As digital marketers, we’re your go-to for all things social media. Lately, we’ve had a bunch of clients asking questions specifically about Facebook. “Is Facebook still relevant for my business? Are people still using Facebook?  Is Facebook coming to an end?!”

The answer: Facebook is still the big kid on the social media block and won’t be going anywhere in a hurry.

To share a little more about both platforms and how they can work for your business, we’ve pulled together some simple facts on Facebook vs Instagram – user numbers, platform benefits, audience insights and advertising.

Facebook vs Instagram: the facts

Rather than deciding to change your entire social strategy overnight based on a few unsubstantiated comments from friends or staff (their social platform preference may not be indicative of that of your online audience or customer base), do your research. Understand the basics of the social platforms and why you’re using them for your business…

  • The older of the two platforms and has a whopping 2.4 billion users worldwide.
  • Is the third most visited website in world, after YouTube and Google.
  • Audience is of higher age, with the average user aged between 25 and 34
  • People use Facebook as a source of news and education viewed through video and link posts, directing users to informative articles on business’ websites.
  • Is more than inspiring visuals and storytelling through organic content. Complex advertising is available to business users to reach a targeted audience, for a lower cost than other forms of digital and traditional ads.
  • Ranks second in popularity to Facebook, with 1 billion users daily worldwide.
  • The audience is younger – if you’re looking to market to Gen Z, Instagram is your go-to platform.
  • People look to Instagram to be inspired and discover things they’re interested in – it’s all about the visuals and less about written content. A huge 50 million Insta stories are posted across the world each day.
  • Small businesses can create awareness by engaging relevant and trusted Instagram influencers, an alternative to Instagram advertising.
  • Restricted usability on desktop for business, and you are unable to schedule content ahead of time.

Understanding your audience, choosing the right content type and platform

As part of your social strategy and the ongoing management of your social media channels, you need to understand who your online audience is and consider what they interested in, which content type best suits your social media objectives and effectively communicates your brand, product or experience. This will help determine how to use each platform effectively.

For example, a service business such as a law firm, whose primary social media objective is to educate their audience on the inner workings of their modern day legal firm and the services they offer, would be best focussing on Facebook – developing written articles that can be shared as link posts directing traffic to their website for more detailed information, or creating and sharing digestible videos that provide an quick, engaging way for potential clients to gain insight into their business.

Is an Instagram profile the best platform to educate a potential legal market? Probably not, however it can be used to show behind the scenes, social content or charity work that the firm undertakes. In this case, the law firm is utilising Facebook to educate and inform, and using Instagram to show a more personal, human side to their brand by sharing images and light-hearted video to Instagram.

Facebook verse Instagram: Advertising

Again, you have to understand where your [potential] audience is ‘hanging out’ online. If your brand is active on both Facebook and Instagram, the best approach is to distribute ad campaigns on both platforms and review results on a campaign-by-campaign basis. By running ads on both platforms, your campaign will be optimised to show on the platform that is most relevant to your audience. You’ll soon find out which platform has been best at yielding results.

Facebook ads:
  • Are the best tool for targeting a specific audience through paid campaigns.
  • Are the cheapest form of advertising.
  • Allow multiple ad objectives.
  • Are fast and drive immediate results (reach, engagement, likes etc.). And you can check on progress daily.
  • Have the ability to drive conversions and sales, although this does require time and experience.
  • You can manage both Facebook and Instagram ad placements through Ads Manager.
Instagram ads:
  • Allow you to compliment your feed content with ads on Instagram ad stories.
  • Have fewer ad objectives compared to Facebook, with the focus very much on the visuals.
  • You can promote posts through the Instagram app or create ad placements via Facebook Ads Manager.


So, which is best for your business?

Both Facebook and Instagram have a place in creating awareness, engagement and even sales for many businesses. They need to be understood and used in different ways to tell your brand story through both content and targeted advertising to reach your online audience. It requires time to be spent on research, developing a solid social media strategy and analysing exactly what’s going on across your social platforms.

As a little end of year gift from Threesides, check out Facebook for Business where you’ll find information, tips and courses for both Facebook and Instagram for Business.

If you’re still unsure of how to best utilise Facebook or Instagram for your business, Threesides’ social media experts can work with you to develop a social strategy for 2020. Get in touch.