Most social media users have a preference for either Facebook or Instagram. While the two platforms are both owned and run by Facebook, are they very distinctly different in many ways. It is because of this, as business owners, we need to adopt different strategies for each. The content we create for them needs to be different, our interactions on the platform will vary and the demographics of the audience we will reach varies on each.
Here are some of the main differences between Instagram and Facebook that we must factor in when we are creating our social media strategy:
1. Instagram when its beginning ten years ago was designed to be a mobile first platform. Before the arrival of Facebook Creator Studio or the aid of a third party tool, it was not possible to create a post on a PC. Instagram is very much, an on the go social media channel, this is evident from the huge popularity of Instagram Stories. You must bear this in mind when creating your Instagram content, for example, if you are using video in your strategy, which is a must, its important to know that up to 80% of viewers will be watching on silent mode. To ensure this large number of viewers can enjoy your video, you need to add text so they can still get value from the video. You can do this simply by adding text in stories, a tool such as Kapwing or a transcription service such as Rev.
2. The demographics of the users on Instagram and Facebook continue to differ and Instagram remains the more popular platform among younger people with 78% of people between 18-24 year old being on Instagram in comparison to 23% of 50-64 year olds. While over on Facebook it see's a much greater popularity among the 50-64 year old age profile with 68% of this age group choosing to use the platform. Depending on the age profile of your target audience, you should decide which platform they are on and create content that is of value to them.
3. Instagram is entirely based in the individual. It's algorithms are designed to serve each person content that is based on their likes and interests unlike Facebook whose algorithms are determined by the popularity of a piece of content among the audience. Instagram Stories, which display across the top of our screens, are shown in order of those which we engage with the most on a regular basis. So as a brand it's really important to create a loyal audience for our Stories and use tools to help build engagement within them to ensure people have the best chance of seeing the story.
4. Engagement is also different on Facebook and Instagram, with the latter performing much better than Facebook in most cases. Instagram is where the world of direct messages or DM's has really made social media jump to private conversations. The interactions in Stories all take place privately and this is where there is lots of opportunity to connect and build relationships with your followers. You can use the engagement tools available within Stories to encourage and grow this type of engagement, using stickers such as the ask a question sticker, the polls, and the quiz sticker.
5. Instagram Stories have among the highest ad recall of any other content and this is also the case for none ad content. This means as a business your audience on Instagram Stories are far more likely to remember your brand, your product or your service if they have seen it in your Story. A whopping 83% of Instagram users discover new products and services on the platform, with up to 80% of users saying they use Instagram to decide whether or not to buy a product or service on the platform! If this isn't incentive enough to get active on Instagram Stories I don't know what is!
6. Last but not least, the call to action. Instagram was not designed a channel to drive traffic to websites, this continues to be the case today but changes have been made along the way. Instagram now has four areas in which we as can use a clickable link, in your bio, in the IGTV description, paid ad's and the swipe up feature in Stories for accounts over 10,000 followers. Consequently, we may receive less traffic from Instagram but in general traffic from the site does tend to be more valuable as they have taken more steps to get to our website, for example, gone from a post back to your bio to click the link. When planning your content its important to also plan your call to action and be a little more inventive, why not use it as an opportunity to ask people to DM you - get the conversation started or incorporate more IGTV content so that you can utilise that much desired clickable link.
Each of the differences I have outlined are important to consider when creating your strategy and planning your content. By thinking creatively around each of this you can come up with ways to serve the best content to the right people and help you build an engagement audience of potential customers on Instagram.