What to use, Facebook, Instagram – or both?
Would you like to develop your social media presence further but not sure where to concentrate your time? While Facebook and Instagram may be part of the same company, they offer different ways to interact with and appeal to people – and one platform may work better for one audience than others. So which would be best for you?
Why choose Facebook?
For a start, the audience is huge – in fact, as far as social media platforms go, it has the largest audience of all, worldwide. In terms of what marketers can do with this audience, it also has the most advanced targeting options, so that you can reach not only the people who are most likely to be interested in your organisation, but the biggest audience, with a message that they will be interested in.
On top of this, it offers a number of ways to interact, including:
- Business Pages
Business Pages are a free way for you to promote your brand on Facebook, interacting with an audience that has chosen to follow your brand. Here you can give people updates, share details on new products or services, get feedback and make yourself stand out as an authority in your area.
You can develop a sense of community through a Facebook Group, offering different reasons why your audience would benefit from being part of it – which could be anything from sharing work that you’ve inspired them to create, enabling members to learn from each other, and asking for honest feedback to refine your products and services. If it’s done right, this is a great way to build a real relationship and create advocates for your brand.
Through posting events on Facebook, you can tell people when a new product or service is going to be released, inform about Live events where you will showcase items, and encourage them to engage with your brand further.
You can also connect your shop to Facebook, so people can see your products on the platform and buy from there.
Stories appear at the top of your Facebook feed, and give you the opportunity to humanise your brand through images, music, videos and gifs. It feels a bit more like a special glimpse into your brand, as people have to actively click on the stories to see them.
What are the drawbacks of Facebook?
It’s hoped that the options available to marketers will become more refined, as the Business Suite function recently introduced by Facebook is not quite as user-friendly as many would have hoped.
In terms of audience, its popularity may not be around forever unless Facebook can change its appeal. In a few years’ time it may have lost the number one spot, as the younger generation spend more time on platforms including Snapchat, YouTube and of course, Instagram.
Why choose Instagram?
While Facebook may have the biggest audience, Instagram has the highest level of engagement – so people are interested enough in what they see to interact with it.
Its audience is also still growing, especially with younger generations, the majority of which do use it to follow business pages as well as friends, family, celebrities and social influencers. Many also seek out new products through the platform – and have an expectation for brands to be on Instagram.
Like Facebook, there are a number of ways to reach people:
- Business accounts
Creating a business account allows you to show the industry you belong to, place links back to your website and give your audience a way to contact you. It also gives you the opportunity to gain access to Instagram Insights, which gives you lots of stats on how and when your audience interacts with your posts, what your most popular posts are, and where your audience is. This allows you to refine what you do in the future.
Instagram Stories work in much the same way as Facebook Stories, so you can humanise your brand and offer a variety of content while helping to drive sales and traffic.
IGTV features videos from every type of user on the platform you can imagine, allowing you to reach a bigger audience outside of your followers and interact with a new audience in a different way.
Instagram Live is much the same as Facebook Live, in that you start broadcasting a video in real-time, which means that you can get responses to your content instantly, and also feel more accessible to your audience.
Because Instagram is image based, the ads that it runs are based on this, and will feature photos, videos, carousels, slideshows and stories. Because there are a variety of options, you may find that your audience reacts better to some things than others.
When you upload a photo of a product, you can add a link to the item in your product catalogue, to help people press buy without having to search your entire website first. It’s an easy way to convert your potential customers, if you reach the right people.
What are the drawbacks of Instagram?
Well, it all depends on your brand and its target audience. Do the people you want to reach spend their time on Instagram? It’s worth getting to know what your competitors are doing on the platform and whether it looks like it is having the desired effect. As Instagram is known for having a high level of engagement, if little is going on on your competitors’ pages, maybe this isn’t the right place to focus your energy right now – then again, if you feel like you could show your competitors how it should be done, then go and seize your audience.
So one, other, or both?
Again, it depends on your target audience. If it’s younger, focus on Instagram, if it spans all generations, then it’s worth using both. If you’re not sure, you can always do some testing and try out the platforms before you pursue them further – to make sure that your instincts are right and you’re not missing out on a market.
Would you like to talk through your options and explore what’s right for you before you go any further? We’d love to talk it through with you, so please do get in touch.