Facebook or Instagram: Why You Should Do Both
If you Google search “Facebook vs. Instagram” you’re likely to pull up a 100 blog posts debating the merits of both social media platforms. This debate, at least in our minds, is a little ridiculous. The two platforms work hand and hand, each working slightly differently. This article will explore both! In the end, you’ll see how each works a little differently and determine why it’s best to use a strategy that encompasses both.
The primary use for Instagram is for customers to follow brands, companies, and celebrities. Just to give you an idea, after Instagram’s own account, the next 12 most popular accounts are all celebrities! The most followed company is National Geographic. The only other companies and brands to break into the top 25 most followed accounts are Nike and Victoria’s Secret. Here’s why this information is interesting. Instagram users want to follow interesting people and things.
Let’s take National Geographic as an example. There page is specifically used to share photos from their sponsored photographers. They have nearly 80 million followers. However, the most recent data shows that National Geographic only has 6.7 million magazine subscribers. While that’s still an impressive number, consider the fact that they used to have 12 million magazine subscribers in the late 80’s. National Geographic has recently taken drastic measures to counter the decline in profits. Obviously, platforms like Instagram have dramatically impacted print media. However, don’t think that National Geographic gets money just from having followers.
So why is a great but struggling magazine the most followed company on Instagram? People follow National Geographic to look at beautiful photos. It’s the same principle with Victoria’s Secret. Go ahead and use your imagination as to why people follow their account. The point is, people follow brands because they enjoy the content. People will follow Taylor Swift because they like her. This is why photographers, artists, and personalities have such great success on Instagram. In essence, they make great content.
Facebook usage differs from Instagram in a few ways. There isn’t a whole lot of difference between a personal Instagram and Facebook profile. In fact, many people will re-post their Instagram photos right onto Facebook. For keeping up with the lives of your friends, both work great. The biggest difference is this: sharing. Sharing hasn’t taken off on Instagram like it has on Facebook. In fact, unless an Instagram account is specifically made to re-post user content like photos or memes, it’s rare to see shared content. It’s just not common, nor is the interface made for it.
Facebook, on the other hand, is perfect for sharing other users posts. Facebook makes it quite simple by giving you the option to share at the bottom of each post. This can be great for businesses! If users see something they like, it’s easy to click share and spread that content to their friends. The best part about the sharing capabilities is that Facebook will always credit the original creator. Your name spreads wherever your content spreads. Facebook Ad’s can be very effective, more so than promoted content on Instagram.
The difference between Facebook and Instagram is mostly an age difference. There is a misconception out there that Facebook is only used by middle age and older demographic and that Instagram is for Millennials and under. According to the latest Pew Research, this isn’t quite accurate. Within Instagram, there is definitely more engagement from Millennials. However, Facebook still has a strong grip on number of users. Facebook has a fairly consistent user base across age groups. That means that many more people from the middle age and older group are on Facebook as opposed to Instagram. Facebook is still very popular with Millennials with 88% of active internet users also using Facebook. In terms of the sheer number of users, Facebook wins by a long shot. Their 2 billion monthly users beats Instagram’s 600 million.
Conversion and Engagement
Engagement is simply defined as interaction with a post in the form of a like, comment, share, etc. Instagram has the best engagement of any social media platform. Facebook comes in second, though the margin is fairly difficult. One reason is that Instagram doesn’t use an algorithm. It displays posts as they come in. Facebook, on the other hand, will use algorithms to generate your feed based on your past preferences.
The most difficult question to ask about Social Media Marketing is the conversion rate. Does user engagement always translate into sales? It’s not exactly black and white. Engagement measures a completely different metric than sales. For example, let’s think back to National Geographic. Do likes always equal magazine subscriptions? Perhaps not. For Nike? Maybe it is a better indicator. With Google Analytics, you can see the different channels from which people engage your post. Through setting up conversions, you can track a customers journey from social media to completing a goal like purchasing, subscribing, or requesting more information.
Here’s how we approach our social media strategy when it comes to Facebook and Instagram. We use both. Both have different strengths and weaknesses. The JJUMPP Springboard Software integrates both platforms and Google Analytics. We use it to post, track, and analyze the effectiveness of our efforts. As you develop a social media strategy for your small business, consider these questions.
- Who is my target demographic? It’s probably best to post to both, but know that you probably won’t reach an older audience on Instagram.
- What kind of content am I creating? Is it content I want shared? Consider Facebook. Am I trying to create a brand image? Post that content to Instagram.
- Do I have a goals and metrics I want to track? How will I measure my success? Again, we recommend using Google Analytics.
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