Should you choose Instagram to promote your business over Facebook? In this second blog in a series, we continue to compare the two social networks.
Many administrators of Facebook Pages have been experimenting with Instagram and wonder if more effort should be put in the Instagram direction. As discussed in the first blog in this series, Facebook is a known entity. How to use the basic features of a Facebook Page are familiar and comfortable to millions of administrators.
Instagram is different from Facebook, but there are similarities.
To make a decision on which social network to choose, the very first decision is ‘who are your clients’. Obviously, clients differ with companies, products, events, associations, and even geography and trading area. Identifying your existing or target customer is Marketing 101 and it will never change.
Here are some key similarities between Facebook and Instagram:
- Facebook and Instagram are seamlessly linked in many areas, primarily advertising. (Facebook owns Instagram). That is a short statement to a long topic many Administrators are continually exploring. Facebook has rolled out an extensive number of advertising options, Instagram doesn’t have the number of options. Why? Because most people access and manage Instagram on a smart phone.
- It is easy to have an Instagram post appear on your Business Page, but the reverse isn’t true.
- Both have algorithms which can confound Administrators on both social networks – but the ever changing criteria for the algorithms for both networks certainly vary. To refresh, here is a great post from Business 2 Community The new Instagram Algorithm – How does it work? and for Facebook – The Journal’s post The Facebook Algorithm Explained
Here, more importantly, are some key differences between Facebook and Instagram:
- A difference that is key to deciding if you choose Instagram or Facebook or both for your social media marketing requirements, is that Instagram was designed and created to be primarily used from a smart phone and it works best using a smart phone. Facebook is largely a desktop or laptop social network. Yes, much can be done on a smart phone with Facebook, but some important features aren’t available, and the app is a little dodgy as they say in England. So, if you aren’t completely comfortable with capturing images on your smart phone and writing much briefer explanations about the image, and embracing hashtags, then Instagram should probably be your back up social network.
- Ah yes, the hashtags! Much like Twitter, the hashtags on Instagram serve primarily as a search tool and there are algorithm consequences if you don’t use the hashtags correctly. Here are the basic instructions from Instagram on using hashtags How do I use hashtags on Instagram Hashtags started with Twitter, and are used in Facebook posts but without much frequency. (yes! a big generalization!) and definitely have two functions. The biggest function is for searching posts with similar hashtags (another generalization) and the other is for fun. To illustrate the for fun, you can visit @ralphthecorgi on Instagram or Ralph the Corgi on Facebook. There are millions of other examples of using hashtags for humour but I just happen to follow this one. Ralph is obviously a Corgi, but the gal who manages the account is an expert in hilarious hashtags. People and companies follow based on what the hashtags will say next. Please note, however, she built a huge following on both Facebook and Instagram by publishing incredible images and videos of the two dogs (Ralph’s brother is George), supplying hilarious content while subtly also selling George merchandise like calendars and more. Whole blogs can and have been written about hashtags, particularly as they are used on Instagram and Twitter.
- Many administrators rely heavily on ‘sharing’ posts onto their Facebook Business Page newsfeed from other Pages or personal profiles. The process is very easy and straightforward. It is much more focused on Instagram where if you wish to share a post you have seen with specific individuals, you need to choose those individuals one by one or within a group.
- It’s hard to qualify on a blog like this, but Instagram is described as ‘more fun’. It’s all about the pictures, people from all over the world can check into an Instagram post you’ve posted if the hashtags match or they love the image and then follow you. Post text are generally much shorter, comments are much shorter and ‘likes’ are restricted to ♥ .
- If you are an individual who wants to keep your private profile apart as possible from either your Facebook or Instagram profile, Facebook is your better choice. No one knows who does the posts on any Facebook Business Page except the other Administrators to the Page unless you let them know as part of the content of posts. On Facebook, the difference between your Personal Profile and Business Page (if you are an owner operator/small business) continues to blur. On Instagram, it’s more difficult to move from business to personal accounts, although it is absolutely possible. There is more emphasis on Instagram on who runs the store, or who bakes the bread, or who volunteers for a charity than the stores, bakers, or charities.
Please know that this is just a generalized overview of the differences and comparisons between Facebook and Instagram. There are many more similarities and differences. My suggestion would be to consider both if you have an already established Facebook Page for your business. One can differently compliment the other.
And please consider the two Instagram classes I will offer in October in the Cowichan Valley. One class focuses on getting started on Instagram for new users, and one will focus on getting great business results on Instagram.
As always, your comments, suggestions, and concerns are more than welcome! Please use the comments section below!