Comparing Platforms: Instagram vs Facebook for Business

Gone are the days when TV commercials and newspaper advertisements were the dominant forms of advertising. Today, the popularity of social media has changed the game. With more than 3.7 billion social media users around the world, social media engagement is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes. The social media landscape changes rapidly and keeping up with new trends can be difficult. Many businesses have tasked individuals and whole teams with social media management and staying on top of the latest in viral marketing. This investment is strategic, with the possibility of a large payout, especially considering that they say 71% of consumers base their buying decisions on what they’ve seen on social media.

What about small businesses? They don’t often have the resources to dedicate entire teams to managing an ever-expanding portfolio of social media accounts. In these cases, social media likely falls under one employee’s long list of varying responsibilities. Therefore, regularly managing and updating several social networks may not be feasible. If you need to prioritize platforms, a couple that stand out include Facebook and Instagram – evergreen social networks with large, diverse audiences. Although Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012, the two have marked differences.

Instagram is home to a seemingly never-ending feed of attention-grabbing photos and videos, while Facebook provides a more diversified range of content. Although Facebook and Instagram are slowly bridging the gap between their user base, and content sharing, they still require different advertising strategies. If you’re thinking “Instagram vs Facebook for Business,” you’ll want to take a look at some of the key features and differences of each.

By the Numbers – A Platform Comparison

Facebook

  • 96% of active user accounts accessed Facebook through a mobile device (Statista, 2022)

     

  • 83% of marketers claim that Facebook is part of their brand social strategy (Sprout Social, 2022)

 

Instagram

  • 77% of marketers claim that Facebook is part of their brand social strategy (Sprout Social, 2022)

Facebook Business Page vs Instagram Business Account

Facebook Business Page

Comparable to a free website for your business, a Facebook Business Page is free to create and offers an opportunity to expand your online footprint. Similar to a personal profile, you can post updates, share content, and engage with new and existing clients. Other features which are attractive to businesses include:

  • Shop: Set up an online storefront where customers can browse and purchase items directly from your Facebook for Business Page.

     

  • Offers: Post and share about upcoming or in-market offers. Include a button on the post so people can claim the deal.

     

  • Events: Set-up events, let your audience know all about it and even sell tickets.

     

  • Reviews: A collection of customer experiences to let others know what they can expect when doing business with you.


Instagram Business Account

If you have standout company photography and want to grow your reach and engagement, consider setting up or converting an existing profile to an Instagram Business Account. Doing this unlocks a wealth of resources can impress and empower marketing teams. With an Instagram Business Account, you can engage with your audience, offer customer service, and share details on offers. Other features which are attractive to businesses include:

 

  • Instagram Insights: A detailed dashboard of analytics related to your posts. Learn more about your follower demographics and actions. Use this information to compare content, measure campaigns, and see how individual posts are performing.

     

  • Advertise: Turn posts into ads by boosting them. Select your goal, define your audience, set a budget and duration.

     

  • Contact button: Add a contact button to your profile header – email and call are popular options.

     

  • Post links: For business accounts with over 10,000 followers, you can add links to your Instagram story posts.

Advertising on Facebook

When you’re having issues with organic outreach, paid advertising can be a great way to garner engagement on your social posts. With nearly 3 billion active monthly users, paid advertising through Facebook is a great place to activate new business and re-engage ‘dormant’ followers. Facebook marketing for small business must always begin with a business page. Once you’ve created your very own page, you can access two options for advertising – boosting a post or Facebook Ads.

 

  • Boost a Post: You will soon realize that boosting a post on Facebook works much the same as on Instagram. Add a budget to an existing post and target Facebook users by location, age, gender, and interests. 

 

 

  • Facebook Ads: Offers a unique experience where you can add more functionality and placement options for your post ads. Benefits include ads in Facebook Messenger or cross-posting to Instagram. When creating a campaign on Facebook, you can also select from 11 marketing objectives to help you reach your KPIs. Notable selections include brand awareness, store traffic, lead generation, audience reach, and app installs. 

 

 

  • Before boosting a Facebook post or creating a tailored advertisement from scratch, determine the available budget. Using this budget, you can draft ads to gauge approximate reach and duration. 

 

Advertising on Instagram

GWI presents data that reveals that 1 in 4 internet users between ages 16 and 64 discover new brands, services, and products through social media ads. If you’re looking to get some added exposure, you should pay attention to these Instagram ads best practices.

Budget: When advertising on Instagram, one of the first things to determine is the budget. Knowing this figure will allow you to pinpoint your audience reach and ad durations. The best way to evaluate your budget is by setting up a draft campaign in Ads Manager. Here you can determine what your audience might look like, estimated daily returns, and how much this would cost based on set durations. 

Types of ads: Instagram offers many post options that can be transformed or boosted into ads. Some of the most popular include image & video ads, stories, carousels, reels, shopping, and IGTV. Using Ads Manager, experiment with different formats to determine which works best with your budget and brand standards before launching a live campaign. 

Creating an Instagram Ad: There are two ways to create advertising campaigns on Instagram – promoting a post or building one through Ads Manager.

Post promotion is the easiest way to advertise on Instagram and works similarly to Facebook’s boosted posts. You can add funds and specific audience targeting to an existing post to scale up its success. Using this method, you will determine the audience, budget, and duration. 

In Ads Manager, the process for creating an advertisement is a bit more complex, however, it does provide added data granularity and different post-type options like carousels. Through this method, ads can be run on Facebook for additional exposure. 

The Bottom Line: Understand Your Audience

Deciding on a social media marketing strategy for your small business can be overwhelming. Budgets and staffing resources can limit what you can accomplish. Though your resources may be limited, social media still plays an integral role in exposure, customer service, and conversion. In this case, it may make sense to place your efforts behind one platform to start. Where to begin? Facebook and Instagram are the big social media players, with billions of active monthly users between the two of them. Deciding on which one to use depends on your business segment, your audience/customers, and the type of content you have on hand or plan to create. Let us leave with a few tips to consider for each platform:

Facebook:

  • Versatile content – if you have a variety of content, including text, images, and updates, Facebook could be a better choice for your business.

     

  • Lack of creative assets – if your organization lacks visually stimulating content, like product or service photography, you may consider other content forms, such as creating blog posts and sharing them on your Facebook page. Positioning yourself as an ‘expert’ in a particular area may work well on this platform.

     

 

Instagram:

  • A place for trends – if you plan to keep up with the latest social or market trends related to your business, this may be the platform for you. In terms of demographics, Instagram skews towards a younger audience, while Facebook is geared to those in older age groups.

     

  • Emphasis on mobile – Instagram is primarily a mobile app, and most of its users access it via their smartphones.

     

  • Outstanding photography – If you have well-appointed photography to share or have access to a graphic designer either in-house or through an agency, you can create and post engaging content on Instagram

     

  • Impulse shoppers – Instagram may attract impulse buyers – those who see an item and ‘must have it.’