When it comes to social media marketing, it is really easy to get lost in this bottomless ocean of shares, likes, tweets, and news feeds. It seems like opportunities are everywhere, and young entrepreneurs try to get the most out of every single one of them. Facebook and Instagram are the first and the second most popular social network in the United States as of November 2016 (according to Statista). So, it's no wonder almost every brand plunges headlong into this Facebook/Instagram marketing battle for customers.
However, what is the difference between these two social networks and which one should you use for your business?
- User base
Facebook is clearly a winner here. It can boast almost 2 billion active users of any gender, age, and nationality, and it looks like this number is only going to grow with time. This is why chances are high that you already have a Facebook business page and are actively using it to promote your brand. This is, definitely, not a mistake. Whether you sell socks or provide accounting services, Facebook won't let you down when it comes to exposure. Instagram, on the other hand, is being used by 600 million users monthly, and its demographics is not so diverse.
Since Facebook is a place where people of all ages, professions, and income levels hang out, it is a universal platform with an extensive pool of potential customers for literary every business. However, according to Pixel Vulture, teenage use of Facebook decreased 45% in 2014. So, if you are trying to market your product to youngsters, better try Snapchat or YouTube. At the same time, Facebook is still effective when it comes to 30+ professionals, teachers, moms, entrepreneurs, etc.
Instagram, on the other hand, is a social network with the prevailing number of female users (38% vs 26% of male ones) aged under 34.
This makes Instagram a perfect place to market fashion, design, travel, entertainment, and other things that make up “Instagram lifestyle”.
Surprisingly, Facebook with all its billions of users lost this battle to relatively tiny Instagram, with the latter giving you up to 10 times more engagement (according to Jenn Herman's study). She put one and same post on both Instagram and Facebook in order to see how many likes each of them will collect. The study proved that though Instagram's audience is smaller, it is more willing to engage with brands. The post on Instagram won with almost 10 times more likes and comments within the same period of time.
It happened because Facebook is perfect for private use, while we use Instagram mainly for following celebrities, getting inspired, and keeping up with the latest trends. It means that when we are on Instagram, we are subconsciously prepared to like or comment on posts (since that's pretty much all we can do on Instagram). When we are on Facebook, we simply want to text out friends or read the latest news on Donald Trump.
In essence, Instagram is a photo/video sharing platform with a simple interface and a limited number of sophisticated distracting options. It makes it really easy for businesses to bond with customers through sharing personalized, inviting pictures that reflect the philosophy of the brand. Such an approach allows brands to appear closer to customers. The lifespan of your Instagram post is short, however, so make sure to post regularly. Apart from that, choose only high-quality pictures in order to keep up with the competition.
If your products are more complex or highly specialized, Facebook is, undoubtedly, a better fit. You would probably want to write longer and more informative posts, join groups, create events, share valuable videos or blog articles. You should also focus on Facebook if you are doing content marketing, since, as we remember, Facebook is a place most turn to in order to satisfy their information hunger.
Facebook or Instagram?
Facebook and Instagram are two social media giants that are currently being owned by Mark Zuckerberg. They both allow targeting specific groups of people (e.g people of specific language or gender) and offer paid ads that can help to promote your business.
However, remember that if your customers would prefer to see your product, not read about it, Instagram will do a better job getting your message across. Fashion, style, travel and hospitality are industries that would definitely benefit from Instagram marketing.
If you target older audiences, however, or have very specific products and services that a picture cannot explain, then Facebook is your guy. It is also better for marketing more expensive products (since, again, the audience is more mature and solvent).
Jenna Brandon is a blogger, copywriter, and digital marketer at Writology.com.When she’s not busy writing articles and studying modern marketing trends, she cooks pizza or goes hiking with her friends. Jenna is also an avid traveler, and she is secretly Italian at heart.