Ever wondered whether to be on Facebook or Instagram, or both? Can’t sleep at night thinking, “is Instagram better than Facebook”. Join the club – there are a lot of other people who have these same thoughts.
Wonder no more! I’m here to explain the fundamental differences between Instagram and Facebook. This will help you make the best decision for you and for your business.
Instagram vs Facebook which one to use for social media?
Firstly, it’s great that you are thinking about this conundrum and looking at the benefits of both platforms. In the long run this will save you a lot of time as the posts you create will perform better when you place them on the best platform for you. There’s absolutely no point spending a lot of time creating an amazing post for it not to be seen by your potential customers.
It’s crucial that you are clear on what you want to get out of your social media posts. Understanding this will help you decide on the best social marketing strategy for your product or service.
The numbers: Facebook or Instagram what’s better to market your business?
Those who know me, know that I love data and statistics! So, it’s no surprise I checked out the data to help answer this question.
Facebook launched in 2004 and since that time has gained an immense amount of users. To date there are around 2.4 billion active users every month. I challenge anyone to completely rule this platform out saying that their customers won’t be on it – the data suggests that some of them will definitely be there.
Instagram was launched in 2010 and doesn’t quite have the same amount of users. It has 1 billion active monthly users.
You have to admit, both figures are HUGE!
Demographics: Facebook vs Instagram
It’s useful to know the ages of the people actively using these platforms so you can see if they match your audience.
Facebook’s users tend to be slightly older than Instagram users. Facebook’s users mainly range from 18 – 19 year olds. The majority of Instagram’s users are reported to be between the ages of 13 and 29.
Key differences: Instagram vs Facebook
Obviously both platforms were launched to be different from one another; to appeal to different people and to be used for a different purpose.
Instagram was developed for its visual impact as it’s very image led. Facebook was designed to be the platform where you build communities, with family & friends in your local area. Instagram is more about bringing people together with shared interests from around the globe.
If your business is very visual, for instance you are a photographer or you make cakes, then you really do need to make full use of Instagram marketing. People head to Instagram to see inspiring lifestyle images.
What Facebook has that Instagram doesn’t
When I launched Social Media Executive, I heavily used Facebook marketing purely because of the plethora of functions the platform has.
I’ve listed below just a few of the functions that Facebook has which Instagram doesn’t:
- Happy customers can leave reviews on your Facebook page – these are first-rate social proof testimonials visible to any potential customer. TOP TIP: screen shot them and share on your Instagram page if you have one!
- If your business hosts events or workshops Facebook is the place to be. You may see that I use this feature a lot to help my posts achieve fantastic visibility.
- Automated bookings. Any business where customers need to make a booking can massively benefit from this function.
- If you’re looking to hire someone you can post jobs on Facebook. These posts will have good visibility in your local area – the perfect place to start looking!
- While it’s not always good practice to put links into a Facebook post, at least it has the capability to allow the user to do this. If you’re a blogger then Facebook makes it easier for you to share your work.
What about hashtags?
I recommend anyone on Instagram to use up to 30 hashtags per post. To learn more about these powerful little squiggles there’s lots of information in this blog, Hashtags on Instagram to boost your business.
In a nutshell, hashtags help your posts get seen. They act like a search engine as users type in the search bar the content they want to see in the form on a hashtag. They are incredibly powerful and not to be overlooked as they prevent your posts from disappearing by falling down a timeline never to be seen again!
When it comes to hashtags there’s one clear winner with Instagram marketing vs Facebook marketing. Instagram is the hashtag king!
Engagement matters: Instagram v Facebook
As a rule, engagement is better on Instagram than on Facebook. But this could be because the younger Instagram users readily engage more than their older counterparts.
Average engagement for a Facebook post is 0.09% while average engagement for an Instagram post is 1.6%.
As Instagram are currently testing removing the like button from their platform these figures could change. Watch this space ….
On the go
Instagram, as the name suggests, was created to allow the user to instantly take a photo from their mobile phone and post a ‘gram’. Hence, it’s amazing on mobile and not so good on desktop.
Facebook, on the other hand, is great to use on any device.
As you know videos are big news on social media and attract a lot of visibility as they are so popular.
Instagram offers a separate area dedicated to videos, IGTV, where users can share them up to 10 minutes long. This image led platform has a new reel feature too – a bit like tiktok.
Facebook owns Instagram
So, is Facebook and Instagram the same thing now? No, not at all!
Not everyone knows that Facebook owns Instagram? It actually bought Instagram in 2012 but signs are only just starting to become more apparent with the merging of the messaging function.
Facebook are bringing in more functionalities to both platforms and bringing them closer together. Ideal for the business owner to make their social media marketing simpler!
- You can now schedule posts without having to rely on a third party tool. But to do this you do need a Facebook account as you schedule the posts from the Facebook publishing tools.
- You can create just one post and schedule it to be published on both platforms!
- You can share your Instagram stories on Facebook stories.
- You can automatically send your Instagram posts to Facebook. But, be mindful that as the hashtags move across to Facebook they can look a bit pants! Good news though – you can edit when scheduling
- You can add so much detail about your business. I know some businesses who use their Facebook page so well that they don’t even need a website!
I love that you can tag your products in both your Facebook and Instagram shops! This is proving to be such a valuable tool for me as I can promote my Online Facebook Course and direct the viewer straight to my website just with one click!
First of all, you do need to create the shop in Facebook and link it to Instagram. Saying that Facebook doesn’t always take the lead as when you tag a product on an Instagram post and direct this to Facebook, the tag carries over perfectly! How clever is that?
Being able to tag like this does away with links too!
My next workshop
Instagram vs Facebook which one to use for social media: do both if your customers are using both platforms. And here’s how to do it well to get the best results.
Next week I’m running a workshop to guide you through all there is to know about running a Facebook and an Instagram advertising campaign. The online workshop starts on Tuesday 17th November and will last for an hour every day for four days. After the four days you will have a fantastic advertising campaign just in time for Christmas.
To read more about it and to reserve your spot head to Eventbrite.
My final piece of advice:
To decide which platform you should be on, you need to think about your business objectives and what you hope to achieve. Do either platforms provide those solutions? You also need to know your audience, find out where they are most active and make sure you have a presence.
It is worth bearing in mind that both Instagram and Facebook are continuously having new tools added to them so what might be right for your business now, may change in the future.
Bye for now,
P.S Something for you to watch
To learn more about the differences between boosting a post and creating a Facebook Ad head over to my YouTube channel to hear some great tips! Don’t forget to like and subscribe and ring the bell to get notifications on new videos.