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Instagram vs Facebook. Find Your Platform of Choice

Facebook is a social platform with the largest user base, and it also had years to prove its strength. However, Instagram is quickly gaining weight in the world of social media. Instagram managed to deliver a massive hit to Facebook’s position by developing an app. In the modern world, where Internet goes mobile and users shift from PCs to laptops, tablets and smartphones, a well-functioning app is a powerful advantage.


Instagram and Facebook, while competing for the same follower base, use very different approaches: while Facebook hits on data, Instagram made visuals its distinguishing feature.


When it comes to marketing, we may add that both social platforms are a great tool for starting a successful campaign. But you will need separate strategies to succeed on these two platforms.


Let us see what the differences between Facebook and Instagram are:




Facebook has 1.4 billion monthly active users compared to Instagram’s 300 million. However, Facebook is also a lot older.


65% of Facebook users watch videos via mobile devices, 47% of Instagram users access the platform via mobile devices.


Facebook numbers might seem more impressive, but Instagram grows more rapidly: 20% of Internet users have Instagram accounts. Also, Instagram beats Facebook in terms of engagement.


Instagram gives marketers a great possibility to brighten their campaign with the help of various visuals.


However, due to Facebook’ size almost every small business feels obliged to start a Facebook page, therefore the reach can be a whole lot wider here.


That is why statistical data isn’t enough to fully analyze all the pros and cons of Facebook and Instagram.


Let’s take another look at the differences that matter:


1. Audience


Audience is the main factor you must consider while making a choice whether you are going to promote your brand via the Instagram or stick to Facebook.


First aspect you need to keep in mind is that Instagram audience is significantly younger. Surprisingly, older people are less eager to inform the world of their latest cooking adventures and fashion looks. That is why the core of Instagram audience are people under 30 (with teens prevailing).


If your company’s product is oriented on youngsters, Instagram is your weapon of choice. Facebook is an aging platform: if in spring of 2014 72% of teens were using Facebook, in fall this number shortened to 45%.


Furthermore, 38% of teens think Instagram is a better marketing channel. 21% voted for Facebook.


This drastic change can be explained by young generation’s addiction to trends. Instagram is new, which is why it’s intriguing. Facebook often seems like old news to them.


Instagram also has a lot of new apps applicable.


However, Facebook attracting an older audience isn’t a bad thing: these people usually have more money. That is why if you offer some luxury goods, financial advice or something similar to those, you might want to make Facebook your primary focus.


2. Engagement


Instagram beats every other social platform, including Facebook, in terms of engagement.


For starters, Instagram has a 4.21% engagement rate compared to 0.1% engagement rate on Facebook and Twitter. That’s 58 times more effective.


This can be explained by the algorithms Facebook uses to choose which posts will appear in its’ users feeds. With the time passing brad reach on Facebook has visibly diminished.


Another trick is the “Boost” option (a paid one) which can become the only way to reach the engagement levels you require. On Instagram you can reach the same results without such suffering and for free.


But it isn’t an unbreakable rule – sometimes your Instagram posts won’t beat the Facebook ones.


You must keep in mind that engagement your posts get in social media depend on a variety of factors. Images get more engagement on Instagram, while deep and structured post will perform better on Facebook.


Analyze the content you publish more often and take it into the consideration while planning your marketing strategy.


Always think what audience expects of you before posting.


3. Usability


Both social networks have major differences in functionality. Instagram is image-oriented while Facebook is most often used to inform.


You can study a company through Facebook: find its address, inquire about the business hours and upcoming events. Texts perform better here.


Instagram is about making an impression. It’s not so business hours as company’s lifestyle. Here you can make them feel emotions, relate to your brand and understand it.


Facebook has much more options, it’s global – an harder to operate. Instagram’s simplicity is its advantage.


As soon as you launch the Instagram app, you go straight to the content and have two options: like or comment. It’s simple and doesn’t offer much room for distraction.


With Facebook you have more options with each post, but it can decrease the engagement because it’s more complex than Instagram.


4. Content


You should divide the content you publish on Facebook from content made for Instagram. Here’s what goes where:


- Sharing is for Facebook. There is nothing bad in sharing a piece of news or an interesting article. Facebook allows a variety of options to do that and add your thought on the matter over original post.


On Instagram you’d better keep your photos and videos original.


- News is for Facebook. Same goes to news. Don’t overburden your Instagram followers with news. If it’s complimented with the photo or video – that can be posted on Instagram, sure.


- Image contests are for Instagram. Goes without saying. If you manage to create a nice hashtag and go viral, tour campaign will spread like a flood.


5. Promo campaigns


Facebook is still better-suited for organizing and running promotional campaigns. Important issue – there’s no option to put a clickable link into your Instagram post. Facebook, on the other hand, has such an option.


Moreover, Facebook paid advertising options are still supreme. No other social platform can offer you such possibilities of boosting your posts. Also you can track each step of your campaign, measure the engagement, compare the results and modify your campaign in the process of running it.


To be fair, Instagram is still in the process of building its user base, so it wasn’t as favorable to marketers as Facebook is, for one simple reason – it’s afraid to scare users off. Instagram will definitely include more advertisement options in the future.


Both Instagram and Facebook are invaluable tools for building a strong social media presence and running a successful marketing campaign. To get the desired results, you need to analyze your user base’ demographics, their preferences and content they engage with.


Then based on that data you can make a choice whether you’ll pursue Instagram, Facebook or both. 

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