Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular social media platforms in the world. According to statistics provided by Facebook, about 20% of the time on mobile is spent on either one of the two platforms. This gives businesses big opportunities to target their audience as well as explore and expand their current customer reach. With various advertising options available, it is almost silly not to try and use them.
Facebook is older than Instagram and has a significantly larger number of users. Currently, Facebook has 2.32 billion of them whereas Instagram holds ‘only’ 1 billion accounts. Therefore, Facebook has technically a larger potential customer reach. On the other hand, Instagram is rapidly growing and is continuously increasing its number of active accounts. But nevertheless, the audience is big enough both here and there to launch campaigns that could reach millions and make millions.
There are 60 million business pages out there on Facebook that try to connect with their customers. However, in reality only 32% of users that like a business page actually engage with it. On Instagram, the situation is a little better as 68% of users engage with a business they follow. Hence, the size absolutely shouldn’t be a determining factor when it comes to choosing where you should start advertising.
There are a lot more other elements that you should take under consideration in your decision-making process such as costs, reach, engagement… Even aspects like content and optimization. For instance, while Facebook is great for video advertisement, Instagram works better with photographs.
And while Facebook works on any device, Instagram is optimized mainly for mobile and its desktop version contains a lot of limitations. On the other hand, though, studies show that more than 95% of Facebook users enter the platform on a smartphone so doesn’t matter if you want it or not, your ads will need to be mobile-friendly.
Facebook’s advertising offer is a lot larger than Instagram’s. While FB has 11 different types of ads to choose from, Instagram has only 4. But the platform makes up for it with the option of Instagram Stories advertisements. Those tend to be highly effective. But, at the end of the day, both platforms generate a high return on investment.
When it comes to costs, the average cost-per-click for Facebook advertisements is $0.35. Instagram’s average CPC equals $0.80. These numbers, however, are affected by a lot of factors. For instance, it is more expensive to run ads during the Christmas holidays and in the months preceding them. The costs also vary among different targeted age groups. Hence, the actual values may vary significantly from the given averages.
Imagining that the marketing budget is tight, and you can afford to place ads only on either Facebook or Instagram, which one should you choose? According to Sprout Social, a business should look at three factors when facing such decision: reach, engagement and demographics.
Reach, engagement and demographics
Reach, for example, is about the number of accounts that viewed the ad. Of course, the larger the user base, the better. However, as mentioned earlier, the size of the platform shouldn’t be the only measuring factor. Instagram, for instance, has a stronger organic reach thanks to the use of hashtags and the ‘Suggestions For You’ section in the app. Facebook, on the other hand, has many ad targeting options such as the location of the audience, age, gender, language, connections, etc.
In 2016, 49% of businesses in the US had an Instagram account. In 2017, the percentage rose to 71%. The reason was simple: brands noticed that Instagram users are highly engaged in comparison to Facebook users. Moreover, 80% of individuals on Instagram follow at least one business account.
The demographics are another element that differs between the two platforms. Instagram is more popular among the female audience and young adults. Facebook, on the other hand, appeals to adults of all age groups but is also more popular among females.
Advertising on both platforms
So, for most effective results, should you rather go for Facebook or for Instagram? Many sources suggest running campaigns on both platforms at the same time. Don’t have an Instagram account? That’s okay. You don’t need it to launch your ads. Everything can be managed under the Facebook ad campaigns.
Analyses show that ad campaigns running on both Facebook and Instagram simultaneously result in better or at least equally effective performance in comparison to advertisements running on only one of the two platforms. If you aren’t convinced, that’s alright. Facebook Ads Manager allows you to view which campaigns (Facebook or Instagram) receives more clicks or costs more. This way you can evaluate the performance to improve your campaigns the next time.