The Facebook vs Instagram debate is an age-old conversation that businesses owners, social media managers and marketers have been discussing since the inception of social media!
Choosing the right social media platform for your business along with how much time and money you should invest in that platform can be a difficult decision, and what works for one person or business won’t necessarily work for another. What we are going to discuss in this blog is opinion that is based on our own experiences – we manage a number of different social media accounts at BeKonstructive Marketing, for a number of different businesses operating in a broad range of industries. This blog is based on what we have discovered from managing those accounts – if you have had a different experience, please let us know in the comments!
Instagram VS Facebook: Which Platform Should You Be On?
Ok, so the short answer for most businesses is ‘both’. But the longer answer for anyone trying to decide which platform to focus on more or which one to favour depends on whether your are a product-based business or a service-based business.
See I have a theory – product-based businesses perform better on Facebook and service-based businesses perform better on Instagram.
Again, this doesn’t mean that a business can’t find success on both platforms, or that you should completely rule one or the other out – it just means that if you are a service business, you will get traction on Instagram easier and if you are a product business you will find it easier to grow an audience on Facebook.
My reasoning for this theory is based on the way that users and consumers view and use the content on the two social media platforms. Facebook is generally used by most people as a news and updates platform – they go there to see what their friends and family are up to, but they will also consume more external content. They are used to seeing a lot of face-less brands and content come up in their feed and clicking on links to (momentarily) exit the world of Facebook is standard user behaviour.
Instagram is the complete opposite – sure, you can chuck a link in your bio, or if you’re lucky to have 10K+ followers, you can pop one in your stories – but they don’t just show up in people’s feeds the way that they do in Facebook. Think about it – when was the last time you saw a post in your feed telling you to ‘click the link in bio’ for more information, and you actually exited out of your feed, navigated to their profile page, clicked the link and consumed the ‘more information’? I’m not saying it doesn’t happen at all, I’m just saying that it happens much less frequently than it does on Facebook.
We also need to look not only at how people use the different platforms but also why – if they are using Facebook to stay up to date with the latest news, then what are they using Instagram for?
The answer is connection.
I am not saying that they don’t connect with people or brands on Facebook, just that they are more likely to do it on Instagram. That is why influencer marketing is so much bigger on Instagram than it is on Facebook – because people aren’t looking to connect with random people on Facebook. They are following brands that keep them up-to-date and informed about the latest news, fashion, beauty, sales or what ever they are interested in, but they aren’t looking to fan-girl over people they’ve never met before.
It is also why product brands that perform well on Instagram usually achieve their success by integrating influencer marketing into their strategy – they are leveraging the connection that their influencer has built rather than building their own connection with the audience.
The reason that service-based businesses perform so well on Instagram is because it is a photo-based platform and it is difficult to constantly post pictures of a service without it getting dull and boring. So the logical thing to do is to start posting pictures of the person/people who provide the service – sharing their story and creating connection, even if it is by accident. Users become interested in the people behind the brand and by sharing your face and story, you start to build connection with your followers.
Facebook vs Instagram: How to Maximise Results
As a product or services based business you can achieve good results on both platforms if you keep everything we just discussed above in mind when creating your content marketing strategy. If you are a product-based business looking at Instagram then there is no reason that you can’t post images of yourself and your team and share your story on Instagram. And if that doesn’t work, you can use influencer marketing as a back-up strategy.
If you are a service-based business looking at Facebook then the trick is to create content that establishes yourself as a knowledgeable source of information and share news-worthy posts. If you still want to connect with your audience then you can try doing videos where you are talking to the camera so that they still get to see your face and get to know your personality, but rather than talking about yourself and your story, discuss an important industry trend or current news item that is likely to interest your audience.
In closing, there is no right or wrong answer when talking about Facebook vs Instagram – what I have outlined above is entirely based on my own experiences and things I have discovered while managing accounts for different businesses on both platforms. At the end of the day, some businesses perform better on one platform than they do on the other, and as long as you understand your target audience and how they use or consume content on either Facebook or Instagram then you should be able to tailor your posts and messages to suit.
Want more? Subscribe to The Bite Size Edition, our weekly content marketing email containing heaps of social media, SEO, blogging and content creation tips, news and info.