THE TRUTH ABOUT PINNING YOUR INSTAGRAM POSTS
I have been talking about this a lot lately, but it’s important to understand how each social media or networking platform we use functions and enforces different rules. This includes understanding the expectations of the platform and its users in order to maximize your reach and engagement on each platform.
It can be tempting to simply recycle your content across all platforms, like Pinning a TikTok video or an Instagram post. While we all repurpose content from time to time, adjustments are necessary to ensure you’re generating organic traffic for your content. Removing the TikTok watermark or adjusting the caption on an Instagram post before Pinning to Pinterest can go a long way toward satisfying Pinterest requirements and ensuring your content is visible to as many people as possible.
However, sometimes we like to share posts from Instagram to Pinterest not only to generate Pinterest traffic, but because we believe it will help us grow our audience on Instagram. If you Pin your Instagram posts to Pinterest, users will head to your Instagram page and follow you there. Boom! Now you’ve got millions of followers, right?
Not necessarily. I know it sounds like it should work that way, but it usually doesn’t. And on top of that, you might be hurting your chances of being more visible on Pinterest because you’re simply Pinning copies of your Instagram posts.
Let’s talk about why it works this way.
Understanding the Pinterest User
Don’t get me wrong, it’s fine to repurpose Instagram posts to Pinterest with a little adjustment. But, you shouldn’t be operating under the illusion that Pinning your Instagram photos will suddenly make your Instagram page go viral. It may drive some traffic to your Instagram page, but it likely won’t have the result you’re looking for… and it may impact how visible you are on the Pinterest platform.
That’s because no platform likes to be secondhand. If you simply reuse content from other platforms without tweaking it at least a little, you’re likely to lose visibility.
Additionally, simply Pinning your Instagram posts as-is demonstrates a lack of understanding of the Pinterest user.
Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons people are on Pinterest:
They’re searching for things to do, try, buy, or learn
The goal of most Pinterest users is to accomplish something or learn more about a project or idea. You want to create content that entices the user to click it for more information. This, in turn, takes them to a blog, website, or product where they can see more details. If you share your Instagram post as a Pin on Pinterest, why would a person click on it? If they click the Pin to go to your Instagram page, they are likely going to see more of the same kind of content, which doesn’t necessarily serve their purpose.
If they like your posts, you may gain a follower; but that follower does not gain or accomplish anything by visiting your Instagram page. Instead, the purpose should be to lead users toward something that makes them take action in some way. Reading a blog, engaging with a product, or subscribing on a website are all ways to engage with the Pinterest user, instead of simply directing them to your other social media platforms. When you do this, their engagement with you and your brand might end there, which is likely counterintuitive to your business goals.
They’re searching for inspiration or collecting ideas in some way
If a user does like your Instagram post, they may save it to a collection or board, but that doesn’t do anything for your Instagram account. It may have the benefit of making your Pinterest page more visible; the more saves you receive, the more visible your Pinterest becomes. However, Pinterest users like to use Pinterest to keep all of their ideas and inspiration in one place. Heading to your Instagram page for that inspiration may not be their top priority.
They’re not necessarily searching for entertainment
This is where adapting to each platform comes into play. If your Instagram posts have a different style or purpose than your Pinterest Pins, then your Instagram posts are not necessarily going to translate well to Pinterest. They don’t serve the same purpose for the Pinterest user that they do for the Instagram user. Clicking an Instagram post to go to Instagram doesn’t really accomplish anything for the user and it takes them away from the platform they want to be on: Pinterest.
Building Followers Across Platforms
While you can definitely use multiple platforms to help generate traffic for yourself, you aren’t guaranteed to generate a big following by simply reposting content across all your outlets — and your energy is probably better spent ensuring that each platform you use is fully optimized in its own way.
For example, if you get millions of views on your Instagram post and then pin it to Pinterest, any views you get on Pinterest are not going to translate to Instagram. So, while it may help you grow your Pinterest views, you’re not gaining more Instagram views. The same goes for TikTok.
You can and should connect your YouTube, Instagram, Etsy, and Shopify accounts to Pinterest. If someone pins any of your linked accounts, this helps you grow on Pinterest. If you love your Instagram page and are committed to having it represented on your Pinterest account, try building a board of Instagram posts, especially if you don’t have that much content to begin with. It looks really visually appealing and can bulk up your Pinterest account.
The point is: it’s not true that Pinning your Instagram posts to Pinterest is going to make your Instagram blow up. They can be used as companions a little bit, but they do primarily function separately and you should do your best to treat them that way.
Instead, focus on creating Pinned images that entice the user and make them want to go to your website, blog, or whatever you’re promoting in order to engage with you further.
Repurposing without adjustments and posting without context limits your reach. In order to grow and use the platform to its full potential, you need to follow the specifications of the platform and that means understanding what users want, not how many followers you want.
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