Facebook Vs Instagram. Which is best for your business?
Facebook is known as the king in the social world - with over 2 billion daily users it ranks well at the top of the social media ladder but does that make it the best fit for you and your business?
Instagram isn't too far behind, with over 1 billion monthly users and can be an excellent place for advertising your business.
With billions of active users, it's apparent that using either of these two platforms can be beneficial for you to use and engage with your consumers. With Facebook themselves (owners of Instagram) trying to bring the two platforms closer together by integrating features (E.g. Instagram Placement for Facebook Ads or allowing Instagram Stories to be shared with Facebook Stories).
With that being said, and many more options coming up, allowing marketers to integrate strategies, it's not always possible to apply the same techniques to both platforms. So let's go over the differences between the two to help you better understand where your brand should focus its attention.
Let's start off with the numbers, Whilst Facebook had a big head start, Instagram has seen tremendous growth, and it is continuing to climb.
1 Billion+ Monthly Users
500 Million Daily Active Instagram Story Users
27 million+ UK Users
68% Visit the platform daily
2.3 billion+ Monthly Users
96% Access via a mobile device
40% of consumers said that they watch the most videos on Facebook.
45million+ UK Users.
On paper, it looks as if Facebook has Instagram beat, with more significant numbers of users, but Instagram is still hugely impressive. Especially in terms of engagement. The platform is built upon being a platform that thrives on users being able to share and engage with visual content.
Without context, the numbers can be misleading - Facebook looks to have Instagram beat, but what do the demographics look like for the two platforms?
As we mentioned above, Facebook has Instagram beat on the numbers, and from the outside, it would appear Facebook is the best place for your business. Still, without taking into account the different demographics using each platform, can you be so sure?
Let's look at age.
(Percentage of Internet Users)
86% of people aged 18-29 use Facebook
77% of people aged 30-49 use Facebook
51% of people aged 50-65 use Facebook
34% of people that are 65+ use Facebook
67% of people aged 18-29 use Instagram.
47% of people aged 30-49 use Instagram.
23% of people aged 50-64 use Instagram
8% of people that are 65+ use Instagram.
The first thing that jumps out to us when looking at the difference in usage by age is that the majority of Instagrams users are younger, with the older generations not being as active on the platform. Whilst Facebook also have a young audience being the most active; the older age ranges are a lot more active on the platform than they are on Instagram.
From looking at the ages, we can see that Instagram has a much younger demographic than Facebook, this provides an excellent opportunity to reach a younger demographic.
However, its essential to not wholly discard older audiences. It is more likely (not always the case) that older demographics have a higher income, depending on the product or service that you offer, it could be more advantageous to be on Facebook with an older demographic audience base.
This is where Instagram begins to claw back some ground after Facebook beat it for active users.
A study showed that brands see an average engagement rate of 0.09%, compared to Instagrams 1.60% average. This is a vast difference between the two platforms. It also shows a difference in benchmarks if posting on the two platforms, don't become too disheartened if you see your Facebook post not getting as much engagement as your Instagram one!
Despite Instagrams much bigger engagement rate average, it won't always be the case and what you are posting will have an impact. For example, Images and short videos may perform best on Instagram, but this is the primary use of the platform - image sharing. Long text posts, on the other hand, are best left to Facebook for the majority of the time. How users use, each social network has to come into it.
HOW IS EACH PLATFORM USED?
We've mentioned above that Instagram is strictly Image/Video-based, with Facebook having more fluidity in what you can post.
Facebook is more Informational when compared to Instagram. Through a Facebook page, you can find out more information on a company, be that opening hours, an address or upcoming events. Facebook is more about detail, whereas Instagram is all about capturing the moment. Users don't go onto Instagram to see your opening hours; they use it to engage - this is what makes Instagram key in building your brand and expanding your reach.
As soon as you launch the Instagram app, you are hit with content, and the primary thing done on the platform is to look at images/videos as a post or story. Facebook, in comparison, provides a lot more features, from messaging to playing a game and watching a video.
WHICH IS BEST FOR YOU?
This question varies on so many different things; the type of content you are posting is a huge factor. A mistake we see often is companies treating the two platforms the same and not tailoring or changing content to suit. It is essential to (in the first phases) test different content on each forum to see what works where.
Here's an idea of different content and how it may translate to the two other social spaces.
Facebook should be the first place for posting company news. As we mentioned above, Facebook is more text-based and more about the detail, and as a result, you'll have a better chance of your audience reading the full update. As an example, if a restaurant closed for refurbishment, you might post on Facebook about it but then use Instagram to share progress photos etc.
Facebook is great for curating content. You might have seen, a lot of posts on there are reshared or curated blog posts/news articles. Instagram, on the other hand, is more about the original photo and video (that's not to say the occasional resharing of a meme isn't beneficial!).
You might have seen already on Instagram, companies sharing a post where they will pick a winner out of people that reshare the image to their own page etc. As the goal for these contests is engagement, Instagram will 'rule the roost', and by using a hashtag, Instagram makes it a lot easier to keep track of a contest campaign.
When it comes to creating, tracking and managing Ad Campaigns on the two platforms, Facebook and Instagram are both exceptional. Also, with Facebook being the owners of Instagram - it can all be done via the same platform, Facebook Business Manager.
In terms of where is best to advertise, that is all down to your business and the audience you are trying to reach. You can use both platforms, but as we have said above, with Facebook being more about the detail and text-based and Instagram being more about image/video, you should tailor your Ad Campaigns to suit the different platforms.
In the battle of Instagram Vs Facebook, the winner is both. In my opinion, both should have their own strategy and not come under an umbrella. The two platforms should be treated as different entities and your content, time and effort should be tailored by looking at your target audience and the content you are posting to determine which platform to use for each post.
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