How to Choose Between Facebook and Instagram To Find Your Target Audience

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Nahla Davies

Nahla Davies

Facebook or Instagram? How to Find Your Audience

As a brand, a SMM or business owner, you know that marketing is a key part to your success. In order to be as efficient as you can, you need the right audience.

Sep 2, 2022
Update on
September 6, 2022
04 MIN.
Table of Contents

How To Choose Between Facebook and Instagram To Find Your Target Audience

As a business owner, you probably already know that social media marketing should be a key part of any business marketing strategy. According to research, there were about 4.70 billion active social media users by mid-2022. With this kind of audience, social media is undeniably an excellent engagement avenue for your business.

But how do you leverage this audience and ensure that your business achieves maximum benefits from your social media marketing efforts? How do you ensure that your chosen platform is the best option for your brand? And which platform works best for your business - Facebook or Instagram?

This article will cover each platform’s demographics and features to help you make an informed decision.

Advantages of Facebook Over Instagram

Audience and Active Users

Facebook is the third most visited website worldwide, trailing only behind Google and YouTube. Out of 4.48 billion active social media users, 2.91 billion are Facebook members. In fact, studies show that at least 81% of all adults in the US have a Facebook account. 

Additionally, the largest Facebook user group is 25 to 34 years old, accounting for 31% of total users. If we compare all age groups, users over 35 makeup 41% of total Facebook accounts, which might be because Facebook has been around much longer than Instagram. 

Source

From these numbers, it’s easy to see that Facebook offers an excellent chance to increase your visibility and sell to a more mature audience. 

Features and Functionality

As for features and functionality, Facebook and Instagram have many similarities. However, a few Facebook features stand out and give it an upper hand when it comes to social media advertising. 

Here are some features you should pay close attention to that can help you gain an audience and improve your analytics on Facebook:

  • Page likes. Individual Facebook accounts require a friend request to connect, but people follow business pages by simply clicking on the like button.
  • Sharing. All posts on Facebook’s feed are sharable by anyone — unless you set your privacy setting to disallow it. This is the same for your business posts. As a business, if you allow your post sharing (which you should), you increase your chances of people sharing your posts across the platform, increasing your brand’s visibility. 

Content Types

Facebook focuses mainly on text content. So if your business is better represented through text content than imagery, Facebook is the best social media platform for you. For better understanding, here are some of the key content types of Facebook:

  • Link sharing. Facebook is an excellent platform for sharing links to articles and pages on your website. When you share an article on Facebook, the article’s featured image will appear, and you will also have a chance to write a brief description to encourage your audience to click and read the content. This doesn’t work the same for Instagram.  
  • Status updates. Facebook also allows you to share business updates under your timeline as status updates, which are shared with people who like your page. 

Paid Advertising

Regarding paid advertising, Facebook has quite a few options

  • Image ads. Although images aren’t Facebook’s main focus, they are a great way to attract attention to your content. Photo ads appear in Stories or the News Feed as normal posts, except they come with a disclaimer that they’re ads.
  • Video ads. Video ads can appear in the News Feed and Stories like image ads, or they can appear as in-stream ads if videos are longer. You can create a video ad of up to 120 seconds. 
  • Carousel ads. Facebook carousel ads allow you to use up to ten videos or images to showcase your product or service. In addition, each video or image can have its own description and a link. 
  • Collection ads. Only available on mobile devices, these paid Facebook ads let you display five images or videos that customers can click on to buy a product or service.
  • Poll ads. This mobile-only Facebook ad type includes an interactive two-option poll. Each poll option can have its own unique link. You and those who respond will see the total number of votes for each poll choice.
  • Lead ads. These ads are only available for mobile and are meant to make it simple for users to provide their contact information without requiring much typing. A great way to generate leads for your business. 
  • Dynamic ads. These ads allow you to promote tailored products to the customers most likely to be interested in them. They are especially great for recovering abandoned carts. 

Analytics

The only way to know how your social media marketing campaigns are performing is to track all the metrics. 

Fortunately, tracking stats on both Facebook and Instagram is pretty similar, but here are some Facebook-specific stats:

  • Page likes. This is similar to Instagram’s follow stats. It tracks how many people have liked and unliked your page. 
  • Impressions. This tracks the number of times your post was viewed, even if the same user sees it multiple times. Unlike Instagram’s ‘reach’ metric, it’s not so much about the number of accounts that saw the posts but the impact the post had on the user. 
  • Click-through rate. It tracks how many people reach your website through your ads, much like Instagram.

Advantages of Instagram Over Facebook

Audience and Active Users

Similarly to Facebook, the majority of Instagram users are between the ages of 25-34, representing 31.7% of the platform’s total audience. But unlike Facebook, which has more older users, about 39% of all Instagram users are under 25. 

Source

This makes Instagram the perfect platform for reaching the younger generation. Additionally, studies show that at least 70% of Instagram users open the platform when looking for a product or service to purchase. 

Features and Functionality

Instagram is one of these apps that seems to have a new feature added every so often. Here are some features that set it apart from Facebook:

  • Shop. When you post a photo ad with your product or service, you can allow your audience to purchase it directly through Instagram.
  • Close friends. This feature allows you to list people you want to target specifically. When you share something on your stories or feed, you can only share it with these people. This is a great option for a special sale, a re-engagement effort, or any marketing strategy geared toward a specific group. 

Content Types

Instagram focuses much more on photos than text, so it’s a great platform for businesses whose models can be well represented through images. 

Here are some content types that give Instagram an upper hand over Facebook: 

  • Photo sharing. Photos are great for creating a lasting impression on your audience’s mind. Although you can also share photos on Facebook, the photos on Instagram have more impact because Instagram is meant for photo sharing. Additionally, customers can like, comment, share, save, and buy right from your post. 
  • Instagram Reels. This is Instagram’s effort to incorporate some TikTok functionality. Reels are 15-second videos with music, text on-screen, and imaginative editing.

Paid Advertising

Looking at paid advertising is when you can tell that both platforms are managed by the same house. Advertising on Instagram is very similar to advertising on Facebook. 

Instagram has the same ad features — image, video, carousel, dynamic, and collection ads — that Facebook does. The ad prices might vary between the platforms, but the ads work the same way. 

Whether for Facebook or Instagram, it’s important to track the conversions of your ads. This way, you will know if you are getting any ROI. To calculate your ROI, you must have some accounting knowledge. Surprisingly, a recent study found that 60% of business owners who responded said they didn’t feel knowledgeable about basic accounting or finance concepts. You should take the time to educate yourself on these topics so you can measure the success of your campaigns.

Analytics

Although most Instagram and Facebook stats are similar, here are some Instagram metrics that might be different:

  • Reach. This is different from Facebook’s impressions in that it shows the actual number of accounts that have seen your content — followers or just passers-by. 
  • Saves. Instagram allows you to track how many of your posts get saved to other accounts in their albums.
  • Growth. Instagram automatically tracks your follower growth. It shows how many followers you gain and lose each day. 

Why Not Use Both Social Media Platforms?

You are probably wondering why not market on both platforms. Well, if your marketing budget allows it, you certainly can. 

One way you can use both platforms for marketing is to start with a Facebook ad campaign and follow it with a promotion on Instagram, targeting the portion of your audience that did not convert on Facebook. Facebook will drive people to your website, while Instagram will help convert stragglers. The opposite can also work, but the final result of each marketing campaign will depend on your following and ad performance on each platform. 

Both are great platforms that can quickly help you grow your audience. However, even as you maximize their use, it’s important not to become totally dependent on either platform for communication with customers and clients. You should also invest in other forms of communication software for interacting directly with customers once you have them brought into your business. 

For example, a recent study of local dental businesses found that the overwhelming majority of patients paid within one day after those businesses switched to a text-to-pay system that interacted with customers and patients directly via SMS messaging. This goes to show how other forms of client and customer communication besides social media can be highly effective as well. 

In short: both Facebook and Instagram can be highly useful for marketing your business directly to your target audience, but after you manage to bring customers in, other forms of direct customer communication may be more efficient at retaining them.

Facebook vs. Instagram: Which Is Better for Your Business?

The platform best for your brand depends on your business model and marketing strategy. 

In summary, here are the key differences between the two platforms:

Facebook

  • More effective for businesses targeting older audiences
  • Ideal for content that focuses more on text
  • Best for clickthrough
  • Allows you to share content from other accounts and sources
  • General stats

Instagram

  • More effective for businesses targeting millennials and centennials 
  • Ideal for content that focuses more on photos
  • Best for direct conversions
  • Original content performs best
  • Focused stats

Nahla Davies

Nahla Davies

Contributor @Iconosquare

Worked on large scale enterprise projects and built compliance teams at multiple Fortune 500 companies.

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