be overlooked is the growing dominance of visual content. According to a report by Social Media Examiner, 3000 marketers agreed that visual content is the future of marketing. The increasing popularity of newer social media vehicles, such as Instagram and Pinterest, are a clear indication that the way viewers consume content is changing radically.

The rise of visual social media platforms

Instagram and Pinterest have emerged as major drivers of customer engagement for various brands. The number of users on these platforms doubled between 2012 and 2015, says a new study. To have a better idea about the popularity of these social media channels, let’s take a look at the below statistics:


Almost 31% of the internet population uses Pinterest; this visual platform is dominated mostly by women (44% of online women users) and 37% of users under the age of 50 are likely to be using Pinterest. This photo sharing site is largely used by brands selling jewelry or clothing or other products that cater to the female demographic, since that is the majority user base. Pinterest is also the 2nd largest platform to drive traffic worldwide.


Instagram has 400 million monthly active users. Around 28% of Internet users are on Instagram; just like Pinterest, this platform is also dominated by women – 31% compared to 24% for men. Instagram is also more popular among non-whites. Furthermore, studies reveal that Instagram offers 10 times better engagement as compared to other social platforms.


With these figures in mind, any seasoned social media marketer knows that it’s necessary to leverage these visual platforms to improve branding.

What’s all this buzz about visual content?

Social media marketing services are focusing more on visual content since it improves brand awareness, engagement, and overall user experience. Visual content in the form of infographics, photos, memes, and videos have an immense impact on the way people consume information online.

If you are still wondering why you should re-consider your company’s online marketing plan, take a look at this:

  • The fastest growing social media channels are visual-based – Globalwebindex
  • By 2018, more than 84% of communication will be visual – Reuters, Cisco Report
  • Posts including images produce 650% higher engagement compared to regular text posts – Adobe
  • Posts that have videos attract 3 times more inbound links compared to plain text posts – Moz

This is only the tip of the iceberg; there’s plenty of data to indicate that the future of marketing is truly ‘visual’. For some more info concerning visual statistics just take a look at this infographic.

A number of companies have benefited immensely (in terms of user engagement and improved following) by running campaigns on the most popular visual social media channels – Instagram and Pinterest. Let’s take a look at some examples:

A small start-up company, Bloom & Wild, that offers a letterbox flower delivery service, grew exponentially with help of their innovative digital marketing strategies. The company launched an advertising campaign on Instagram in an attempt to reach a wider audience. The response was amazing and the results were outstanding – their sales increased by 62%, there was more engagement & publicity, and the company experienced a major growth of their customer base.


Another company, Applebee’s, leveraged their #Fantographer campaign by urging their customers to tag pictures of their favorite meals and win a chance to get their photos featured on Applebee’s official Instagram account. The result: a 32% increase in their following and 25% more engagement.

3 ways to leverage Pinterest and Instagram for brand building

1. Use the right hash tags

Your main aim should be to improve your engagement along with your following. To improve engagement, you need to share new, high-quality, engaging photos with your viewers. However, to improve your ‘fan following’ you need to use the right and most relevant hash tags.

Hashtagging your pictures makes it easier for people to find your photos while searching for something specific. You need to do some in-depth keyword research to find relevant hashtags that are popular on Instagram and Pinterest and also describe your brand. For example: hashtags like #mensfashion or #mensfashionpost, have maximum popularity.

Nike used hashtags in the perfect way to engage their customers for their winter campaign ‘Choose Your Winter’ (#chooseyourwinter). By launching the campaign at the right time and using the right hashtag, Nike was able to gain substantial ground on Instagram.

2. Involve your customers

Encourage user generated content to strengthen your customer relationships and always have something new to post on your official accounts. You can harness the potential of user generated content on both Pinterest and Instagram.

You can ask your followers on Pinterest to upload their pins just as Ben and Jerry’s did. Ben and Jerry’s “Fan Photos” campaign features photos from a baby’s first ice cream to fans enjoying a scoop on the beach and a lot more.


Instagram also allows you to encourage your followers to contribute visual content. For instance, Whole Foods Market uses #WFMwine when posting photos of their offerings and allows their followers to upload photos and tag them to show their love and loyalty for their products.

3. Post on the right day and at the right time

Are you posting compelling images and videos on Pinterest and Instagram, but still not seeing much user engagement? You might be wasting your resources by posting them at the wrong time or day of the week. As we said earlier, users engage with social media channels uniquely, so you need to identify the right day and time to engage with your customers.

For Pinterest, the best day to pin is Saturday and the best time is between 2 AM and 4 AM, and again between 8 PM and 11 PM. The best times may vary for specific industries; for instance, the best time to post for fashion and retail is on Friday at 3 PM.

For Instagram, engagement is fairly consistent throughout the week, but it surges to some extent on Mondays and goes down slightly on Sundays. Around 22.5 followers out of 1000 interacted with videos posted by Fortune 500 companies during work hours as compared to 33.4 followers out of 1000 during off hours.

A final thought

As Pinterest and Instagram continue to grow, it is important for your brand to harness the potential of these visual channels. Every shift in consumer behavior brings along new opportunities as well as challenges. By leveraging new visual platforms, you can humanize your brand and build stronger customer relationships. Forward thinking brands have already started leveraging Pinterest and Instagram to their own advantage and its time that you start as well.

Vivek Patel


Vivek Patel is a Local Search Specialist at E2M, one of the fastest growing digital marketing agencies based in India committed to meeting the highest ethical standards of digital marketing services to encourage and drive strategic and sustainable business growth. He covers local search optimization and social media management services. You can find him on twitter: @vivekrpatel