10 differences between Pinterest and Instagram

What's the difference between Pinterest and Instagram?
Most yogis are on Instagram - or know they need to be. Instagram is a great place for yoga teachers to connect with other teachers and students alike. Instagram is also responsible for launching several yogis into the spotlight.
But Pinterest? Most yogis I talk to don't even know where to start.
People keep saying things to me lately like, "I don't understand Pinterest." When someone told me today, "Instagram and Pinterest are like... the same thing, right?" I decided I finally needed to address this with my audience.
On the surface these networks may seem very similar, but they’re quite different, and each can be beneficial to a yogi. Here's how.

Image Design

While both networks are visual, the way in which the visuals are presented vary wildly. Instagram prefers the square format, although recently they allowed users to upload photos that are not square. 
Pinterest prefers vertical images. The taller the better. (900px-2200px tall and 600px wide is ideal)
On Instagram, spend some time staging your shots. Make sure the lighting is right. Make sure the picture quality is good. All the successful yogis on Instagram have photos that are professionally done. And the thing is...you don't have to be a pro to get Instagram worthy images using your iPhone or Android device. You just need to know how to use the device and set up good lighting.

Social Factor

Instagram is more social than Pinterest. You can reply to people, tag people, and really engage with your audience. You can have entire conversations quite easily. If you want to be successful in using Instagram for your business, you *have* to engage and be social.
Pinterest is more of a solo platform. You go on, pin a few things, and then later you can see who repinned, liked, and commented, and follow up. Most people don't comment, and most don't use messages, so having a real sociable conversation on Pinterest is challenging at best.
Instagram is a better place to engage with your audience and build out a community whereas Pinterest is a better place to drive traffic to your site.

Creation vs. Curation

Instagram is a great way to post the behind-the-scenes of your yoga business, what your working on, create and run yoga challenges, and your life in general. It's expected you're mostly posting content you've created.
Pinterest is better for curating sets of images and other content that appeals to you, and most of the time does not belong to you. People expect to find content you have curated on Pinterest.
In short: On Instagram people are expecting to find content from you and about you. On Pinterest people are expecting to discover content that you think is worth sharing.


Instagram is mobile only. While you can browse Instagram from your computer, you can only upload from your iPad, iPhone, or Android device.
Pinterest works on mobile and desktop, and its much easier to use Pinterest from desktop than any of their mobile devices.


Instagram does not let you schedule posts. Posts must be scheduled in real time. There are a couple companies that are trying to get around this, but it's a direct violation of Instagram Terms of Service and can result in your account being suspended.
Pinterest does let you schedule pins through services like Buffer so you don't pin 30 things at once and piss off your audience by flooding their feed. 

Site Traffic

Instagram can drive traffic to your site and leads to your list, but it can be hard to track unless you take the time to set up Instagram specific links and landing pages to drive traffic to. Instagram is not an efficient way to drive traffic.
Pinterest specialises in driving referral traffic. Pinterest is responsible for 82% of the social referral traffic to 42Yogis.com


Instagram does not impact your SEO as it does not build your domain authority or backlinks. The only place to add a link on Instagram is in your bio.
Pinterest does build domain authority and backlinks which helps your Google ranking. At the time of this post I have 14k links to my site from Pinterest. If you are trying to get people to your yoga blog and into your yoga retreats, workshops, classes, etc., then Pinterest is essential.
It's much easier to drive a lot of traffic over a longer period of time from Pinterest. If your pins are good, your pins will continually be brought to the tops of the feeds of people searching a particular topic.


Ads on Instagram are through the Facebook ads manager, whereas Pinterest has their own advertising platform. On Instagram your ads are bound by the same rules as Facebook ads. 
Pinterest for business allows you to apply for something called Rich Pins (basically Twitter cards) that add additional content to the pin. A rich pin for a product listed on Etsy, for example, will have the price and purchase information attached making it easier to get sales.
While rich pins aren't ads directly, having rich pins can more than double clicks to your site from Pinterest.


70% of Pinterest users are female; 56% of users between 18-34.
Men and women are pretty evenly represented on Instagram. Approximately 66% are between 18-34.

Building a Following

In my experience it's easier to build a following on Pinterest. My business has almost 10k followers on Pinterest compared to 1200ish on Instagram, but for others it's easier to build on Instagram. Like most networks building your following depends entirely on how much time you're going to dedicate to the platform. If you spend 30-60 minutes a day on Instagram engaging, you can quickly skyrocket your following (if you have good photos).
You have to ask yourself which network will suit your needs better? You could do both, but I suggest you pick one to focus on so you don't spread yourself too thin. Whichever network you prefer to use, you need to buckle down and be consistent for at least 60 days if you want to see any real traction. 

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