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Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman

Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman

Aliza Sherman is a news media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.
Sherman has received recognition for her role as an entrepreneur focused on women's issues, particularly women's role in the news media industry and their participation on the Internet.

Getting More Visual With Pinterest and Instagram

Getting More Visual With Pinterest and Instagram

The two popular social networks known for their use of visuals are Instagram and Pinterest. Any social media marketer will tell you that while content is important, visuals are the key to getting people’s attention in over-crowded social media news feeds. While digital video is taking off and becoming more popular than ever, creating and curating compelling images is important for any social media marketing effort.

What makes Instagram and Pinterest different from other top social networks such as Facebook or Twitter?

They were both created for sharing photos and images as the main way of communicating. Facebook allows photo uploads, and images are an important part of Facebook Page posting, however, Instagram and Pinterest are more about the images – and telling your story through visuals – than words.

How do Instagram and Pinterest differ from one another?

A major difference between Instagram and Pinterest is that Instagram does not allow links out to other sites from your posts while Pinterest consists of images that are associated with links to websites. The only link you can make “clickable” on Instagram is the one in your profile.

Instagram is more about sharing images from your day-to-day life – or in the case of a company, your day-to-day and behind-the-scenes moments of running your business, creating and selling your products, going places, meeting people, engaging in activities like attending trade shows or making a presentation. Instagram is mostly about sharing your own images although you can “regram” or repost other people’s images, too.

Pinterest is more about “pinning” or saving images you find online although you are able to upload images – “pins” – that you’ve created as well. You can also pin images from your own website to help drive traffic to your site. So Instagram lets people know more about your brand through your own images and Pinterest reveals more about your brand by what you share from others.

What types of images should you use on Instagram versus Pinterest?

Brightly lit and colorful images tend to work best on both Instagram and Pinterest as do images with text on them – or “quote images,” also called “memes.” For Instagram, lifestyle images work well as do both vista photographs, photos of people and close up details of objects including products and food. You can also create collages made up of several images using an app such as Layout.

In terms of dimensions, Instagram used to only allow square images, reminiscent of Polaroid photos, and those are still the image shapes that dominate the Instagram feed. Ideal square size is 1080x1080 pixels to accommodate all screens sizes and types, but smaller sizes down to about 640x640 pixels still work. Vertical image dimensions are 1080x1350 pixels and horizontal images should be 1080x566 pixels.

On Pinterest, images at least 600 pixels wide will work, and you can upload square, horizontal or vertical images. Pinterest pushes vertical images at a 1:2.8 aspect ratio. Longer images do really well on Pinterest, and you can use those to show step-by-step “how to” demonstrations. If you’re a florist, you could create long images with photos showing how to create simple flower arrangements. If you’re a clothing store, you could show different looks with the same scarf. Fashion, food and beverage images are very popular on Pinterest as well as home décor and crafting.

Keep in mind that many people use Instagram to live vicariously through others while they tend to use Pinterest to save items they might like to refer to or purchase later. Brides use Pinterest to plan their weddings, people redecorating their homes use it to pick products and designs, and travelers plan their trips on Pinterest then document it during and after on Instagram.

Understanding not only the value of using images in social media but also the types of images that work best on each social network can make a big difference in both the appearance and effectiveness of your posts. Remember: In addition to images, both Instagram and Pinterest let you post video by creating or uploading to Instagram and linking to online video on Pinterest. But don’t stop posting quality images in favor of video. Post a variety of images and video to keep people’s interest.

Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman

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