Pinterest and Instagram

Pinterest and Instagram are both visual tools but they work in very different ways. This week I’m going to run through what the main differences are between the two platforms. I love both, but for different reasons.




Instagram is a great way of getting to know people on a personal level. The point of the platform is to encourage engagement. A lot of people ignore this point and just try to grow followers, thinking that lots of followers will lead to lots of sales. The truth about the platform is that sales come from relationships and you have to gradually build those relationships. It takes a lot of work, but you are building up trust over that time.

Instagram wants you to stay on the platform and talk to people there. It does not encourage you to lead it’s users away from Instagram to try and sell something elsewhere. That is why you can only put a link in your profile biography.


On the flip side, Pinterest wants you to encourage users to click through to their site. It is a visual bookmarking tool so it’s all about saving content to consume right now or at a later date. You have to provide readers enough info from your image and your description so that they know what your content is about and they want to click through. 


Both Instagram and Pinterest have more women than men on their platforms. The percentage difference is much more for Pinterest with 41% of all women who are online compared to just 16% of all men who are online using Pinterest. This is changing with 50% of new Pinterest sign ups coming from men. The same stats for Insatgram are 39% of online women and 16% of online men.

Age is different too, with a younger audience on Instagram than on Pinterest. 64% of online 18 – 29 year olds use Instagram, yet only 10% who are 65+ and online use Instagram. The same stats for Pinterest show 34% of 18 – 29 year olds are on Pinterest and 16% of the 65+ category are using Pinterest.


Link Sharing

As I already suggested, Pinterest encourages link sharing. Pinterest boards are a curated selection of content by lots of content creators based around a specific topic. It is a great tool for users to discover new ideas and new products.

Instagram does not encourage link sharing. Instagram is about creating connections and engagment from within the platform. It is a great tool to build that know, like and trust factor. It is not so great for driving traffic to your website.


Images in Instagram are used to help your audience get to know you and your business. It’s about building trust and sparking conversations. Images that do well are about lifestyle and finding commonalities between you and your audience. I guess that’s why dog and cat pictures do so well.

Pinterest is more like a newspaper. You need to capture someone’s attention with your image.  It is more likely to be a graphic with a headline that sparks curiosity. Not click bate though – you need the content to back up what your headline promises.


Did I already mention that Instagram is all about engagement? Yes, we all know that is what we need on Instagram – but it takes so much time, many of us skip it. I know that if I want people to engage on my posts, that I have to go out and engage with others first. It’s not just going to magically happen, and it’s a major time commitment. It’s also how you get Instagram to work for you.

Pinterest may not require engagement in the typical sense, but it does require collaboration. You get the most out of Pinterest when you share other people’s content along with your own. When you provide lots of useful information to your ideal customers through your boards. That is how you will increase your following and work your way up the Pinterest search results.

I go through how you can optimise all of these factors in my 8 week Pinterest program to help you grow your email list full of your ideal clients.

I also have a freebie with the basic steps that you need to take to start growing your email list with Pinterest.


  1. Jo Stratfull

    This is really useful, thanks. I detest Instagram but know I have to learn to love it – I love Pinterest, but need to up my game on it from a business perspective. Am in the process of having all our products photographed so that I can start using Pinterest much more proactively!

    • Amy

      Thanks Jo, I’m glad you found it useful. If you detest Instagram, you should check out my post from last week because I used to detest it too and I only recently started to enjoy using it.


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