Every marketer knows about the benefits of social media marketing, from an affordable way to reach a large market to the compelling targeting potential, but how do you know where to start? Do you set up profiles on all major platforms and split your time, or do you focus on what matters most? Here’s what you need to know about deciding between Instagram and Facebook for business — or whether you should be using them both.
Facebook for Business
Facebook is among the most ubiquitous social media platforms with the undisputed largest reach. With billions of active users around the world, it’s possible to access almost any market on Facebook. Based on demographics alone, it’s important to note that 72% of internet users are on Facebook; 66% of men and 77% of women. As with all social media, the demographics are skewed younger, with 82% between the ages 18 to 29, 79% between the ages of 30 to 49, and 64% between the ages of 50 to 64 maintaining profiles. However, these statistics don’t tell the whole story. While many young people do have profiles, Gen Z in particular is abandoning Facebook in favor of more youthful alternatives.
As one of the early leaders in paid advertising, Facebook’s marketing tools are robust, allowing small businesses to put their dollars to work by exclusively zeroing in on the markets that matter most using everything from age and location to liked pages and group memberships. This can ensure every dollar is used effectively — a boon for those with a tight budget.
However, Facebook isn’t perfect, and it won’t be the right fit for everyone. Using Facebook means maintaining an entire profile page, including things like profile pictures, cover photos, About Us information, extensive contact details, Messenger, text posts, groups, albums, and more. This can take a fair amount of time, particularly for those new to social media. Engagement on Facebook is also lower than other platforms, with more users content to browse posts without commenting, liking, or sharing.
Targeting Customers on Instagram
Instagram is a much newer platform with a slightly different focus. While Facebook requires users to maintain comprehensive profiles, Instagram is all about pictures. There’s no obligation to create a lengthy bio or provide any kind of diverse personal information when signing up for Instagram, creating a simpler experience that is focused on images and videos, but nothing else. Other programs allow for visual content, of course, but on Instagram, that’s essentially the only option.
The image-focused aspect of Instagram creates compelling marketing opportunities, especially for those with a creative business or one that sells products that can be showcased. Simply sticking to visual media is immediately attractive, allowing you to show off the best of your business without getting lost in the shuffle of a larger text-based platform’s noise. Engagement is higher on Instagram than on Facebook, with 68% of users engaging with brands on a regular basis, increasing the odds of customers both seeing your posts and interacting with your message. Instagram does trend younger as well, which benefits those marketing to teens and young adults.
However, Instagram does have its downsides. The image-based format isn’t necessarily right for everyone, particularly those with a service business or who work in an industry that doesn’t translate well into visuals. Further, success on Instagram also means creating compelling content, which requires a little artistic know-how, a knack for photography, or knowledge of production. Bad pictures are worse than no pictures, after all. Instagram also collects far less information than Facebook, making the process of targeting a little less exact.
Weighing the Pros and Cons
So, Instagram or Facebook? Which one is the right answer? As with all things in business, there’s no one correct choice. Maybe Facebook’s more robust profile pages and enhanced targeting options are right for you, or perhaps you thrive on visual content and want to tap into the possibility of increased engagement that Instagram can offer. It’s up to you to determine which social media platform best suits your buyer personas. If you can’t see a clear winner, emphasizing both may be the best move. Many brands do maintain profiles across multiple platforms and do it well. However, keep in mind that succeeding on both means a greater investment of time and money, so be sure you’re ready to take the leap.
Social media has clear benefits, but making the most out of your profile means knowing how — and where — to focus your energy. From Instagram to Facebook to any of the other alternatives out there, be sure to do your due diligence before making a commitment. If you want assistance making social media work for you, RivalMind is here to help. Give us a shout today to learn more about our social media services.