How to Use Pinterest & Instagram to Build Relationships

How-To-Use-Pinterest-And-Instagram-to-Build-RelationshipsIt’s a fact: pictures speak to us in ways that words never will, right?

In some cases, text will do a better job of accomplishing our goals: for instance, if I wanted to do a detailed tutorial on ‘how to write a blog post’, text would obviously work far better.

But in terms of building relationships? I would argue that images go a long way to connecting with people on a heart-level, rather than simply on an intellectual level.

For instance, here is what the Social Media Manager for flash sale travel site Jetsetter had to say about Pinterest:

“We were looking for a fun way to involve our community to help us curate the world’s best travel experiences. Pinterest gave us a forum to engage with our most passionate advocates in a meaningful, creative, and compelling way.”

Images tell stories; they capture our imagination, and entice us to engage in ways that words often don’t.

3 Ways to Use Pinterest and Instragram to Build Relationships

If you agree with me in theory, but are stumped as to exactly how and where to start with building relationships on Instagram and Pinterest, I am going to outline 3 ways you can make it happen.

And as always, please don’t forget to share your ideas with me at the end of this post!

1. Get Real

Pinterest Instagram 1

Image courtesy of the Boston Bruins Instagram page

Images are great for putting a more human face on your business or brand. While other social media platforms shine when it comes to sharing and promoting written content, these image-rich sites allow for unprecedented levels of casual, relational sharing.

Be proactive about sharing fun, spontaneous pictures. These could be pictures of yourself, your dog, your company, or your employees.

You could even showcase loyal customers by having a ‘customer of the week’ board on Pinterest, or share real-time customer images on Instagram so fans feel like they are ‘really there’.

2. Invite Photo-Sharing

There are two ways you can do this:

1. Through creating photo-sharing contests, or
2. just by simply asking fans to share their favorite images.

#1: Photo-Sharing Contests

Pinterst Instagram 2

What better way to invite engagement than by incorporating photo-sharing into a contest or giveaway?

Jetsetter, for instance, launched an online scavenger hunt, asking their fans to pin images from the Jetsetter website to Pinterest. The result? Not only did the company undoubtedly receive a huge influx of traffic to their site, but their fans created over 800 boards and 16,000 pins.

How’s that for user engagement?

#2: Photo-Sharing, Just Because They Want to!

High-end retailer Tiffany & Co recently launched a downloadable Instagram filter that allows it’s followers to submit their own love photos.

They also launched a campaign to photograph real-life love stories in Paris and New York, inspiring fans to share their own ‘photo-stories’.

Pinterest Instagram 3

3. Collaborate with Other Businesses in Your Industry

Both of these sites can be fantastic for engaging with other business owners or bloggers in your niche or industry.

Using the principle of ‘I scratch your back, you scratch mine’, sharing images from complimentary businesses can not only be a first step to building a mutually-beneficial relationship, but it can supplement your own content beautifully.

For instance, the team at Etsy had the idea to launch a ‘guest pinner‘ program. By inviting inspirational pinners to contribute to guest boards, they are not only building relationships with Etsy store owners and experts in the field, but they have a steady stream of unique, inspirational content being posted to their boards.

Pinterest Instagram 4

When using Pinterest and Instagram to build relationships – whether that’s with potential customers, influential bloggers, or other business owners – the key is to remember it’s all about ‘give and take’.

Invite collaboration, sharing, and above all, interaction. Repin, comment, and share when appropriate, and you’re well on your way to forging new relationships and solidifying old ones.

What are some creative ways that you’re using Pinterest and Instagram for your business? Would you agree that pictures have the potential to create greater engagement and interaction? Why or why not?


  1. says

    I agree – photos are very easy to digest and are a great way to connect people through an idea.

    One of the most successful tactics that our clients have used is to get customers and followers to guest-pin on a “How do you do it?” board – for example, “How do you get your kids to eat their vegetables?”. People love to share photos of their experiences, especially when they’re in a shared space like a Pinboard with others sharing their own.

    The best way to utilize this tactic is to have the board subject be related to the products you sell. Even if none of the photos actually show your products, they will give people ideas on how they can use your products.
    Look what Nick just posted..10 Amazing Small Business Instagram Contest Examples [Critiqued]My Profile

  2. says

    Hi Kim, again, thank you for always sharing valuable information. Definitely pictures are a powerful tool when it comes to engagement and interaction with customers. In both cases, Pinterest and Instagram allow people to take and edit picture or post attractive and colourful images which creates an entertaining and more real interaction with customers in a way that text is unable to. The fact that people like to see other people’s pictures and share their own images because this constant visual engagement appeal to their emotion and make them feel creative and like professional photographers has made of Instagram and Pinterest perfect platforms to build relationships. I have written two articles with more information about it and I would love if you can have a look at it

    Thank you :)
    Look what Nely just posted..Keep calm and keep goingMy Profile

  3. says

    Pin board collaborative have helped me a lot with traffic to my site! I’ve also met new ppl and have made really good connections, so I highly recommend that!

  4. says

    Like with many things related to social media, I know I must step up my images game. That said, I am know I will get so distracted by all of the images I see on others pages and boards and suddenly 5 hours will have gone by as I ooh and aah over everyone else’s posts. :) Great tips…thanks Kim!
    Look what Beth Blacker just posted..Dream a Little DreamMy Profile

  5. says

    I think that Beth said it best when she mentioned that suddenly she found that 5 hours had passed by while she was perusing all the images. That doesn’t often happen with words – people get bored with words sometimes but images allow them to drift off into “I could do that too” or “I remember….”

    As you know, I love images and use them a lot. :)
    Look what Shelley Webb just posted..Why I Love FallMy Profile

  6. says

    Social media marketing is about appealing to the heart of your customers rather than their heads. It is not about selling your product, it but rather engaging with your customers and via relationship marketing.

  7. says

    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.

  8. says

    They say a photo can speak a thousand words, an idea or message can be conveyed with just a single image.Pinterest is by far one of the best things to happen to many relationships.( and so is Instagram ). Whether one is looking for inspiration or information, a quick search on Pinterest can yield good results on everything from relationships, work projects, friend talks, renovation of your home, and so much more.

  9. says

    Pinterest and Instagram are great social platform when it comes to photos and videos. These tips are great in building relationship and attracting new and potential customers.

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