Digital Marketing

Instagram vs. Pinterest Marketing: 7 Big Differences Between Them

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When I am coaching people on how to use Pinterest the first hurdle that we have to get over is that writing for Pinterest is completely different than writing for Instagram.

On Instagram, your followers are brand loyal. They are following and interacting with you on this platform because they enjoy your brand and reading what your brand stands for and offers.  On Instagram, you need to not only have photos that are on brand but you also need to write your content on brand. On this platform, keep in mind that you are also dealing with a seven-second attention span. Your photo needs to be scroll stopping AND your caption needs to be witty and captivating.

In coaching sessions when we are creating pins, clients want to write the pin description as if they are writing an Instagram caption. Writing an Instagram type caption on Pinterest is not going to help you get found on Pinterest, and here’s why.

People searching on Pinterest are not brand loyal. Read that again. People searching on Pinterest are not brand loyal, meaning most pinners do not give a shhhh about your brand. These people are searching to achieve a predetermined outcome in their mind.  

Here’s an example: A pinner types into the Pinterest search bar “San Francisco Industrial Wedding Venue”  what this person wants to achieve is finding examples of all of the Industrial wedding venues in San Francisco that are on Pinterest. When they find a photo that they are imaging as their dream wedding location they will click on the pin and be taken “fingers crossed” to the website of that venue or at least a photographers site that has tagged the venue in their blog post.

The reason that this searchers results came up with so many Industrial wedding venues in San Francisco is that the pin description was littered with these terms.  See Pinterest is a search engine, their algorithm could care less how witty and popular your caption is. Pinterest’s main job is that it wants to show it’s users the most relevant items related to the words that they typed into the search bar.  The results that show up in your search are directly related to the keywords in the description of the pins that are being shown to you.

I heard a saying once that said, “My eyebrows are sisters, not twins.” Not only is that true for your eyebrows but it’s true about the digital marketing platforms of Pinterest and Instagram.

Let’s get into the 7 “sister” qualities on both platforms:

  1. On both platforms, you need to have a well lit and captivating scroll stopping photo.

  2. On both platforms, the images should be branded, meaning they look like they belong to the same family because chances are if someone is very interested in all the things that you have to say, you want to be recognized on both platforms.

  3. Instagram photos with words tend to perform as well as photos without. Whereas, Pinterest photos with words perform exponentially better than photos without words.

  4. Instagram: Hashtags matter on how you are getting found.

  5. Pinterest: Hashtags do not matter on getting found, it’s all about the search terms baby.

  6. Instagram: Witty or emotionally heartfelt captions perform best.

  7. Pinterest: It’s all about the SEO, save your emotional words for Instagram.

In conclusion, the moral of the story here is that to be successful on both platforms you need to flip your brain when you are writing for one over the other.  Both of these platforms should be a part of your digital arsenal but how you use them and obtain leads through them are completely different.


How To Make Your Instagram Accessible For Visually Impaired Community

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You’re posting on Instagram all of the time as part of your business marking plan and I know that you have seen the “ALT  text” when you are loading a photo. You’ve probably blown right past it when you are posting because why would you even bother, as far as you know Instagram does not offer SEO so what’s the point?

Instagram introduced the ability to add ALT text to photos in an effort to make the platform more accessible. Users can add their own custom ALT text that can be read by screen readers to assist those with visual impairments.

Right now, you’re thinking, “This is awesome, how do we use this feature professionally and assist those with visual impairments? “

The ALT text is NOT meant to be a  “copy and paste” of your Instagram caption. Instead, the ALT text should be used to describe exactly what is in your photo.

Think about it, Instagram is a VISUAL platform, and we certainly are not describing the photo in our caption. We are instead,  writing our marketing copy, sharing a quote or a story. The caption is the part screen readers are able to assist the users with, however, the user is missing out on the visual that accompanies it if you are not writing your own  ALT text.

Instagram wants everyone in the community to be able to interact with each other, including those with visual impairments. Keep this in mind, if you are not adding your own ALT text, know that Instagram will automatically generate  ALT text to your photo using their own technology. Their image recognition technology will scan your photo and write an ALT text for you. I encourage you to begin getting in the habit of writing your own ALT text before you post because the Instagram generated text is pretty generic.


The ALT text is your way of giving the user a full Instagram experience by understanding the complete context of both the photo and the caption. As a business owner,  you are now making your content, your product and yourself accessible to more people in the community. How awesome is that?!

An item to note: It is strongly recommended that ALT text be 125 characters or less to ensure compatibility for popular screen readers. The character limit for the ALT text on Instagram is 100 characters.

While researching and at the time of this publishing I did not find any solid evidence one way or the other that by also using the ALT text could mean that there is some sort of SEO associated with it on Instagram just yet. However, I have to believe that this is in the works if it does not already exist on at least a BETA level.  ALT text on images when using it on your website we know helps your SEO ranking on Google, which has me thinking that perhaps something like this is coming or again already exists to some level on Instagram.

How To Add ALT Text To A New Post:

  1. Upload your image as usual.

  2. On the Instagram caption page, press “Advanced settings”:

  3. Click “Write ALT text”: On Instagram you can write a maximum of 100 characters to describe what is in your photo.

  4. Write your ALT text and press “Done”


How To Add ALT Text To Your Old Photos:

You are able to and I encourage you to take the time to do so.

1. Select the photo you want to add ALT text to:

2. Click on the 3 dots “…” in the upper right-hand corner:

3. Choose “Edit”:

4. Press “Add ALT text”:

5. Write your ALT text:

6. Click “DONE”

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Tips on how to write ALT text from Perkins School for the Blind:

  1. Describe the image as specifically as you can.

  2. “Imagine someone is sitting next to you as you scroll through Instagram and they point at a photo and ask what it is. Chances are, you’ll give them a one or two sentence description that is perfect for writing as alt text” ( Perkins School for the Blind).

  3. Is there an important text on your photo (like signage or quote)? Write out the text.

  4. Keep your ALT text (relatively) short, 100 character limit on Instagram and 125 character limit on popular screen readers.

  5. Write who is on the picture (especially if you have a personal account). For example: “Jade sitting on her computer with a latte next to her.”

  6. Colors: “Don’t be afraid to share what colors are in a photo, if the color is important. A photo can be described as being in black-and-white, having warm or cool colors, or being tinted a certain color. Someone wearing clothes that are the main focus of the photo can write that they are wearing “dark denim Levi’s with a white t-shirt, Adidas sneakers with green earrings.”


Creating Scroll Stopping Content Takes Practice And Commitment

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I have a membership to the Japanese Garden here in Portland, and I find myself there pretty much once a week. The thing that inspires me the most somedays isn’t the garden it’s self, it’s when I see young children with their cameras. I was there early one morning, and this family was beginning to walk through the gate when the young boy of probably 5 or 6 yelled at them all to stop and turn around to look at him in front of the entrance. I stayed behind him because I didn’t want to ruin his shot and watched as he brought his blue v-tech twist camera up to his eye and took the photo of them. He turned to me and said thank you and who I’m assuming was his mom smiled and said thank you as well.

My heartfelt light because this is the future practicing and honing in on their photography skills.

For as long as I can remember I have had a camera on me. I by no means consider myself a photographer, but I’ve always been documenting my memories by taking photos of landscapes and objects. There’s a photo that my grandma took of me, and I have to be about three years old in my uncles' bedroom at their house with his camera around my neck, a baseball hat on backward and I had arranged all of my stuffed animals on his bed to take photos of them.

The biggest joy that I got when I had my vintage business was arranging and styling the products showing how they could be worn or used in today’s world. I would spend hours creating the perfect flat lay or hiring a model for an afternoon and styling them in different looks and locations around the neighborhood. I would say that becoming a content creator was in my DNA since I was basically doing it since before the world even knew what a content creator actually was.

The key to creating good social media content like anything else is practice. Creating scroll stopping content doesn’t just happen in one click of the shutter or typing one narrative of your brand. Scroll stopping involves practice styling objects and assessing the light and angles when taking the photos. Good content means writing run on captions, then re-reading them and trying to get to the point faster. Remember you have 3-7 seconds to capture a users attention to get them to stop and read what you have written.

After you have posted your work, let it sit for 72 hours then go back to it and evaluate what part of the post got the most engagement. Was it the photo itself or was it that you wrote something extremely personal or was it that you let your sarcasm out?

Excelling at content marketing involves so much practice, testing, tweaking and then testing again. You really do need to know what it is that your target market is wanting to see or hear from you. The only way to clearly identify this is through committing to practice creating and evaluating your great content.

Ten Reasons Why I Love Squarespace For Your Businesses Website

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Many new and startup businesses frequently ask, “Which platform should I use to build my website on? Wordpress, Squarespace, Wix or Weebly?”

I’ve helped out on clients WordPress sites and if you need something that is totally customizable and has the budget to pay someone to continuously update your website for you this is an excellent platform. Wix and Weebly I haven’t even peeked at, but I know that they can be functionally straightforward when you are first starting out. Squarespace, however, is my team’s jam. I don’t want to try and convince you to change platforms because that’s not what I do. However, I will share with you my top 10 reasons that I love Squarespace for business and suggest it to clients and people that ask me the inevitable platform question.

1. You have the complete capability to blog on Squarespace which I know is important to you. The super rad part about it is that Google gives a bit more of an edge on the internet to Squarespace hosted sites, and especially to Squarespace hosted sites that are keeping their content up to date.

2. There are so many sleek, sexy and modern templates on Squarespace that we won’t need to build much out. Which will be the most cost effective for you and more accessible for you to maintain on your own.

3. It’s easy for a non-techie person to make tweaks updates on their own without calling the web designer all the time to change something out. If you are having trouble figuring it out on your own Squarespace offers LIVE Chat 7 days a week from 8am-9pm, and if you have a question outside of that time frame, they respond to your email in 24 hours. Their customer service is top notch.

4. Squarespace will cost you around $200 for the year to host. You can pay that all upfront or you can be billed monthly.

5. When you begin hosting events, workshops, and classes that you want people to pay for right away, these events can live on your site and are able to take payment right there. You won’t have to pay any extra processing fees or send them to an Eventbrite link or anything like that.

6. There is an add on to have a contact link for your social media profiles that can send your people to 3 different pages on your site. None of this Linktree links stuff that doesn’t even say your businesses name. (Check out mine on Instagram to see what I mean.)

7. Loading SEO and backend search terms are super simple, and Squarespace will automatically update to any crazy internet regulations, such as the GDPR initiative that happened in 2018.

8. The analytics are easy to read and understand and give you what you need without also adding in and going over to Google Analytics.

9. You can have a button for people to book a consultation with you right there on your site.

10. I have two Squarespace sites of my own and have built for other people, so when we’re at lunch, and you ask me a random question about your website out of the blue, the possibilities are better than I’ll know how to answer it!