Pet photos are one of the greatest tools we have to get pets adopted online. Between Pinterest and Instagram, which social photo sharing platform is best?
Since no animal organization can be present on all social networks, let alone do an equally good job on all of them, it's important to focus on the ones that will work best for the pets you're trying to re-home. Here are the pros and cons of Pinterest and Instagram for pet adoption:
- Beautifully laid out interface that works on both desktop and mobile, with desktop having the edge in terms of display and usability
- A fantastic demographic for pet adoption
- Easy re-sharing of pet photos, with clickable links in the description
- Lifestyle story-telling model, where people construct a virtual scrapbook of the person they want to be -- with supporting animal causes a big part of that identity
- Pinboard structure allows people to follow boards they feel most interested in, such as for a specific type of pet, instead of just following your account
- Pinboard categorization also offers ability to tell your pets' stories in a contextual way entirely missing from Instagram
- The same demographic that is great for pet adoption may not be so great for emerging adoption markets. Men, people of color and the young are under-represented, although that's changing
- No native pre-scheduling, although a few tools exist to allow you to schedule pins. Still, it's not as easy as Facebook or Twitter
- Mobile app isn't great
- People who share your great pet photos may not really be interested in adopting so much as either creating a piece of their desired identity, or just squeeing over a cute photo
- 300 million active monthly users, compared to Pinterest's approximately 53 million
- Great demographic for pet adoption, especially if you're looking for younger people
- Mobile-only, so you're more likely to get people's attention when they're not at work or chained to a desktop computer
- Active communities of pet adoption advocates, organized around wildly popular hashtags
- If you have great photos, there's nowhere online that will appreciate them more
- No clickable links
- Mobile only, so management is difficult as it can only be done by smartphone, and there's no easy way to switch from a staff member's personal account to the organization's account
- No sharing functionality
- Instagram does not open its interface to third party schedulers, so while some services say they can let you schedule posts, they only work if you give them your username and password -- a definite security risk. So not only are you stuck doing it all on the phone, it's in real time, too.
So, which gets the nod? It's close, but probably Instagram, if for no other reason than its massive audience.
Has your shelter or rescue group been using either of these platforms? If so, has either of them worked in getting pets adopted? We'd love to hear more about your experience on our Facebook page!