Facebook Marketing vs Instagram Marketing

Facebook and Instagram are two of the most popular social media apps. But out of the two, which platform should your brand pick for your marketing efforts?

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Social media marketing is a staple component in any modern-day marketing regime, regardless of what it is you’re trying to sell.

According to Statista in 2017, 2.48 billion people were using some sort of social networking site, making it a huge opportunity to attract new people to your brand! But where do you begin?

Well, with the biggest sites of course.

YouGov have reported that the UK’s most popular social networks are now, Facebook, and the Facebook-owned photo-sharing app, Instagram.

Photo: YouGov

But this poses the question… which do you choose? To make that decision, it is best to understand what both platforms have to offer you, and how well they work. If you’re stuck between Instagram and Facebook as your main social media marketing platform, read on for some insight into both.

What Does Facebook Have To Offer?

According to Venturebeat, in late 2016 more than 60 million businesses had a page set up on Facebook, with 4 million of these actively advertising through the site. This volume of businesses using it can’t be wrong, can they? Lets see.

Here is what Facebook has to offer for businesses looking to utilise it:

An Older Demographic

Facebook has been around for a while now, opening to everyone worldwide in 2006 – meaning it has an audience who have essentially grown up with the site.

As you can see from the image above, Facebook now attracts an older audience, making it perfect for advertising either lifestyle or business related products and services. This may be something to consider if you are involved in either of these industries.

Link Sharing

Unlike Instagram, Facebook doesn’t prohibit businesses from sharing links in their posts. This means that if you’re looking to send customers or potential clients to an ‘outside’ website, Facebook is your best bet!

As shown here with Elle, a post can be written with an attached link, giving you the chance to entice customers to your site, with some intriguing copy, and a call to action.

Great Ad Performance

As expected from a site with so many users, the ad performance on Facebook is pretty impressive. According to Adweek, in 2016 the company revealed that their ad revenue had reached $6.82 billion, which was a huge increase of 59 percent from 2015’s third quarter.

This shows that despite the introduction of new competition on the social media scene, Facebook remains a key player for ads and is still on the rise in this respect.

What Does Instagram Have To Offer?

Image: Instagram logo

Compared to Facebook, the number of businesses using Instagram seems measly, at only 25 million. However, when you consider Instagram has only been around since 2010, this is still an impressive number.

Here is what these businesses are gaining from being active on Instagram:

High Engagement Rate

One factor in which Instagram is certainly triumphing over Facebook is with engagement rate. A report by Forrester, which studied posts from the top 50 global brands, discovered that Instagram had a much higher engagement rate than any other social network.

Image: Forrester

Therefore, if you’re looking to improve the relationship between you and your audience, or are looking for feedback or reactions from them – Instagram is the place to go.

A Younger Audience

The demographic for Instagram is slightly different than that of Facebook, mainly due to the fact that it is a younger audience. According to Statista, over half of Instagram users are 34 or younger – with a lot of them being in their teens. This gives it a more laid back, casual feel than Facebook.
This – and the huge focus on imagery of the app – makes it perfect for brands looking to sell retail products, as it gives them a chance to show off what exactly it is they’re selling. The younger generation, and fast-moving nature of the app, also means that if you’re a trend led business – this is the place to be.

Mobile Friendly

According to Pure360, in 2017 almost 59% of all eCommerce sales were made via a mobile device, and this is only expected to rise. Pair this with Google’s move towards mobile-first, and it is obvious that the way we use the internet is changing.
Instagram are already a site whose attitude is evidently mobile first, with it being considerably harder to upload to your feed from desktop, and watching stories on a computer only recently being made possible.

This preference towards mobile helps to align brand priorities with their consumers, and ensures any content produced is optimised for the right device.

Visibility Opportunities

One of the greatest benefits to using Instagram is the opportunities it has for boosting your brand visibility.

Along with their sponsored post offerings, there are also ways you can get your content noticed, without spending a penny. One of the simplest ways to do this is to use hashtags.

Putting relevant hashtags at the bottom of your post will mean that anyone browsing these hashtags could stumble across your brand. An advantage of this is that anyone actively searching these hashtags is highly likely to be interested in this topic, and therefore willing to engage with your social posts.

A word of warning though, aim for quality not quantity with your hashtag choices, as overusing hashtags can actually put users off of engaging with the post. This means that any hashtags you use should be thought through and relevant.

How Can You Use Them?

So now you know what you’ll get from using Instagram or Facebook marketing, but how exactly can you use them? What methods of posting are there, and which is best for your brand? Check below for a list of the main types of ads you can use on each site:


  • Video adverts: These are exactly what it says on the tin, a motion and sound video of up to 240 minutes and 4 GB max file size. These are a highly effective. According to optinmonster, video marketers achieve an increase of 54% in brand awareness.
  • Image: High quality images can be uploaded to Facebook, either alongside text or as a standalone piece of content.
  • Collection: A collection on Facebook is the best way to showcase products on the site. This consists of a cover image or video, followed by images of your products. When clicked on, the ad turns to a full screen page, that can be clicked through to land on your site.
Image: The Next Scoop
  • Carousel: A carousel allows you to post up to ten video clips or images in one ad, as each picture can be accompanied by a link, this is a great way to highlight shoppable products.

The full list of advertising formats for Facebook can be found here.


  • Regular posts: An average Instagram post can consist of anywhere between 1 to 10 images, which can be swiped through, with room for text (and hashtags) underneath in the caption area to support.
  • Stories: Instagram stories allow a user to upload a 15 second video or image to their ‘story,’ which can then be viewed by any of their followers for 24 hours before disappearing. Polls, quizzes and other interactive features can be added to a story to help improve the relationship with your audience, as well as a ‘swipe up’ feature to help direct customers to your site.
  • Instagram TV: IGTV allows you to upload longer videos, which is perfect for tutorials or interviews, that give your audience a better insight into what you have to offer, or your brand values.
  • Carousel ads: Similar to carousels on Facebook, this allows several adverts in the same post, without disrupting the user’s experience.
  • Collection ads: Similar to Facebook collection ads, offers an immersive experience to the user.
Image: Advertising Age

Facebook vs. Instagram: Which Is Better?

Now you know all there is to know about Facebook and Instagram marketing, it is time to make the choice… which is better?

Well, the honest answer is, it is up to you. Each site offers something unique, and has different pros and cons. If it is engagement you are after Instagram is the best option, whereas if you want the widest reach possible, put your faith in Facebook.

The best option though, is to find a balance using both. Doing this will ensure you’re reaping the benefits of both platforms – and their audience – as well as building your social marketing skills, and a following on the two biggest social networks there is!

The IIEPD provide a diverse range of CPD accredited digital marketing courses, including an Instagram Marketing course. Unlike other digital marketing training programs, IIEPD provides learners with a host of different digital marketing training resources including access to the IIEPD Influencer Affiliate Program, the IIEPD Influencer Network and subsidised digital marketing services from Pie Analysis.
For more information, get in contact with IIEPD today.

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