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Power Basics for Instagram and Pinterest

Social media is the very most effective, low-cost promotional tool a small business owner can use. By using social media marketing to your advantage, you can grow brand awareness, connect with customers, and reach new potential buyers. Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, and some even connect to each other (Facebook owns Instagram). Whether you’re new to social media or not, we’ve got some power basics for Instagram and Pinterest that can help grow your business. But first, let’s talk about why you should use these platforms.

Reaching Customers via Instagram and Pinterest

Anyone in marketing knows that the best way to advertise is to go where the customers already are. They’re driving down the road…put up a billboard! They have a phone book in their house…make sure you’re in the yellow pages! They read the newspaper…take out an ad! However, today’s consumers all have one thing in common: They’re online. While it may seem overwhelming to stand out in the ocean of information that is the internet, targeted social media is the most cost effective, strategic way to reach customers.

Think of it this way; you’re not shouting into the abyss, you’re using social media to reach people who are looking for what you have. For sellers of antiques & vintage, there are some surefire ways to utilize two visually focussed platforms to not only get your products in front of potential buyers, but to convert them into loyal customers! 

No matter how tech savvy you are, there is always something new to learn in the worlds of Instagram and Pinterest…and selling from both. Here are some of our tips to help you maximize your presence on both.

Businessman working on laptop

Before you launch a social media campaign, let’s consider what types of promotions you could create and which platform would be the best fit.


Works for: Strong visuals, focused audiences, attracting “Influencers,” behind-the-scenes videos and photos (Instagram Stories), and reaching younger designers and buyers.


Works for: Curious shoppers, on-trend products, visual shoppers, you can create inspirational boards, lasting content, developing an audience of pinners and shoppers.

Find Your Match

If you’re new to social media start by choosing one that’s a good fit for your products and resonates with you and your target consumer. If you’re already social network savvy, make sure you are using each platform to its full advantage to help you get visits to your shop or website.

Next, consider who your target consumer or audience is and how they shop. Who currently buys your goods at fairs or online? Who do you want to sell to? Make a quick list of the types of buyers you’d like to attract. When creating your ideal audience, think about the way they shop and how they might find you. For example; he or she likes Antiques, Art, Regency period pieces, French Baroque, gold gilt, interior design, green design, recycling.  Instagram allows you to “promote” your posts to focus on your specific audience. We love Sue B. for all things Instagram and marketing, and she starts with the basics in this video.

Sue B talks Instagram

If you are visual and responsive to your shoppers, Instagram is an effective place to share photos of your goods, your new pieces, your styled store, showing snapshots of pieces in progress or reveal newly finished items for sale. You can use Instagram stories to engage with your shoppers by sharing behind-the-scenes tours of your warehouse or store. If you currently use Facebook for business, you can seamlessly connect Instagram to your Facebook, so you only have to create content one time.

If you like to create mood boards and help your shoppers visualize, Pinterest is a great place to show your merchandising skills and showcase your products. Pinterest grew in popularity because shoppers can keep or Pin your products into boards for later shopping or inspiration. It’s a great place to build your brand. 

Pinterest is also a great place to sell your products and create a new customer base. While Pinterest certainly seems like just an online bulletin board, it’s really a search engine. Think of it as a visual Google. By learning what keywords and images your ideal clients are searching for, you can position your products to show up in front of the people who want to buy what you’re selling. Search engines are like matchmakers! But you first have to learn how they work. 

Check out this quick tutorial from Anastasia, making Pinterest easy to understand. 

Anastasia Blogger talks Pinterest

And if you prefer a good book:

Social Media Marketing by Gerry T. Warner is a fantastic beginners introduction to the social media world.

Social Media Marketing Book

Use the Right Size Image for Instagram and Pinterest

Since both of these platforms are highly visual, you’ll want to make sure you’re using the ideal image size for both. Instagram crops photos into squares, while Pinterest’s ideal photo size is 1000 x 1500 pixels. Sound confusing? Don’t worry! There is a tool that you can easily use to optimize your images for most social media platforms. It’s called Canva. Here you will find pre-made templates that will create the ideal size images for your chosen platform. Even better…you can probably get everything you need from the free version! 

Both Instagram and Pinterest can be very powerful selling tools. When used consistently, social media will quickly become your first step in marketing your products and brand. Happy posting!

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