Is your brand advertising on social media? If not, you’re missing out on the biggest opportunity to connect with potentially 4.48 billion people.
Once you have decided that you need to be on social media, the next big question is, where exactly? In an ideal world, we could be everywhere from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and LinkedIn and everything in between.
However, while the Internet allows us to be omnipresent, each presence demands strategy and resources. For brands with both human and material resources in limited quantities, choosing one right channel is more beneficial than a half-baked presence on several channels.
Today, if you don’t have a website, you can redirect a domain name to your social media account. This means that a social media account has the potential to replace a website completely. With the advent of new domain extensions such as .Tech, .Store, .Online, .Space, .Fun, .Site, you can find the most suitable domain name for your brand and have it redirected to your social media account.
This article will focus on two of the biggest social media platforms: Facebook and Instagram. While both are now owned by Facebook, they have key differences in terms of audience and content popularity, which may make one better suited for you than the other.
Let’s dive into it.
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When it comes to sheer numbers, Facebook is the clear winner. Instagram’s 1 billion monthly active users are less than half of Facebook’s whopping 2.89 billion. Such numbers compel brands to create a presence on Facebook.
However, it’s not just about quantity but also quality with marketing. When you compare the demographic differences between the users of the two channels, you find that the balance tips towards a younger audience in the case of Instagram. This includes people in the age group of 18-24 years and teenagers.
You will not find many people who are 45 and above on Instagram, but Facebook still has a significantly large user base in older age groups. You can look at your own family and friends to see how many generations use Facebook.
If your business specifically targets the younger or, the older generation, you may benefit from focusing on Instagram or Facebook.
2. Audience behaviour
While both Facebook and Instagram users are now used to advertising on the platforms, the real question to be addressed is how people are using the two platforms.
Instagram was started as an exclusive iOS app for people to share photographs, and the emphasis on visual content is still at the heart of Instagram. More people use Instagram to find photos, videos, art, and other content aligned with their passions and interests than on Facebook.
According to a July 2021 study, the most popular activity on Facebook is clicking on Facebook ads. This means that more people on Facebook are looking to engage with brands with an intent to learn more about them or shop from them than on Instagram.
On Instagram, users are more likely to click on a sponsored post if it falls within the purview of their interests. For instance, a person who loves fashion and follows many fashion accounts will click on a sponsored post by a clothing brand. They are also more likely to click on a post by a vegan clothing brand if they are vegan.
However, we can’t say that Facebook marketing is more effective than Instagram marketing. What it boils down to is what your goals are.
If you want to achieve higher click rates on your ads, Facebook might be a good option. If you wish to connect with a more niche audience through visual content, Instagram might be better for you.
Since Facebook users are more likely to click on ads compared to Instagram, the former may be a better fit for brands looking to sell on or via social media. However, both platforms have introduced several features over the last few years to enable businesses to sell their products in-app.
Facebook Shop is a little more accessible to businesses than Instagram Shop, which has strict criteria about who can sell. And both platforms allow integration with eCommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce.
Facebook also allows businesses to embed links, discount codes, and other sale-friendly features in their ads. On the other hand, Instagram allows “Swipe up” options only for verified accounts with 10,000 or more followers.
Also, unlike on Facebook, you cannot add links to your Instagram post. You can only add one link in your page’s bio.
If you wish to make social media one of your prime sales channels, Facebook is a clear winner.
Several brands use social media to interact with potential customers and improve brand awareness and consciousness rather than making sales.
When it comes to engagement, Instagram emerges victorious. Facebook’s median engagement rate is 0.08% compared to Instagram’s 0.98%.
This could be because Facebook users are browsing through a wider range of content than Instagram. Instagram users are more specific about the content they are looking for and, thus, are more likely to engage when they find it.
Moreover, Facebook is often used to stay in touch with friends and family, an element largely missing from Instagram. This means there is a lower risk of distraction for brands on Instagram.
If you’re a new business looking to connect with like-minded people and garner brand appreciation rather than sales, a strong Instagram engagement strategy might serve you better than engaging through Facebook.
Facebook and Instagram are different in content popularity, even though there’s enough of everything on both platforms. Before choosing between the two, brands should think about what kind of content they want to distribute.
It is important to note that Instagram is best consumed on mobile devices. On the other hand, Facebook can be accessed perfectly on desktops, laptops, phones, tablets, and most other devices. Therefore, you need to choose a platform basis the devices your target audience uses the most.
Next comes the content format. Again, Instagram users favour visual content. So, if you have a team that can put together stunning photographs or produce high-quality videos, you should promote them on Instagram. Textual content is not too popular on the platform, so users who upload text do so in the form of images using attractive fonts and backgrounds.
Facebook users, too, enjoy visual content, but there are takers for pure text. Facebook status updates can lead to everything from positive sharing to heated arguments.
If you wish to establish yourself as a thought leader by sharing your expertise and opinions, or if you wish to gain audience feedback, Facebook is a better bet than Instagram.
Now that you know the strengths of each platform, you should be in a better place to decide which one is better for your brand.
An advantage of both Instagram and Facebook, both owned by a single entity, is enough cross integration for you to test out both. You can share the same content on Facebook and Instagram and then make changes to suit each platform better.
Rutuja is a Sr. Content Marketing & Communications Associate at Radix, the registry behind some of the most successful new domain extensions, including .Online, .Store and .Tech. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.