Visual social media, and visual content within social media, has become more important than ever. There are social media channels, such as Instagram or Pinterest, which are solely designed for image or video sharing and connecting with people through visual media. However, even regular social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, have begun putting more and more emphasis on images and visual content as a way to connect with other users.
One of the main ways to utilise and make the most of images on your social media profiles has always been through your profile picture. On every social media channel, this is definitely the most important image, whether on a personal profile or a business page. For businesses, this is the place you attach your company logo, as it’s the first thing that users see of your profile. Your profile picture, for company or personal use, is always attached to your comments and content on any social media channel.
However, there are restraints on your profile picture. Mainly, your profile picture is only capable of revealing a small image connotation of your business’ or personal page. This means that you aren’t able to show as much creativity, or reveal as much information, through your profile picture alone.
Therefore, ever since Facebook developed their Cover Photo, the majority of the other social media channels have followed suit; allowing you to show a large header picture on your separate profiles. As these header images, or cover photos, are the largest image on your profile, this gives you more freedom to reflect your personal profile, or your business page, in a creative way. A header image also gives you a better, and bigger, opportunity to showcase your business or brand through this social media, and reveal more information to your consumers or potential new customers.
At this present time, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and YouTube are the main social media platforms that utilise a header image capability on their pages and profiles. Additionally, LinkedIn has recently started looking into cover image possibilities – allowing their Premium Members (paying members) to add a background photo onto their profiles. LinkedIn states that they will begin rolling this out to non-paying members once they have ensured that it functions correctly (although it will probably be a while, as they will undoubtedly use their cover image as an incentive to become Premium).
The fact that header images now play such a vital role in every main social media platform’s profiles shows how important it is to make the best use of your header image, whether business or personal page. For business purposes, your cover image can be used to convey the message of your brand in more depth, or even to advertise an important feature of your company.
It is also now possible to put a significant amount of text, and create a call to action through your cover image on these social media platforms. This means that there is even more potential to advertise your business through your social media profiles.
Allow us to give you 5 creative examples for how you can make the most of your social media header image or cover photo, in order to enhance and advertise your business!
1. Showcase Your Products Creatively
The most important part of creating a good header image is to focus on the visual aspect. Although your business can now advertise using words and calls to action, one of the most effective ways to showcase your business is through creatively representing your products or services. Take a look at these brands for fun examples:
2. Enhance Your Header Through Your Profile Picture
This is perhaps easier on Facebook, over the other social media channels, and it was more widely used when Facebook first developed their cover images. Although, it is still a fun feature that you can take advantage of. Many brands, and personal profiles, have created funny images through this, and it is still something to look into for your brand’s Facebook profile.
3. Promote New Products, Services or Events
If you have a new product, service or event to advertise, then it’s obvious that you can effectively showcase this through your header image. The image is the biggest on all social media profiles, meaning you have more space to advertise the new product or event, utilising calls to action as well as inviting imagery of the product.
4. Straightforward Call to Action
In a similar way to promoting a new product or event, a straightforward call to action is always a useful and effective way to use your social media header image. Invite your consumers to contact you in some way, or visit your website, or join you on another social media platform. If you utilise them on your website and for your general online presence, then why not use them for your cover image in the same way?
5. Seasonal Celebrations or Promotions
One way of making sure you keep your header image fresh and up to date is through using it to celebrate the changing seasons. With themed headers, your business will look current and on trend. Also, you could utilise the seasons to create seasonal promotions or deals, and advertise this through your cover photo. The only problem with this is you must remember to keep an eye on your header image, and remember that you need to change it at least four times a year – when the seasons change!
Ultimately, just have fun with your cover photos or header images!
Remember that it can be a crucial place to advertise or showcase your business and brand image. Visual social media and marketing is more valued than ever, and all social media users will pay attention to the main header image featured on your profile.
Mainly, however you want to represent your business or personal profile with your cover image, just make sure you utilise it in some way. The majority of business and personal accounts have a header image for all of the social media platforms that use the cover photo function, so it is important that you don’t forget about the header when you create your accounts!
If you would like Bright Yellow Creative to help you optimise your social media profiles through your header image, or any other part of the profile, then contact us today!
We know exactly how to make social media work for your business, so take a look at our social media services here and our excellent price packages breakdown here! Represent your brand effectively through social media now!
Some blame the internet for the widespread usage of brand names used in our everyday language. However, the usage of brand names as everyday terms, verbs and nouns is nothing new. There are a lot of brands that we all use in everyday conversation without thinking about it, or perhaps without even realising it’s a brand.
The fact that so many brands can go basically unnoticed in our modern language and accepted lexicon definitely signifies how powerful they have become. However, it is uncertain whether a brand name becoming an everyday term is a good or bad thing.
Many claim that obviously it is the utmost praise for that brand, as it has now become a representative and synonymous for that particular product. However, there are certainly downsides, especially when you consider that colloquialising brand names causes the brand to lose its whole identity.
Benefits of Verbalising Brands
There is no disputing the fact that brands still aspire to become a common term, verb or noun. For example, many online websites, services and social media crave the Google effect, aiming mainly to become verbalised in that way.
One well-known example of an online branded service that certainly aspired to the Google effect is rival search engine Bing. Microsoft brought out Bing in 2009, and started attempting to gain the success and notoriety of Google. Google has become synonymous with online search engines, and is the biggest used.
Bing was launched with the intention to become a verb in the way that Google has. Microsoft CEO and Bing creator, Steve Ballmer, claimed they named Bing as such because it is an easy term to use for searching. He claimed that people would naturally say “Bing it”, in the same way of the common “Google it”. Microsoft launched a whole advertising and marketing campaign revolving around the term, and trying to get it colloquialised. Well… we all know how well that turned out.
However, Bing’s attempt does signify the majority of brand aspirations towards verbalising their brand, or having their brand become a noun. Simply because the branded product or service would gain more recognition from becoming an everyday term. Also, what greater public acknowledgement than for your brand to become synonymous with that particular product or service?
We did our own “Bing it On”… Sorry Bing.
Cons of Brand Colloquialisation
Although we praise the verbalisation of brand names as everyday terms, and can see the positives in a Google effect, there are no denying the cons. Also, is it really all that good for a brand to become synonymous with a product or service?
If you think of many of the brands that have become common nouns, the majority of people forget that the term is an actual branded name. Becoming a noun or verb does force the brand into losing their individual brand identity, which they must have worked so hard to create initially. This means that their brand ultimately loses all meaning and becomes generalised.
Consequently, the most disappointing result of brands becoming generalised is that the majority of people don’t actually use the brand they are claiming to use. If we think of the Sellotape example: how many of us are simply purchasing the cheaper alternate sticky tape, but still calling it Sellotape?
A few examples of brands that have become common nouns are: Hoover, Chapstick, Tupperware and Post-Its. In the office, we are all agreed that, despite using these terms frequently, we don’t necessarily use those specific products. However, does this really impact negatively on their success all that much?
Also, there are many brands that are commonly used in households, that haven’t become nouns or verbalised at all. It is inexplicable to understand how certain products and services become colloquial terms, while others don’t, but achieve similar success.
If you consider the term Hoover – it is widely used as a term for vacuuming, whereas the success of alternate vacuuming products has signified that many actually no longer use the Hoover. Conversely, the creator of Dyson, James Dyson, has stated several times that his main goal and ambition is to get Dyson verbalised. Dyson has certainly become a massively successful brand of vacuums, although many are using his product and still calling it Hoovering.
Brand Power and Future Aspiration
Considering that the goal for many widely known brands is to become verbalised or a noun does suggest that the pros for becoming a colloquialised brand far outweighs the cons. Also, the brands that have become everyday terms are the most successful, and have gained that success previously, whether people are currently using them in conversation without buying the products, or not. They are still widespread, renowned, and commonly acknowledged.
The notoriety of these brands makes them known all around the world, despite language barriers, which certainly emphasises the power of brands. No matter your stance on whether colloquialising brands is a good or bad thing, there is no denying that the ability to connect languages and countries is highly powerful. Branding is simply one of the most renowned and powerful advertising and marketing tools of all time.
Here at Bright Yellow Creative, we have been working out the brand names that we use in our everyday language. The realisations are definitely surprising! There are so many brand names that we use so commonly, it is strange to remember that they actually only should connote to that one brand. Try and think of brand names that you use in regular conversations – there are more than you first think!
While you’re thinking of your favourite, well-known brands, take a look at our article about logos here, and how important they are in creating and enforcing a brand!
Bright Yellow Creative are pros at all things branding, and digital marketing. Check out our services here for how we can create a bespoke brand identity for your business!
The basic definition of a logo (which is actually an abbreviation of the word ‘logotype’) is known as a graphic mark, emblem or a symbol used to aid and promote instant public recognition. All sorts of businesses, products and organisations commonly use logos currently. The logo helps create and boost a brand based around the business or organisation, and usually reflects the brand ethics and what the organisation stands for. Logos are also usually trademarked in order to avoid copies and brand convolution.
Logos are arguably the most important part of a brand’s image, as it is usually the first image that comes to mind when consumers think of the business or product. However, the fact that logos are such an important facet of a business or organisation does add pressure to creating the logo. It needs to be original, eye-catching, and represent all factors of your brand fully. There are so many examples of bad logos or logos that somewhat missed the mark (London 2012 Olympics anyone?), and you certainly don’t want to make your logo busy enough that consumers can mistake it for anything unintended.
Here at Bright Yellow Creative, we love logos and discovering the evolution and history behind their creation. The three of us have therefore come up with three of our absolute favourite logo designs to give you effective examples of how logos really work!
Emma, Digital Brand Manager
I love the Amazon logo, not only because it uses our favourite colour of yellow but because of elements that make up the logo.
It’s such a simple and clean design, but I love the fact that the arrow detail is actually showing that Amazon provide everything from A to Z, as well as having a curve that looks like a smile. This detail apparently represents the smile left on a customers face (!), but I like to think it is just gives the feeling of happiness, which is important for any retail business, online or offline.
This famous arrow was incorporated in 2000, brilliantly replacing the simple yellow line that was featured underneath the word previously. This feature was added to symbolise how a consumer could truly find everything on Amazon.com. The arrow / smile is particularly effective as it is recognizable today on its own, without the wording supplementing it, which really reflects how bold and beneficial this has been to their Amazon brand.
Amazon as a company was established in 1994, and first went online in 1995. The company quickly expanded, becoming one of the biggest online retailers today. And, throughout Amazon’s continued growth and domination of the online retail market, they have kept this simple but effective logo relatively the same. This really shows how great a design it actually is.
Yasmin, Assistant Brand Manager
I love the Coca-Cola logo, as it is definitely one of the most recognisable brands of all time, sold all around the world.
Coca-Cola was invented in 1886 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Columbus, Georgia, and since then the product, brand and logo have developed massively. The first logo looked really basic, consisting of capitals spelling out the words, which lasted a year until they reinvented the logo in 1887 to look similar to the one we know and recognise today. This famous script is called Spencerian, although in this early version the script would often vary depending on the application.
Since then, the Coca-Cola logo hasn’t experienced a drastic change, and has stayed consistent to the attractive swirled font. The next major change included the incorporation of the famous white wave, which has stayed with the logo since 1969. The wave was first known as the ‘Dynamic Ribbon Device’, and was based on reflecting the unique contour of their bottles.
The evolution of Coca-Cola to simply being known as Coke was also a change based on their logo design. In the 1960s, the word Coke made a slight appearance in an advertising campaign called “Things Go Better With Coke”. However, the generation of Coke as the used logo on bottles and cans wasn’t fully incorporated until 1985-87. This seems to be in relation to the creation of Diet Coke, which was invented in 1982, and uses the same style and font for the word ‘Coke’ as the one used for Coca-Cola around this time.
After 1987, Coca-Cola returned to its traditional name and swirled logo, although the brand utilised the word Coke underneath their traditional logo until 2002. After this, they finally dropped the word ‘Coke’ from the logo, returning to the uniquely refreshing design we appreciate today.
Carly, Assistant Brand Manager
My favourite logo has to be the Nike ‘Swoosh’, not only for the simplicity of the design, which is why it has become so well-known, but for the story behind it.
The founder Phil Knight was supplementing his income from “Blue Ribbon Sports Inc” (the name of the company before it became Nike), which was started in 1960, by teaching an accounting class at Portland State University. On his way to a meeting regarding the company, he came across a graphic design student in the hallway working on an assignment and asked her if she’d design artwork for the meeting. After this, in 1971, he asked her to design a shoe stripe for Nike that suggested movement, and the ‘swoosh’ was one of her design ideas.
The ‘swoosh’ is said to replicate the wing of the Greek Goddess of Victory as pictured to the left. Knight said that the ‘swoosh’ didn’t capture his imagination but as his time was running low he grabbed the ‘swoosh’ design and said: “I don’t love it, but it will grow on me.” The designer was only paid $35 for her original design, although, due to the massive rise of Nike and the brand’s renowned ‘swoosh’, she has since been paid greatly in company stocks.
Since the first ‘swoosh’ of 1971, where the word Nike was placed over the ‘swoosh’, they have revamped twice. Once in 1978, when they bolded and capitalised the word Nike, and placed it on top of the ‘swoosh’. And finally in 1995, they dropped the word Nike from their logo altogether, showing the strength of the ‘swoosh’ design that we all know and recognise today. It is simple, but a brilliantly effective logo that truly transformed Nike as a company.
So, what makes a good logo?
We believe that in creating a logo you should stick to a few basic rules.
Firstly, the logo must be simple. There is nothing worse than a busy logo, with so much going on that it makes it difficult for a consumer’s eye to focus on anything. It can be tempting to try and put every good idea into your logo, but we must stress that this would cause your target consumer to glaze over the image and not take any of it in. The best, and most recognisable, logos are the simple ones. This also leads to allowing your logo to become timeless, and not feel affected by any current trends or modern styles.
The third, and final, point is that your logo should be appropriate. When creating your logo, we advise that you sit down and think about your business’ values and ethics, and what you would like to represent as a brand. Then, when you come up with an image that you’d like to project to consumers, stick to it! Try and convey your brand in the simplest way possible, and use appropriate colours, images or fonts to represent yourself effectively.
What do you think about logos, and what are your favourite examples?
Has this inspired you to get creative with, or think differently about, yours?
Messaging apps have been having a moment recently. From picture messaging to unusual messaging you never thought you needed, such as Yo and Meow Chat, there seems to be an endless supply of message apps with new ways to chat and connect with your friends. So, it’s not surprising to be introduced to a new image based messaging app, to rival Snapchat, Mirage, Slingshot and more, created by Instagram.
About Facebook-Owned Instagram
Instagram is currently a highly popular phone app and social media service, which allows users to upload and edit their own photos or videos to share with their followers. It creates a unique profile for each user, consisting of their photos, and allows users to easily follow other users to gain their image updates in their Instagram feed. The app debuted in 2010, and amassed such a following that Facebook instantly purchased the app for $1billion in the same year. (See our Instagram social media services for what we could offer your business here.)
The main feature of the social media channel is that it allows you to filter your photos and videos, and create interesting edits. However, up till now, the channel has been rather unsocial for communicating with other users and your followers, as you are currently only able to comment on or like other peoples’ images, and respond on your own images. This seems to be all about to change with Instagram’s new app, which is designed for direct messaging with other users.
Instagram’s new messaging app is called Bolt.
Bolt basically allows users to send self-deletable photos and videos from their mobile phones, through this messaging service. The unique selling point relies on needing just one click to select the user to send your image, and to take your photo and send it, all in one. Similarly, for videos, you just click and hold down for longer. Bolt basically shows photos of your contacts as round avatars at the bottom of the app screen, and clicking on one contact will automatically take a snapshot and send it, requiring you to hold down longer on the contact for a video. If you are worried about accidental sends through this process, then don’t worry as an extra feature includes being able to shake your phone in order to delete a photo or video that has been sent straight away.
Bolt is Efficient
Instagram states that the speed of Bolt makes all the difference, and provides a much quicker and more efficient way to send images and videos. Another effective feature, they claim, is that Bolt only requires a quick registration of entering your mobile number, and you can get started. With Bolt, you are able to sync your contacts through the phone numbers you have saved in your phone, although you are strangely unable to sync contacts through either your Instagram or Facebook contacts.
However, at the moment, users are only able to access a maximum of 20 contacts through this app, with 4 favourites on the main screen, and an easy swipe through function to access the other 16. Also, the focus is very much on one-to-one communication, as users are currently restricted to sending their image or video to one person at a time. Although, Bolt has introduced some interesting features, including allowing users to edit and caption the photos sent, and an option to reply to their contacts with text overlaid over the previously sent image.
Too Much Visual Messaging Competition?
Bolt seems interesting enough, but is there too much competition and similar applications already out there on the market? Is it different enough? For example, even Facebook itself, who owns Instagram and Bolt, have recently brought out Slingshot image messaging. The Slingshot app includes the unique point that users can only view a photo they have been sent after they respond with another, as well as including a send to all function. Also, the Yo chat founder has recently brought out a rival in Mirage, a picture service that has already gained widespread comparisons for being highly similar in function to Bolt.
Another critique that Instagram’s Bolt has faced so far is in the name, as it is directly the same as an Android application. This previous Bolt is a service dedicated to replacing traditional voice calling and text messaging through current phone plans. They have reached out to Instagram asking them to reconsider the Bolt name, in order to maintain their brand, but have yet to receive a response. Yet, it is highly unlikely that Instagram will change it.
Bolt: Flipping the Concept
Instagram simply doesn’t seem at all put off by the competition or any critiques, including featuring as similar to any current photo and video messaging apps out there. An Instagram spokesman has already commented: “When Instagram itself launched four years ago, we weren’t the first photo filter app. Our tradition is that we look at a space and create a super simple, pretty experience to fit it.”
The Instagram app certainly gained mass popularity rapidly, and it seems that they are hoping Bolt will follow suit. Instagram claims that they are fully behind and support Bolt completely, and hope this will flip the whole concept of image based communication and photo sharing on its head.
If you already can’t wait to download Bolt and send images to your 20 favourites to your heart’s content, unfortunately you will have to wait a little longer. Currently, Bolt has only been released in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa. Bolt intends on expanding into other countries soon, although a date has not been confirmed. The release has been rather quiet so far, but perhaps this is a logical approach intended to scale the experience.
As Bright Yellow Creative are an office full of current Instagram devotees, we definitely anticipate the release! We are excited to witness what Bolt really has to offer.
The key word in social media marketing is the emphasis on “social”. In its most basic description, social media marketing is simply word-of-mouth, powered by technology. Social media networks have been engineered as the modern way to connect people, build relationships, and assist social interactions. It is easy to share information and current content with your friends, family and coworkers, and the vast majority of people presently have at least one social media platform where they connect and interact with others.
The fact that so many people are involved in social media means that it has become an essential platform for all sorts of businesses to attract consumers and drive their business. Social media gives your business a place to communicate with your customers, and expand the widespread reach and knowledge about your specific services and products. It allows you a brilliant platform to create and expand a brand for your business, which is essential in every form of marketing.
The main downfall of businesses on social media is that many assume social media marketing is only worthwhile and successful for small businesses, or new companies that are starting out. This couldn’t be more incorrect, and there are many searchable examples of leading brands that have been boosted by successful social media marketing campaigns. However, saying that, it is a great opportunity for smaller businesses and those starting out to get their services and products made known by a wider audience online. Although, it is crucial to continue your presence on social media after you have reached a level of business success and recognition.
The Many Platforms
When getting started with social media marketing for your business, there are such a variety of social media platforms, meaning it can be difficult to navigate and decide which channel would be right for you. All of the varied social media seem to offer similar services, with slight differences and methods of getting your desired consumer attention. However, usually they fit into 3 categories, which are: word-based, image-based, and video-based platforms, generally:
- Word-Based Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn
- Image-Based Social Media – Pinterest, Instagram
- Video-Based Social Media – YouTube, Vine
However, a few of these categories do overlap, and most contribute a combination of images and text, with opportunities to upload videos from platforms, such as YouTube. Yet, although there are similarities between a few of the various social media channels, there are often distinct differences between the audiences that each platform reaches. The audience is often the pivotal reason to choose a certain social media network, as it all depends on the types of consumers you would like to reach for your business. Each business should have a certain kind of consumer in mind, and cater to that consumer through their branding and marketing.
If you are still having difficulty deciding, then start with the most populated social media channels. The most popular social media platform that has the biggest audience potential is unarguably Facebook, with approximately 1 billion users worldwide, and an average user share of 2.5 billion pieces of content every day. Facebook is definitely the place to start advertising and marketing your business and brand image. Also, the network makes it easy to start up your own company page and allows your personal Facebook profile to maintain the page as admin. Another positive of Facebook is that it’s the main network with a wide variety of user demographics, including users of all age and genre very equally.
If you search for the majority of companies and brands on Facebook, you will find a page for them, as it is the prominent network. However, this doesn’t mean that Facebook is necessarily the best for promoting your business and gaining success and sales quickly. This is why other brands expand onto other social media platforms, and try to gain as much exposure and consumer reach as possible.
If it is more effective and beneficial for your business and brand expansion to diversify onto many various social media accounts, then how can these networks be best handled? There are a few alternating thoughts about how to make the most of the separate networks. For example, some believe that it is beneficial to put different information on the various channels, as the same people who follow you on one social media network may well follow you on your other ones. Therefore, making sure that you share different, interesting content on all of the different channels may well be helpful.
However, the other thought is to share consistent content over most of your social media, to help with business and brand continuity. This seems to be more of an accurate way to go about social media marketing, and makes sure that all of your online audience and consumers can see what you are posting. Also, it seems to be the case that various demographics use different social media platforms, so sharing similar relevant content over all of your social media channels will invariably reach different consumers.
Successful Social Media Marketing Campaign
If you are still wondering about the success of social media marketing, and how it can help your business benefit, then there are so many good, fun examples to be found online! Here is one UK example that you will probably remember and appreciate:
One of the biggest successes in 2013 revolved around Three Mobile and their dancing pony. The campaign was based on a television advert about a Shetland pony moon walking across the countryside to the sound of “Everywhere” by Fleetwood Mac, which really grasped viewers’ attentions. The advert ended with the hashtag #danceponydance, which then sparked the attention online and over social media. The video went viral right away, and consumers utilised their hashtag all over Facebook and mainly Twitter. The video went up on YouTube, and achieved 1.5 million views in the first week, and currently it has gained around 10 million views to date.
Three Mobile’s campaign also included a second part, which was entirely online, and revolved around their ‘Pony Mixer’: dressing up your own pony and picking a song for the pony to dance to. The whole campaign lasted precisely 17 days, and over this period the results are clear: 1.3 million ponies generated on the Pony Mixer, 190,000 Tweets using #danceponydance, and a total of 100 million overall consumer impressions. However, the results are not just online, as the positive sentiment of the brand increased by approximately 67%, whereas Three had previously had quite a negative public impression before. This undoubtedly led to a greater success for the UK mobile network, through public perception and knowledge of the brand alone.
Why Choose Social Media?
Ultimately, all companies and businesses utilise social media in some way, and you don’t have to put on a massive marketing campaign in order to get noticed and help your brand awareness. Sometimes, the most effective social media marketing is just making sure that your social media feeds are kept up to date with relevant, fun posts and information for your consumers.
One example of continued success over social media is the brand of Oreo, which is an American biscuit. Oreo simply focuses on sharing created images over their feeds, mainly utilising Twitter and Instagram. They create images that are similar to adverts, but can be shared easily and more cost effectively online. A particular successful image they created and shared was during the 2013 Superbowl, at the time of the blackout. They created a real-time social media stunt and generated a fun, relevant image, with the tagline “you can still dunk in the dark”. This was both witty and effective, and immediately gained mass sharing over social media. Their Twitter and Instagram feeds are full of funny and shareable images that relevantly advertise the brand.
Many businesses understand the role of social media marketing, and how it can be cost effective and make huge gains for their brand awareness and all round sales. However, if you are stuck for time to effectively handle your business’ social media feeds and marketing campaigns, this is where Bright Yellow Creative Group can help!
We can handle multiple social media feeds for your business, and share fresh, interesting content over all of the channels. This will allow you to focus on your business alone and creating your brilliant products and service, with the ease of knowing that your social media networks are all taken care of. Social media marketing simply needs a lot of focus and an everyday presence in order to connect with viewers successfully, and be utilised in a beneficial way to improve your business and sales figures.
Bright Yellow Creative offers several varied social media marketing packages, which will include as many social media accounts, and as much brand-related, fresh, original content that you would like. Utilise your social media beneficially, and allow it to work for you, creating mass brand awareness that will directly increase your consumer base. Take a look at our bespoke social media services here!
We will boost your brand, starting now! Contact us here today for more details!
Social media marketing has become more important than ever, with visual social media taking the lead on the traditional text-based channels. The majority of social media platforms utilise imagery and videos to boost their content, however the most effective way to make the most of visual marketing is through social media channels that generate imagery and videos specifically.
As far as video based, YouTube takes the clear lead as the main go-to for videos relating to all sorts of purposes, including brand marketing. Although there are other video based platforms available, including Vine and Vimeo, the niche isn’t as competitive. However, with regards to image based social media, there appear to be two distinct platforms, which seem similar in offering identical services. These two options are Instagram and Pinterest. These channels often make businesses feel torn with regards to which one to choose to promote their brand.
We will discuss the main points of interest for both platforms, and see how Instagram and Pinterest compare. Therefore, hopefully working out which visual platform would be most beneficial to boost your brand.
Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media networks, currently weighing in with approximately 70 million regular users. Also, Pinterest is unique in offering an audience that is predominantly female at a majority of approximately 68%, with the largest gender difference of any other social media channel. Pinterest users also tend to be slightly older in general, with the core demographic being 18-34 year olds.
In comparison, Instagram has a phenomenal 200 million active and regular users, with approximately 45 million photos shared and 1 billion photos “liked” every day. Males and females are more evenly represented on the platform, although females just take the majority at 55% of the users. The application is also most popular with younger users, and has the same core demographic of 18-34 year olds as Pinterest. However, this core demographic is far bigger, making up nearly 70% of users. Also, the popularity drops dramatically with regards to older users. Interestingly, the most popular (or “liked”) brand on Instagram at this moment is the official MTV account, which perhaps sums up the target audience within Instagram quite accurately.
As far as user engagement, Instagram far outweighs the engagement rate of Pinterest, possibly due to the fact that Instagram has over double the amount of active users. Additionally, Instagram’s user engagement has over 50 times the engagement rate of Facebook, as well as 20 times the engagement of Twitter, according to recent research. With regards to Instagram vs. Pinterest: two thirds of Instagram users use the channel everyday, whereas only one quarter of Pinterest users use the network daily.
However, as far as accessibility goes for both Instagram and Pinterest, Instagram does seem to be more difficult to access, as the platform is only currently available through a phone application. Although Instagram makes it possible to view the site online on a computer, you are limited in what you can do on the computer. You can create an Instagram account on your computer, as well as search for users and view public profiles, and choose whether to follow or unfollow other users. It is also possible to engage with other users and brands, as you can like and comment on content freely from a computer platform. However, it isn’t possible to view who users follow, or other users who are following them. And, more importantly, the platform doesn’t allow you to upload content from your computer, including profile pictures, and the only way you can edit your profile online on a computer is through changing your written profile bio.
With regards to Pinterest and accessibility, you are able to fully access and create a Pinterest account using your computer online solely. It is also possible to get a Pinterest application for your phone, where you can generate pictures and other users’ content in a similar way to Instagram, however this is not necessary in order to get the most out of the platform. Conversely, Pinterest works better used from your computer, and allows you an interesting platform to view other users’ images and content. Pinterest looks aesthetically like an online pin board, and lets you easily view and curate other users’ content onto your own Pinterest boards. In this way, it appears far more accessible than Instagram, and you can engage with the platform easier than if it were mainly on a phone application.
With regards to content, this is where the two are most dissimilar, surprisingly. At first look, it appears the content would be practically identical, as they are both visual social media channels that generate images mainly. However, the main difference is in the content you can generate onto your personal and business Pinterest and Instagram accounts. Specifically, Instagram promotes original content, and encourages users to create photos that they can edit with filters and other photo altering tools on the application. Whereas Pinterest allows users to curate other users’ content onto their own profiles as they wish, so long as they keep the sources.
On Instagram, the platform is based on uploading your own content, which can either be a photo that you have already taken on your phone, or the user can take a photo directly through the application. There are many options to put filters over the images, to enhance them or make them look a certain way, as well as other editing tools. However, with Instagram, it isn’t possible to re-post, or generate any content that belongs to other users, and the stress is very much on fresh, original user-created content. Therefore, the main way you can interact with other users is through “liking” their images, or commenting.
Pinterest is therefore slightly different in its content generation. On Pinterest, you are allowed to “re-pin” other users’ content: in fact, the majority of posts on Pinterest are “re-pins” from other content, or from outside websites. You are also able to upload your own original content, however there isn’t as much emphasis on this. Also, there aren’t any tools or plugins for editing or altering your images, and the upload method is quite simple. If you wanted to upload content onto Pinterest, they give you the option to Pin from outside websites, via the URL, or upload from content on your computer. Some outside websites also make their images able to be “Pinned” straight from their pages, and add a “hover-on” button, which appears when you pass your mouse over the image.
One of the main pros of using Pinterest for your business, rather than Instagram, is that you can utilise linkbuilding far more easily and efficiently on Pinterest. The majority of the images on Pinterest are links, and when you click on the image it takes you to the website source. Therefore, when you upload your own original content, you can include link backs to your website and business. This also makes it a lot easier to upload written blog articles from your site, as you can “Pin” the main image from your website, and add the description, so that the image links back to the article. This makes it a lot easier to find your article and website, and improves the number of links you have built.
Pinterest is one of the main social media channels that can create the most referrals and links to your website, and studies have shown that the network often generates more referrals than Twitter, for example. It is easy to see why, as each image has a website link and source behind the content. Also on Pinterest, they allow you to include a large description to accompany your image, and often it is featured just as important as the image itself.
This is completely different to the feature of links and linkbuilding on Instagram. On Instagram, the images aren’t able to have a link source when you click on them, either on the phone application or the website. Also, if you add a link into the description, you are only able to click on this on their phone application currently. This is similar to their use of hashtags – they only work on the application, and don’t come up as links on the website at all. So, you would only capable of copy and pasting the link if you were on the website. This means that Instagram doesn’t add to your business as far as linkbuilding, and isn’t classed as a very impressive referral site.
In conclusion, in the debate of whether Instagram or Pinterest is more effective for your business, there doesn’t seem to be an exclusively clear winner.
Both Instagram and Pinterest are popular photo-based platforms, with similar audiences who are interested in attractive, original content. Also, they are both great for sharing your visual social media, including images and videos, in order to effectively showcase and attract interest to your business and brand. However, for people who believe that they are inherently similar, that is not entirely true, as there are clear differences between them. They have completely different pros and cons and can’t fully compare, as their uses are quite conflicting.
Instagram has more users, and is more focused on original, fresh content, whereas Pinterest is more accessible from various platforms and is more beneficial towards linkbuilding and generating website referrals. Basically, it completely depends on your needs and requirements as a business, as to which one to choose. Or, if you are still stuck with your decision – choose both!
If you would like to learn more about both Pinterest and Instagram as social media channels, and how they can benefit and support your business, please take a look at our social media services here! (Additionally: more details about Instagram here, and more about Pinterest here!)
Bright Yellow Creative can help improve your visual social media marketing, which will boost your business and brand!
So, if you would like us to help you by setting up, or monitoring and adding to, your Pinterest or Instagram account for your business, please contact us here today!