Facebook or Instagram? When to Use Each Platform

by Hunter Sunrise in Advertising, Facebook Advertising

Facebook and Instagram are two of the biggest and most popular social media platforms. 2021 statistics show that there are approximately 2.8 billion active Facebook users per month and one billion active Instagram users. Knowing this, it’s clear most brands need to advertise on both platforms—but in unique ways that suit each audience. That leaves us with the question: When should you use Facebook over Instagram?

While they can’t be treated the same, there are some best practices that can be applied to both:

  • Always keep your branding consistent
  • Use bold imagery
  • Craft copy that complements and aligns with the visual experience

Let’s dive into when to use Facebook over Instagram and vice versa.

When to use Facebook

Facebook and Instagram have the same targeting capabilities, but that doesn’t mean they should be used in the same way. Facebook is more of an informational platform: Users share text-heavy posts and often seek business information such as store hours, product details, and more. It’s important to take this into consideration when setting up your business page as well as your Facebook ads.

You also need to familiarize yourself with industry benchmarks. Some industries perform much better than others and it’s crucial that you know how to accurately assess your own results. Check out our ebook on Facebook benchmarks by industry to learn more.

In general, Facebook search ads work best for curated content and company events and updates. It’s easy to set up events on Facebook (including live streams and ticketing), upload photo albums and descriptions after an event, link directly to your website or landing pages, and share detailed company news or announcements.

When to use Instagram

Instagram is a visual-first platform. It’s great for both organic and paid posts. Unlike Facebook, Instagram isn’t so much an informational platform but rather a way to share candid moments, often happening in real-time. This experience provides insights into users’ lives and gives brands an opportunity to personally connect with users through behind-the-scenes photos, employee spotlights, in-situ product shots, and posts that highlight the impact brands have on their customers. Between Stories, IGTV, Reels, and in-feed posts, the options are truly endless.

Just as with Facebook, considering industry benchmarks is a must. Check out benchmarks and other stats such as click-through rate and conversion rates here.

Instagram also works well for photo contests since it’s a visual-first platform. Engagement in the form of comments, likes, shares, and saves has a big impact on a brand’s reach. Plus, generating user-created content through photo contests and tags means you have fresh, new content for Stories and posts—that you didn’t have to make yourself. Make sure that you’re consistently interacting with your audience to maintain reach and engagement by responding to and liking comments, and sharing posts from your audience, employees, and partners that highlight your brand.

Platform challenges

Even though Facebook and Instagram should be approached in different ways, A/B testing is always vital. Above we listed the best use cases for each platform, but every brand is different. There are pitfalls, challenges, and weaknesses of each platform, and A/B testing will help you find those.

There’s more to good advertising than choosing the right platform

The customer experience doesn’t end at the click—it follows through to the post-click stage, aka the landing page. We know how hard it can be to start optimizing your ad campaigns and landing page conversions, so Instapage is here to help. We offer three different plans to help take the stress out of building, optimizing, and converting—helping you create better landing pages and see stronger results. Schedule an Instapage demo here.

Hunter Sunrise

by Hunter Sunrise

As Senior Vice President of Marketing, Hunter’s day-to-day mission is to uncover opportunities for authentic connections and experiences. Using this lens, he has driven success across brand, content, omnichannel, GTM, and growth marketing initiatives. Outside of work, you can find Hunter analyzing the complexity of a sip of wine (he is a Master Sommelier).

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