When we talk about social media marketing, there is always a cold war between Facebook and Instagram. Marketers often get confused which one to invest in for better ROI.

Facebook has grown to more than 2.38 billion users as of June 2019 statistics, which makes it the biggest social media platform with the highest number of active users.

Facebook is continually refining the ways social media looks and works to expand the opportunities and possibilities for marketing and business in the last one and a half-decade.

On the other hand, we have a new kid named Instagram that was founded in 2010. It has succeeded massively in gaining potential active users that are growing exponentially. It has a whopping of one billion active users as of June 2018, which makes it the fastest growing social media platform worldwide.

Hence, with billions of active users, both of the social media platforms have proven themselves to be dominant with many opportunities for businesses. They have worked hard to bridge the gap between marketers, brands and consumers by engaging them effortlessly.

Social media platforms have created much better possibilities for getting to the right audiences. Moreover, the best thing is the ability to share Instagram Stories directly to Facebook and the placement of Facebook ad onto Instagram are ideal ways to create moments of synergy for both users and marketers.

There are a variety of options that marketers can integrate into their social media strategies. For both social media platforms, there are different techniques to be used. Hence, let’s take a look at some differences between  Instagram and Facebook to help you understand which one is better for your brand and business.

Instagram vs Facebook

1. Statistics

As mentioned above, Facebook has a clear edge in terms of active user base and popularity. However, Instagram’s potential growth has proven to be extremely strong and showing signs of not stopping soon. Below are some key statistics that will give us a more clear perspective.

Facebook:

  • 2.83 billion monthly active users as of June 2019
  • 96% of active users access their accounts on mobile devices
  • More than 65 million small businesses have promotional pages on Facebook
  • 40% of customers watch ads and videos on Facebook
  • 89% of marketers use Facebook as an integral part of their social marketing strategy

Instagram:

  • 1 billion monthly active users as of June 2019
  • 37% of internet users are on Instagram worldwide
  • 500 million active stories seen globally
  • 65% of marketers use Instagram as a part of their social marketing strategy
  • 60% of active users visit Instagram on mobile devices daily

Undoubtedly, Facebook has a competitive edge when we talk about a large vanity number. However, Instagram’s numbers are also impressive, especially in terms of audience engagement.

Thus, both of them have succeeded in building themselves as a platform that thrives on both businesses and consumers are being able to engage with content marketing. They have cemented the social media marketing world with the right prospect.

2. Target Audience

Another noticeable difference between both social media platforms is the number of active users and their demographics. Both of them have a significant stark of maturity and quality of users.

Young adults and teenagers mainly drive Instagram. 90% of Instagram users are below the age of 35. Hence, Instagram is implied with products and services that are targeted to young generations. That is the only reason why food, travelling, beauty and fitness pages are flooded on Instagram. Hence, if you deal in any of the following niches, Instagram will ideally work for you.

While, Facebook is popular among youngsters and millennials it is used by people beyond the age of 50 along with a healthy young population. 59% of total internet users have an Instagram account, while 82% of them have a Facebook account.

The corporate sector mostly uses Facebook for surveys, marketing, advertising and announcements. It is the platform used for mature content and highlights more social issues that are in need of debates.

3. Content Style

“The impact of your content depends upon how it has been displayed” says Patricia Tanner – Crowd Writer. Undoubtedly a brand’s image and a company’s marketing strategy play an essential role in promotion. However, its impact on the audience is determined by the style and manner of a content being displayed.

Instagram is the destination for fashion, lifestyle, beauty, travelling, health and fitness. The reason is, these industries can be promoted by photos, video and post, which make them more attractive. Instagram enables you to get unlimited eye-catching, beautiful and instant textures, filters and patterns for your posts and make them more appealing.

Alternatively, Facebook is a better choice if you want to discuss entrepreneurship, ideas, marketing services, politics, social issues and financial market performances. As the audience here is of all ages, there is no hard and fast rule of making it enjoyable with funky visuals as compared to Instagram. It just requires you an additional effort to generate content that fits for all ages.

Moreover, there is an unwritten rule on Instagram to keep your text minimal in visuals. Most of the time, excessive information or a lengthy description is used in the caption. An ideal visual may include a logo and any promotional tagline as an ad copy. This prevents the perception of being your logo or brand is more important that product benefits itself.

Lastly, videos are a must-have element for your promotional strategy. The reason is, videos attract more audience than any other type of visual. It is highly engaging and leads to more sales conversions. Researches prove that videos are more effective in increasing sales by 80%.

4. Advertising

After the acquisition of Instagram by Facebook, both of the platforms are similar in the aspects of advertising. A single Facebook account will enable you to use both of the social media platforms for advertising. Ads perform the same way on both platforms because both are a part of the same advertising network.

Instagram’s ad goals are divided into three groups:

  • Brand awareness
  • Product considerations
  • Customer conversions

However, CPC (cost per click) is affected by demographical analysis. The USA has the highest target ad rate for the age group of 25-34 years at $1.07 while a right column placement is sold bid at $4.39, having an average of $3.43. Also, Wednesdays are the most expensive as they are bid with $1.03 for CPC.

On the other hand, an average of CPC at Facebook is $0.27, while CPM is $7.19. The successful MAI (mobile app install) campaign runs many advertising campaigns with the exact similarities and acts as an extension of Facebook’s advertising on Instagram.

In a nutshell, there is a huge benefit for advertisers on both platforms as there is no need to generate a large scale resource and extensive analytics to make post specifications.

Both of them have a similar ground and just needs to have customization to exclude the hindrances of audience reach. There are a number of reliable tools that help you to get ahead start results of your social media marketing campaign.

5. Functionality

Before starting to talk about the functionality of both platforms, we have to understand how users and businesses both use both platforms. Instagram is considered as a showcase of images and videos only. However, the difference is far beyond visuals.

While Facebook is considered as a highly informative platform, you can find all business information ranging from business hours to contact info and upcoming events.

Historically, Facebook was detailed text-driven, and that was the reason why Facebook took more time than Instagram to create a profile. It was feeding an entirely different purpose.

Instagram is used more to capture, share and treasure moments. Users don’t get to Instagram to get any corporate information. They use it to get the latest updates on trends and engage themselves for attractive, unique and fresh visual content. Hence, it is the best choice to create brand awareness and gauge popularity among leads.

“Let’s take the example of a restaurant. When you get to a restaurant which has 40-60 entrees to choose from, you will take longer to choose from the entire list. However, when you get to a place that is specialized in some specific cuisine, it will take you much less time to make a decision.

Facebook is just like a 60 options menu. You have so much to choose from. There are a variety of options from playing games and messaging to watching videos. It gives its users unlimited possibilities, and there is undoubtedly something for everyone on Facebook” elaborated by Mary Burkland, Head of digital marketing – Premiumjackets.com.

On the other hand, Instagram is like a one-course meal. It serves a single dish and doesn’t have many opportunities to provide. It is primarily focused on core features to make audiences engaged.

Instagram lets you hit with the content immediately after signing up. It is strictly based upon visual-based content hence provides the user with an entirely different experience than Facebook.

Instagram users have options to look at images and videos as stories and posts that are the only summarized way of engaging them. An Instagram activity is a little bit trickier than Facebook to follow while both social media networks emphasis on providing stable account privacy.

Facebook on mobile devices has similar options to like, comment and share posts just like Instagram. Except there is one thing that gives an edge to Facebook on Instagram that is the ability to deliver different reactions to posts instead of a usual like button.

6. Running campaigns

Instagram and Facebook both have you covered when it comes to investing in reliable social media campaigns. They enable you to create, track, report and analyze paid campaigns.

Tracking your ROI is natural and authentic for every business on Instagram and Facebook both, and they give you every possible available data to monitor the success of your paid ads. There are multiple free and premium tools that give you analytics for organic and paid campaigns for performances altogether.

There are many things that you need to get a better picture of the impact of a social media marketing campaign on your revenue and hence will enable you to proceed further with the things to continue, stop and improve.

Which Network is Best For Your Brand?

As mentioned above, the success of your campaign is much dependent upon the quality of your content that is published. There is a common mistake that most of the marketers do they treat Instagram and Facebook in the same manner.

A content that works well on Instagram is not likely to work on Facebook as well. Similarly, a post that is a blockbuster on Facebook is not always translated to be popular on Instagram. Hence, it is recommended to always do an A/B testing for content on both platforms to get the best ROI.

Curated Content

When it comes to curate a content, Facebook is the best option to choose. The reason is, the content that is shared on Facebook is not always original. It is often news, blog posts and information that is just being shared from other sources.

While on Instagram, it is all about the originality and uniqueness of your content. Photos, videos and stories are created originally for Instagram.

Company News

Since Facebook is more text-based content sharing platform, you first stop to publish news or announcement should be Facebook. With this, you will always have a better chance that audiences will read the complete update.

While if you are offering something or running a promotion, a single visual post may work on both platforms. Also, if you are engaging people with a contest, go for Instagram first. For polls, surveys, suggestions and discussions, prefer Facebook.

Company Events

If you have just hosted a big conference or a successful fundraiser or a charity event, it is the perfect opportunity to publish your content visuals with well-written captions on Instagram” recommended by Samantha Burris – Australian Master.

You can also go live with real-time images and stories to keep your followers updated and make them feel that they are with you just there. After getting back from the show, make a perfect album with elaborating images and describing the content and publish it on Facebook.

Image Contests

Need a decent number of audiences? Image contests are all about engaging your potential prospects. Moreover, Instagram is the king of visual engagement among all social media platforms. Make a unique hashtag and host an image contest on Instagram and keep track of all of it for results.

You can also promote that content on other social media platforms like Facebook to get the traffic to your Instagram account. Consider running Facebook ads as well.

Hence, if you are posting content that is mainly text-based, then Facebook is a better choice to make it live while if you are about to showcase original photos and videos, going for Instagram is an ideal way.

Last Words

Instagram is not the replacement of Facebook and Facebook cannot replace Instagram in any manner. Being a smart marketer, you have to identify which social media platform will work best for your campaign based upon your audiences, your content, your niche and your goals.

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Stella Lincoln
Author

Stella Lincoln is a single mother and a freelance writer at Academist Help. She is well renowned for writing articles, which dispense candid practical advice in the fields of business and public relations.