Instagram or Facebook? Picking the Best Choice for a Competitive Edge

Facebook vs. Instagram
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Facebook has been a powerhouse channel for marketers for years. Understandably so, since the platform boasts 2.6 billion monthly users worldwide. However, with one billion monthly active users, could Instagram be a better investment? 

It all depends on the type of customer you want to reach and the content that works best for your brand.

Let’s look at Facebook vs. Instagram for business and figure out which platform works best for your marketing strategy.

Keep reading to learn:

Table of Contents

Getting to Know Facebook and Instagram

Facebook: The Basics

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Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is one of the leading social media platforms for marketing. By 2012, Facebook’s user base passed one billion, which cemented its position as the world’s largest social network.

Facebook users share images, videos, and articles, along with their comments and thoughts.

Businesses of all sizes use Facebook Business Manager as part of their social media marketing strategy. Facebook business solutions include app creation, online stores, and ads.

Instagram: The Basics

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Instagram was released in 2010 as a mobile app to share images and videos. The popular social media app had 25,000 downloads on its first day and reached 10 million monthly users by 2011.

Unlike other social networks, Instagram’s primary focus has always been sharing images. It’s since expanded the app to include more video posting options and desktop accessibility.

Users post photos and videos and use the Instagram app to edit their images and add visual filters. 

Facebook bought Instagram in 2012. Although Instagram remains a separate app, the acquisition led to increasing integration between your business Instagram account and Facebook Page.

Facebook vs. Instagram

Facebook has more daily average users than Instagram, and, on average, Facebook advertising costs less per click. However, Instagram is a more effective channel to reach consumers under the age of 30. Instagram also boasts better overall brand engagement than Facebook.

So, Instagram or Facebook? Which is better?

Keep reading to find out how Facebook and Instagram compare in terms of content formats, user demographics, and advertising.

Facebook vs. Instagram: Functions

Let’s look at how these platforms compare in terms of content formats and communication methods.

Facebook and Instagram both offer:

Facebook also offers:

facebook fundraisers

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If your brand depends on more community engagement and face-to-face events, Facebook might be the better choice for you since it offers Groups and Events. 

Otherwise, if you have visually appealing products, then Instagram might give you an edge.

Facebook vs. Instagram: Users

Facebook still has more total users than Instagram. But let’s look at Instagram vs. Facebook in terms of demographics. 

In other words, what kind of users can you reach on each platform?

Facebook User Demographics (U.S.)

With 2.6 billion users globally, Facebook remains the largest social network. 

In the U.S., 69% of adults have used Facebook. Of Facebook’s users, 44.6% are in the 25-44 age range, and 15.3% fall into the 18-24 year range.

In terms of household income, 74% of annual high-income earners ($75,000 or more) use Facebook. Furthermore, 80% of people with college degrees use Facebook. The number drops to 79% of people that report attending “some college.”

Facebook usage is equally prevalent among urban, suburban, and rural communities. However, women (75%) in the U.S. use Facebook more than men (63%). 

Instagram User Demographics (U.S.)

Although Instagram is quite popular, its users are skewed more towards a younger age group.

A total of 67% of people aged 18-29 use Instagram. And when you look at the 30-49 age range, that number drops to 47% — much less than the 79% of people in the same age range that use Facebook.

Additionally, only 42% of annual high-income earners report using Instagram, along with 43% of those with a college degree.

Once again, more women in the U.S. (43%) use Instagram than men (31%).

Instagram users are also more concentrated in urban and suburban areas. According to the Pew Research Center, 46% of urban residents use Instagram, followed by 35% of those who live in suburban areas, and only 21% of those who live in rural areas.

Overall, Facebook still has more penetration in the U.S. population, but Instagram works better if you’re targeting millennials that live in urban or suburban areas.

Facebook vs. Instagram: Engagement

Facebook takes the lead when it comes to the sheer number of users. But, when considering engagement rate, Instagram has an edge. 

In particular, Instagram beats Facebook when it comes to brand engagement. 

On Facebook, only 32% of users interact with brands. However, on Instagram, 68% of users regularly interact with brands.

It’s worth mentioning that recent updates to the Facebook algorithm prioritize interaction between users on the News Feed

This algorithm update resulted in lower overall reach for business or promotional posts for several businesses, even if users already follow a company’s Facebook page.

Brands only reach about 6% of their audiences with each Facebook post. On Instagram, each post reaches 100% of followers, making Instagram better than Facebook for reach and brand awareness.

Facebook vs. Instagram: Ads

And finally, let’s see whether Facebook or Instagram provides better options and results for ad campaigns.

Facebook ads come in eight formats, including traditional photo and video ads, plus Messenger and Playable (interactive games) ads.

Instagram offers five ad formats focused on visuals: images, videos, Carousel, Instagram Stories, and Collection. 

collection ads

You might be wondering which is the more cost-effective platform for paid marketing campaigns.

Here’s how Instagram and Facebook compare in terms of advertising costs.

Facebook Instagram
Average CPC (cost-per-click)
$0.97
$3.56
Average CPM (cost-per-thousand impressions)
$7.19
$7.91
Average CPA
$5.47
N/A

Remember, these numbers are averages. Various factors affect your cost-per-click, such as:

Finally, advertising costs are only half of the equation. You must also consider the value of each click. 

For e-commerce businesses, Instagram takes the lead in conversion value. The average order value of a purchase from Instagram is $65, compared to $55 for Facebook.

Verdict: Facebook vs. Instagram for Business

Which social network to choose depends on your marketing goals because platforms serve different purposes.

Facebook has more overall users, content types, and a lower average cost-per-click. It’s an excellent platform for businesses that focus on community creation or events. 

Although Instagram has fewer users than Facebook, it’s a more powerful tool for brands targeting consumers under the age of 30. In particular, visually appealing products and e-commerce businesses might find more success on Instagram.

Final Thoughts: Facebook vs. Instagram. Which Is the Best Marketing Platform?

Creating a strong brand presence on social media requires focused effort. Sometimes it’s better to focus on one platform over others. 

When it comes to Facebook vs. Instagram, Facebook offers more benefits for most businesses. That being said, you can still reach the younger generation and drive more engagement with Instagram.

Have a hard time choosing between the two platforms?

Here’s the good news: 

Facebook and Instagram profiles are integrated. It’s easy to share posts on both networks simultaneously. 

To learn more about social media scheduling tools that empower your digital marketing strategy, explore Fanbooster’s suite of tools.

Start your free 14-day Fanbooster trial

Fanbooster delivers a powerful suite of social media scheduling, publishing, reporting, and monitoring tools. Save time and money with the most affordable social media management software on the market.
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