One of the most common questions we receive is whether a business should use Facebook, Instagram, or both for their marketing. Despite the fact that Facebook and Instagram are owned by the same entity, and are both hugely popular social platforms, they have distinct differences. In this post, I’ll break down the key differences between the two and what that means for marketing your business.

About Instagram for Businesses

Instagram is primarily an image sharing social network, although they are also entering the video sharing space. The average age of Instagram users is starting to expand. 59% of users are between the ages of 18 and 29, followed by 33% of users being ages 30-49.

While there are more females on the site, the discrepancy isn’t much (38% of users identified as female, and 26% identified as male). With over 500 million active users a day, there is an average of 95 million photos and videos shared daily.

With that many daily users, it’s no wonder that advertising is quickly gaining strength on the social network. There are approximately over 25 million business profiles, which is 10 million more than in July 2017. The number of advertisers has doubled since last year with 2 million monthly advertisers on the network. It’s expected that 70.7% of U.S. companies will use Instagram to market their businesses in 2018.

Plus, 80% of users say they follow a business account. That means that on a platform where people are highly engaged and are actively following businesses, there’s a lot of opportunities to connect to your customer base and audience.

Businesses looking to advertise their brand on Instagram should keep in mind that engagement comes from featuring images and videos that entice Instagram users to like and comment. To have success on Instagram, it’s key that your photos and videos are good quality and represent your brand. Instagram thrives on emotional posts, while Facebook is a bit different.


Facebook Marketing for Businesses

Facebook entertains and informs 2 billion users a month and 1 billion users a day. There is very little difference in the amount of users across various age groups. That means that pretty much everyone is using Facebook, and using it often. Women outnumber men, but not by much. Eighty-three percent of women use Facebook compared to 75% of men.

Facebook pages, often used by businesses, are quite active each month. A third of Facebook users use them to engage with brands. An average of 5 billion comments are left on pages each month.

The most popular type of post on Facebook includes a link to a website. The second most popular post type are video posts, followed by photos. Businesses are using the social network to drive traffic to their site with link posts. They are using videos to encourage engagement on their pages, which then can help with overall reach. A balance of link posts and video posts can lead to significant exposure on Facebook, especially since 8 billion of its users watch videos daily. Most of these people watch videos with the sound off because they are 5 times more likely to watch them on a phone in public. Hence, the growing popularity of videos with text captions.

Most marketers, as much as 93%, advertise on the social network regularly. Image ads are the most popular with a cost per click of $1.72. ROI for Facebook ads depend on ad type, targeting, and investment.

Summary and Key Takeaways

The key differences between Instagram and Facebook are related to the type of posts and the goals. Facebook is a great way to disseminate information about your business whereas Instagram is more focused on creating an emotional connection.

Instagram is primarily an image-based social network even though videos are gaining in popularity. Facebook focuses on sharing information through links and videos, but photos are also a big part of the platform. Advertisers are using both Instagram and Facebook to market brands, but they need to be used differently.

Almost every industry can benefit from using Facebook since users of all demographics are on Facebook. But, you’ll need to find out what type of content your audience best engages with. Instagram may be a bit less appealing for businesses whose products and services don’t yield great photos or whose target audience is older than 40.

As you’re considering Instagram and/or Facebook for marketing your business, think about your target audience and where they typically spend their time when on social media. It’s also important to think about the types of posts that appeal to your audience. Would they be attracted to images or videos more? Do they want information found on your site?

Whenever you’re creating a marketing strategy (on social media or elsewhere), come up with a consumer profile that includes what they do in their free time to know where you should advertise your services and products. This can help you decide where you should invest your time and money.


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