Which Social Image-Sharing Platform Is Best For You?

If you want to boost engagement across your online marketing efforts, there’s no better way than with visual content.  On average, users are 44% more likely to engage with a post if it includes media content.

But knowing about the added value of images is one thing… how do you pick the best platform for actually hosting and sharing it?  Each platform has a mix of pros and cons that should be weighed specifically for you and your company.

flickr best mobile photo app

Flickr

You should know: The image management and sharing platform recently released mobile apps for its service.

Capabilities: Flickr is optimized for search engines, so it’s a great way gain image ranking.  It also acts as a stock photography source with some royalty-free images.

Pros

  • Starting an account is easy; Fickr includes quick integration with Google, Yahoo and Facebook.
  • You can add links to any image description, helping build inbound links to your site or blog.
  • Flickr allows you to store and categorize your photos for easy sharing and story telling.

Cons

  • If you don’t have the correct rights to your uploaded images, others can use them without your consent.
  • If you share to Twitter your image shows up as a link, not an image card.

Should you be using it?

Maybe. If images are a large part of your business, you can’t pass up Flickr.  On top of the SEO benefits it includes, you can easily manage your images (similarly to using Facebook’s photo albums) to keep your collection in order.  If you’re really worried about someone stealing your images, you can copyright your files, ensuring they’ll only be for your use.

Instagram

You should know: In early 2012, Facebook bought the 13-employee operation for $1billion.  Since then, Instagram has steadily evolved its software and business plans.

instagram audi

Capabilities: Use Instagram’s smartphone app to take a picture, then edit and add filters to your image.  You can share directly from the app.

Pros

  • Instagram features fun filters that are obviously its main selling point, especially to teenagers.
  • The integrated relationship with Facebook makes direct sharing a breeze.
  • The new web-based Instagram is gorgeous, with rotating images and a commenting setup that brings the experience to another level.
  • Instagram can help develop brand personality when used to host contests, feature events, get involved with trends or connect with customers.

Cons

  • Some of the less popular filters are a waste of space.
  • With the loss of Twitter cards, sharing isn’t as direct as it used to be.  Now when you share an image to Twitter, your followers will have to use an external link to see your image.

Should you be using it?

You could live without it. Almost every social media platform already has integrated image-sharing capabilities.  Instagram may not be right for you if you’re only downloading the app to share pictures across social media platforms.

But Instagram can be useful for storefronts that are hosting contests, featuring events and connecting to potential clientele.  A steady rotation of promotional images can entice customers in your area to visit.

Twitter & Aviary

twitter picture filtersYou should know: As far as engagement goes, tweeting pictures outperforms simple text tweets by about 91%.
Capabilities:  After Instagram revoked image cards from Twitter, the company acted quickly.  It joined forces with Aviary, an image editing service, to fill the photo void.

Pros

  • Aviary’s filters (similar to those on Instagram) are now featured on Twitter’s smartphone app.
  • Images shared through the new editor are featured on the tweet’s image card – no external link needed.

Cons

  • Twitter’s sharing ability is limited to the platform itself.
  • New filters and a cropping tool are great, but Aviary is missing a few other editing capabilities, like Instagram’s tilt-shift filter.

Should you be using it?

Maybe. Since the filters are integrated into the Twitter platform, there’s no need to download new software.  With the ability to tag your images with a hashtag/trend, they’ll be seen by a wider audience than just your followers.

You can also expand your pictures’ social reach by asking for retweets. So if being seen as an industry influencer is important to you, this service will do the job.

 

Pinterest

You should know:  Pinterest is the fastest growing platform today.  With 27.2 million monthly visitors, it means having your ‘pins’ re-pinned is a strong possibility.

Capabilities: With Pinterest, you can choose to either upload an image to share or ‘pin’ an image directly from your website or blog.

 

pinterest add a pin

Pros

  • Whether you’re on the smartphone app or the desktop utility, sharing is a breeze.  You can also connect your Pinterest account directly to your Facebook and Twitter profiles to share with a wider audience.
  • Adding keywords to your picture description helps SEO and can tie in with trending topics.
  • Thanks to the rapid growth of Pinterest users, the possibility of someone ‘re-pinning’ your content offers a chance at huge visibility.

Cons

  • Image editors have yet to be integrated into the Pinterest app.
  • Copyright infringement disputes arise when pictures are ‘pinned’ from some sites.

Should you be using it?

Yes. With the site’s rapid growth and the addition of business accounts, Pinterest can’t be ignored.  Since Pinterest can help tell your company’s story in a different way than on Flickr, this sharing hub helps any business establish a personality.

A restaurant may begin a Pinterest account to share recipes and tell everyone what their employees are eating for breakfast, while a home improvement store may opt to share arts and crafts projects because it carries the necessary supplies.  Pinterest is great for the important task of building rapport with your clientele.

With the installation of a ‘pin it’ button to bookmark bars, others can also share your information easily – which leads traffic back to your site.

Depending on your industry and business type, one platform may be better than another for you.  Which platform have you used?  Which do you prefer?  We’d love to hear – tweet us @Ripen_eCommerce.

Jessica Kornfeind is the Social Media Specialist at Ripen eCommerce, which has provided comprehensive eCommerce solutions for clients since 2004. Working in close partnership with eCommerce businesses, Ripen’s eCommerce web development, marketing, creative and technology teams build intuitive user experiences that boost online sales.

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