Is Instagram Better Than Facebook?

Picture of Aliza ShermanAliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

Is Instagram Better Than Facebook?

Over the years, Facebook has eclipsed all other U.S.-based social networks in terms of sheer size, adoption rate, daily usage and overall reach. One social network that has benefited from Facebook’s popularity is Instagram. Facebook purchased Instagram in 2012, and the visual social mobile network surpassed 1 billion users in late 2018 (compared to 2.27 billion for Facebook).

When comparing social networks to determine which ones will be more effective for achieving your marketing goals, you want to examine several things:

  1. Audience – Whom can you reach through each social network and how close can you get to your target market and ideal customer? Also consider where your current customers spend their time.
  2. Features – What are you able to do on a given social network? Are you limited to video-only? Are you able to link out of the network to drive traffic to your site or web page of choice? Can you track click through and conversions?
  3. Outcomes – If you’ve been using several social networks, which one is consistently delivering positive results?

Which is better for marketing your company – Facebook or Instagram? Let’s break it down of Facebook versus Instagram

  1. Facebook users are 53% female and 47% male and range in age from 18 to 65. Instagram users are 50.3% female, while 49.7% male. Demographics for both are pretty similar.
  2. The average Facebook user is around 40 years old. 64% of Instagram users are 18-34 so it skews younger. If you’re looking to reach a younger audience, Instagram is the way to go.
  3. Both Facebook and Instagram have targeting tools to advertise on their platforms. In fact, Instagram uses the Facebook ad platform so you can market on one or the other or both.
  4. Both Facebook and Instagram let you upload photos, graphics, and videos and both let you stream video live. Using Instagram and linking it to your Facebook Page can enhance your Facebook feed.
  5. You can post to your Facebook Page and link to other parts of Facebook such as a Facebook Event as well as outside web pages such as your website, blog or online store. Instagram doesn’t let you use live links in your feed posts. The only live clickable links on Instagram – other than the link in your Instagram account bio - are the ones you can insert into your Instagram Stories.
  6. You can access insights on both Facebook and Instagram to gain a better understanding of the users you are reaching with your posts. Instagram shows you Activity including Interactions such as profile visits and Discovery that tells you hoow many people see your content and where they find it. Content lets you view Insights on your Posts, Stories, and Promotions. Audience gives you more information about your followers and audience. Facebook gives you vastly more data including Page Likes and Net Likes (subtracting out “unlikes”), Post Reach, Engagement, Post Reach, follower demographics and more.

The main difference between the two social networks is the demographics of their user base. Also, Instagram seems to have more appeal and growth than Facebook that is a little more stagnant. Facebook is still the powerhouse, but Instagram has a strong, vibrant and interactive community.

While you can focus on one or the other, you may see greater results from an integrated social media marketing campaign that leverages both Facebook and Instagram to expand your reach and increase response.