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The battle between Facebook vs. Instagram

While people turn to both Facebook and Instagram throughout the day to connect with family, friends and the world, it is clear that each platform plays a different role in their lives. What, exactly, are those roles?

As anyone who uses Facebook and Instagram will tell you, the two platforms are quite different. That’s why so many users still maintain accounts on both of them.

They share certain features in common, but they each have unique strengths and weaknesses from a marketing perspective. Strategies that work wonders on Facebook might fall flat on the photo-sharing platform, and the reverse is also true; Instagram successes might not translate well to Facebook’s mechanics.

Content that works on Facebook doesn’t always translate well to Instagram

Both platforms can be used to connect with friends, family, celebrities and brands, but advertisers would do well to formulate separate yet complementary marketing strategies for each based on customers usage.

Facebook is huge.

There’s no denying Facebook’s mass appeal. The site boasts nearly 1.3 billion users who are active on a daily basis. That’s more than four times the number of people who use Instagram.

Your clients and prospects spend an awful lot of time on Facebook. According to studies, people turn to the social media giant for news, but they also use it as a way to connect with friends and family.

Facebook posts tend to have a pretty opinionated bent however, whether they’re about politics, traffic, the weather, a new restaurant or a recent ex.

Instagram: A picture is worth a hundred words.

Instagram is primarily focused on images, and while there may be captions or locations shared along with the pictures, it’s a platform of few words. Here, art rules the day, so it should come as no surprise that users turn to Instagram to get inspiration.

And while Instagram users like the platform for its capacity to connect them with friends, family and celebrities, they’re just as likely to use it for fashion and beauty cues, interior design inspiration, motivation, and cool do-it-yourself project ideas.

Studies have shown that engagement with businesses on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook.

You can’t always apply the same techniques and strategies you’d use for Facebook to Instagram.

For instance, images perform better on Instagram than Facebook since that’s what Instagram is primarily used for. Text, on the other hand, is better left to Facebook most of the time. That’s why you have to consider how your audience uses each social network.

This comparison would be incomplete without taking a look at how each social network is used. We’ve established that Instagram is image-based, but the differences go beyond that.

Facebook is largely informational. You can find out things about a company through its Facebook Page whether it’s business hours, an address or upcoming events. Facebook is focused more on text because, it’s data driven. That’s why it takes longer to create a profile on Facebook than it does on Instagram. They serve different purposes.

Instagram is about images and short messages. People don’t open Instagram to find out your company’s business hours or to see if their friends have been to your store. They use Instagram to engage. There’s no other purpose for the app. That’s what makes it so effective for building your brand and gaining popularity. It naturally lends itself to getting content spread.

Use the right tool for the job

So, which is best for your brand: Facebook or Instagram? Well, that depends on your brand, the nature of your offerings and the purpose driving your push for engagement.

In the end, there’s really no reason why you can’t do both. The best strategy for many brands is to maintain a presence on both platforms, and to use each when the time or project is appropriate. Being two different platforms they need to be approached differently.

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