Pinterest is not like Facebook and Instagram
Chances are, Pinterest has entered the conversation for your digital marketing strategy or for lead generation. One of the most common questions we get is that people confuse Pinterest with a social network.
Does this blog post clear it up? Let us know in the comments!
What is a social network?
A social network as a platform in which you’re being on the platform is predicated around other people that you know being on it. What is the value of Facebook if none of your friends are on it?
What is the value of Instagram if none of your friends are on it?
The value is fairly low because a social network exists in order to allow you to digitally keep up with what your friends are doing and how they are doing. A social network is only as valuable as your network is on it.
So, if Facebook did not have all of your friends on it, Facebook would not be valuable. That is different from google.
You do not care how many of your friends use Google versus how many of them use Bing versus how many of them use DuckDuckGo.
A search engine is a tool for finding indexed information. This means that Google finds information, they categorize it, they then rank that information based off of what they think is most relevant to your needs.
So, what is the highest quality information? What is the information that most users are recommending?
The value of a search engine is in what information at fines and how it ranks the quality of the information.
Any highschooler could build a search engine today, but it probably would not overtake Google because Google’s magic is in the ranking of the websites.
The only thing that matters to Google is that people continue to put websites on the Internet that allow google to index them. All that matters to google is that people put content that Google can search, scrape, and categorize.
Facebook, on the other hand, has a more difficult challenge. Facebook not only needs your network to join Facebook, but they also need your network to post content into Facebook in order to keep you coming back. So, hypothetically, if you and all of your friends have a Facebook account, but nobody posted onto Facebook, then the value of Facebook would be zero.
Google does not face the first challenge. Google does not need your network to use Google. All they need is Content posted to the Internet that allows Google to scrape it.
What is a search engine?
A search engine is an indexing tool.
A search engine find relevant content categorize it, ranks it based off of quality, shareability, and any other metrics the search engine Deems valuable, and then put the indexed data in front of you based off of what it thinks you want to see.
So, if you type in to Google “what is the best dog food?” Google will show you search results based off of dog food. It may show you 10 blog posts ranking different types of dog food. It may show you Amazon listings for the dog food. Google ultimately will show you what it thinks you need to see in order to trust that they have found and ranked the best information on the Internet.
Google images works the exact same way.
If I type in “dog “to Google images, Google images will find the best photos of dogs and it will put them first. Then, in the event that what I was looking for was actually the individual dog the bounty Hunter?
It may put a picture of dog the bounty Hunter.
Then, it may put a picture of dog food, in the event that I typed in dog, but I actually wanted dog food.
Again, none of this relies on my network being involved. It only relies on people putting information that Google is allowed to show on your behalf.
What makes Pinterest more like Google?
Pinterest does not rely on followers to show you content. What this means is that in order for me to see content on Pinterest, I do not need to follow anyone. My network does not need to post anything. Pinterest will ask what I am interested in and then they will show me what the photos are that are most relevant to what I am interested in.
I often ask clients and prospects “Do you ever get on Pinterest to have an escape for five minutes, and then find yourself still swiping on Pinterest 30 minutes later?” Every single time I’ve asked this question the answer has been “Yes.”
People use Pinterest to find new things. People use Pinterest to find new inspiration. People use Pinterest to find activities and items to buy that they think will make their life better. Just like you use Google or Bing to find information that you might think is useful, people use Pinterest to find activities or inspiration that they may think will make their life better. Oftentimes, it does make their life better.
Pinterest is about finding inspiration like Google is about finding information.
Think of Pinterest like a perfectly curated Google images feed. Imagine you open up a Google images app, and Google just knows what you want to see right from the moment that you open it up. That’s Pinterest.
On Facebook and Instagram, the primary purpose is to check in with your friends and people that you want to follow. On Google, it’s to find information. On Pinterest it’s to find inspiration.
Followers are hard
Because the purpose of Facebook and Instagram is to check in with your network and other people that you want to follow, the difficulty is that if you are posting and looking to increase your reach, it’s very difficult to get new followers.
Because the only people who see your content are your followers. It just makes sense, when you post on Instagram and Instagram is showing your network because Instagram is designed for you to check in with your network.
Because Pinterest is designed to inspire and to be a source of inspiration, Pinterest purely shows the best inspiration to lots of people.
What that means, is that no matter who your Pinterest followers may be people who aren’t your Pinterest followers will find your Pinterest pins just like no matter who follows your blog on your website, people will find your blog on Google.
It’s all about discovery
Ultimately, when you go to google or you go to Pinterest, you were looking to discover. You are looking to enhance your life with something that you did not know existed before.
Whether that’s information on Google or it’s inspiration on Pinterest, your goal is to enhance your life through addition.
On Facebook it on Instagram, the goal is just simply different.
The goal is to make sure that you were checking in with the people that you care about.
The goal is to make sure that those individuals in your network that you want to keep in touch with our informed on each others’ lives.
It’s a totally different use cases.
People often times think of Pinterest as a social network, it is not. There is not a large social component to Pinterest, because Pinterest is designed for you to find your next inspiration. It’s not designed for you to find your community.
So, people often ask should I do digital marketing on Facebook and Instagram or should I use Pinterest?