Unless you live under the sea and do not have Internet access, chances are that you have a social media profile. Social Media has become part of our lives – it helps people stay connected, build communities and exchange common interest. This popularity has urged marketers across the globe to realize the importance of social media strategy for businesses, so much so that today it has become an essential marketing tool.

There are many social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc. Every social media platform is different, has different functionalities and appeals to different target audience. There may be similar functionalities in various social media platforms but the overall strategy and scope of communication in each platform is different. To make best use of these platforms, a marketer may decide to have presence across all of them and over time, the marketer will be able to study the response of his audience. While a marketer decides to have presence in various social media platforms, they should have clear conception on how to manage social media accounts; else they might get completely lost in this hectic maze.

Amongst the most widely used and most successful platforms are Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is the oldest major social media player and enjoy a big place when it comes to social media marketing. It reaches 1.65 billion worldwide users every month. The company has redefined the way we connect with people and build networks. Moreover, it has paved way for businesses to use social media profitably.

There’s a recent entry in the world of social media – Instagram. It made entry at the right time – when mobile usage was dominating. Instagram used this shift to its advantage and launched as a mobile app. Instagram has a younger audience. Out of 200 million active users, 53% fall in the age group- 18 and 29.

Before we get on to more details on how both these sites engage, here are some basic numbers you should definitely not miss.

Facebook

• 1.18 billion daily active users on average
• 823 million app-only users per month
• 40 million small businesses have Facebook Pages.
• More than 50% of videos on FB occur on mobile phones.
• It tends to appeal to adults – 47% of its users are over the age of 35.

Instagram:

• 500 million monthly active users
• 75 million daily users
• 28% of Internet users are on Instagram.
• 48.8% of brands are on Instagram. By 2017, this is predicted to rise to 70.7%
• 47% of Instagram users access the app on their phone.
• Over 40 billion photos have been shared
• 4.2 billion likes daily
• 53% Instagram users fall in the age group- 18 and 29.

As you can see, Facebook has a prestigious data but when it comes to the number of users, Instagram’s numbers are more impressive – it engages better than Facebook!

Why does Instagram enjoy higher engagement in spite of the lesser number of users compared to Facebook?

Facebook is especially popular among online women. Facebook users are 76% female Besides, 82% of online adults between the ages of 18 to 29 use Facebook, along with 79% of those 30 to 49, 64% of those between 50 and 64 and 48% of those 65 and older.
The site is popular with middle-aged adults than other social networks. Users of Facebook come from everywhere – rural, suburban and urban areas, and people of all income level and education background. Basically, every person who has access to the Internet and has a Smartphone, uses Facebook on a regular basis.

Instagram, on the other hand, woos the younger lot and is accessed more by a higher-income group. Instagram was built for the modern-day user. It’s an intimate mobile application that creates space for engagement. Today the photo and video-sharing sites have become the lifestyle of the younger generation. This explains why 53% of Instagram users between 18 to 29 years of age, are active daily.

Instagram is experiencing dramatic growth. Its organic reach is up by 200% since 2012.
And, when it comes to engagement, Instagram clearly enjoys an upper hand, in spite of a lesser reach. It’s simplicity actually makes it hard not to engage.
Entering Instagram if you haven’t still, will bring you more benefits. Why? Only 36% marketers have the presence on Instagram – others are yet to explore the benefits and there’s a lot of untapped opportunity. The platform is still young. So be an early adopter and enjoy forward momentum.
Which means companies looking forward to attract the younger audience should devote more time to Instagram than Facebook.
A survey showed (link: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2014/10/08/teens-ar... or https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2015/02/21/why-teen...) that between Fall and Spring of 2014, the number of teenagers using Facebook declined from 72% to 45%. The study also revealed the preference for Instagram by 38% of teenagers against 21% of teenagers for Facebook.

Let’s have a look at a brand with large Facebook and Instagram followings and see the ways in which both the platform are being used, engagement on each channel and which site works better for whom. Facebook v/s Instagram to explore business, who wins? Let’s find out.

Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, PANDORA, PANDORA designs, manufactures and markets hand-finished and contemporary jewellery made from high-quality materials at affordable prices.

Instagram
• Followers: 2.6 Million
• Likes on the below product (at the time of writing): 42342
• Comments on the below product(at the time of writing): 643

Facebook
• Page Likes: 10 Million
• Photo Likes on the below product (at the time of writing): 207
• Shares(at the time of writing): 25

So for Pandora, Instagram gives the best result in engagement, even though the number of Page Likes is more on Facebook. So Instagram appears to be working best for Pandora.

So where should you publish your content?
Facebook’s social media strategy is different from that of Instagram. While defining social media strategy for Facebook, keep in mind that it is more about textual content – here you can go about writing posts and promote your business, while uploading and sharing pictures and videos. Instagram doesn’t allow you to “write” any post. It is simply about original pictures and videos that connect people who share the same passion. And, this is why #hashtags work best for Instagram to connect a community of users!

Shared Content

Most of the posts on Facebook is shared content. They are liked and shared from other accounts/blogs etc. Facebook is the ideal place to publish curated content.
On the other hand, Instagram is about original content – it’s about you and your business. It’s not about sharing anybody else’s content because it’s all about original pictures and videos that you upload on your Instagram account.

Corporate Notifications & Updates

Instagram is less about text- based content – it’s more about pictures and videos. So if you want to update your audience about the infrastructure restructuring happening at company write a post notifying about the restructuring. For Instagram, you can post pictures / videos of the restructuring happening. Since Instagram was built for users to engage so brands should expect higher engagement numbers. The same could be said for Facebook, but the focus and design is entirely different.

Events, Gatherings, Celebration

Do you host or organize any event, get together or celebration recently? If yes, Instagram is the place. The reason being that the events and celebrations are best told through pictures and videos. So upload the pictures / videos in real time and let your audience know all your activities.

Picture / Video Contests

By now we all know that Instagram is the ruler when it comes to engagement. If your contest is not based on text but only pictures and videos, go for Instagram. Create a #hashtag for the contest. You can promote the contest on Facebook by running Ads etc. And that will drive the audience to Instagram.
For both – social media strategy for a small business or big business, the trick is not about how much time and labour you put into social media; it’s about how smart your social media strategy is. Exploring the right social media platform and spending quality time there is more important. Learn how to manage your social media accounts and see what works best for you. Be sensible with your posts and followers!

Conclusion:

Today the importance of social media for businesses cannot be underestimated. In order to stay connected to customers, social media is a great platform and a necessary one. Know your product/service type and also your audience and then decide which platform you would like to explore more.
If you treat Instagram like Facebook or vice versa you will see little results. Each site is unique and caters to different types of audience (there may be some similarities, but they are all different sites). To get the optimal result, you have to first understand your audience. Next, the scope of functions and features that each of the sites offers. At the end, it’s not about which social media you choose, it’s about how well you reach and engage your target audience.
Absoltz Internet Marketing is a full suite Internet Marketing Company that helps businesses to grow their business and online presence. We will be glad to help in your pursuit of success in the social media world. Alternately, you can contact us {Link: http://absoltz.com/contact-us/} for expert service for your business.

Author's Bio: 

I am a Senior Digital Marketing Consultant & founder of Absoltz Internet Marketing SEO Agency in Sydney Australia, with over 10 years online experience. I have helped businesses of all sizes increase the return on investment from their online marketing spend.