social media

Facebook Vs Instagram: Sibling Rivalry

Sibling rivalry is real. And there’s no bigger rivalry than Facebook vs Instagram.The Facebook vs Instagram battle has been rumbling along for years, as they both compete to be the frontrunner. The game has somewhat changed since Facebook bought Instagram for $1 bn in 2012. Instagram was still in its relative infancy and Facebook LIVE was just a twinkle in Zuckerburg’s eye. 

Facebook and Instagram have largely stayed as very separate platforms, aside from the ability to cross post. Though there are some similarities, such as the somewhat under-utilised Facebook stories feature, but still remain distinct in their own ways.

But, which is best for your business? Here, we let Facebook vs Instagram battle it out to see who reigns supreme as the social media champion – for now, at least.

Futureproofing Facebook

2018 was a difficult year for Mark Zuckerberg with the data scandal and endless stories about fake news, tarnishing Facebook’s reputation. This obviously led to some backlash from users with #DeleteFacebook trending on Twitter. However, the number of users continues to grow, and Facebook currently has 2.27 billion monthly active users. That’s not something to ignore. In the Facebook vs Instagram battle, we have a clear winner here, as Instagram is set to boast one billion users during 2019. Impressive, but still in its relative infancy when compared to Facebook.

However, the game has changed.

GDPR has meant Instagram’s advertising options have had to change to be compliant with EU rules, meaning the ‘testing’ period for ads can take longer (and cost more) than before.

Also, brand exposure on Facebook is no longer about posting on your company’s page and hoping for the best. Marketers need to be more clever than that to beat the ever-changing algorithm and enjoy organic reach.

Our recommendations make use of new features, such as the underutilised Facebook stories. These will be favoured by the platform, and who doesn’t want to lead the pack when these features do start to become the norm. Facebook groups have also graduated from ‘salesy’ places where no one really engages, to well-organised communities. Find one that works for you to reach your audience. Or, if you have the time, why not start your own? 200 million people are members of ‘meaningful’ Facebook groups, which are communities that are key to that user’s experience – so they show up in their news feeds. This is part of Facebook’s move to prioritise friends, families and communities, over brands. Words speak louder than images here, which is a break from the social media norm, to provide an opportunity to directly engage and interact with audiences and potential customers.

Instagram for the win?

Instagram is obviously a very visual platform, so certain brands will clearly excel. For example, 98% of fashion brands have an Instagram account. The latest additions of tagging in products and being able to shop within posts and stories just ups the benefits for ecommerce businesses on Instagram. Other visually-led businesses, such as restaurants, wedding suppliers and more, have a clear advantage here. One of the most popular accounts is from National Geographic, which shares a range of stunning images of nature and wildlife.

Although Instagram has less monthly active users than Facebook, the users they do have are actually using it a lot – 38% of Instagram users say they look at the platform several times a day. The way that they have been using the platform has been evolving too.

Instagram Stories are really where it’s at, much more so than on Facebook, with 300 million users interacting with Instagram Stories daily. Not only are they more personable and interactive, these temporary snap shots are great for business – 59% of Instagram Stories
lead to a shoppable page. This is obviously an easy win in the Facebook vs Instagram battle, as it makes it easy to convert your audience into customers in a couple of clicks.

So, who’s the overall winner?

We don’t usually like sitting on the fence, but the real winner in the Facebook vs Instagram battle depends on what your business goals are. If you are looking to interact with your audience and establish your company spokespeople as experts, Facebook Groups are definitely worth exploring. If your company has stunning visuals and regular interesting things to say, then Instagram is the place to be.

But, you don’t have to choose your winner. Try out a range of social media platforms, with bespoke content created for each, and see what resonates with your audience, and then converts to leads or sales for your business. Test, test and test again to hone what you’re offering your audience on Facebook and Instagram, as well as Twitter, LinkedIn and the rest of the social media clan.

Avoid getting complacent though. There is a constant stream of new features being added to each platform, so keep up with them and amend your marketing accordingly to stay in the game. Don’t be afraid to try something new – your competitors won’t be – and daring to be different could pay in dividends.


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Need to liven up your company’s social media story? Get in touch with the Typeface team and reach out to your audiences in more ways than one.