As social media continues to penetrate deeper into our social fabric come 2019, businesses all around the world cannot doubt its power as a tool to influence, engage and attract consumers.

To stay on top of the game, dabbling in social media to tap into its large user base and reap its benefits have become commonplace for businesses today. As vendors in the events industry, expanding your client network is crucial – even more so is expanding to the right clients –  and what better way is there to do so than to reach them through the social media platforms they heavily invest their time in?

Today, we compare and contrast the top two social media platforms – Instagram & Facebook – and break down which one you should invest in!

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Instagram vs Facebook: Audience

Both platforms have huge user bases. As of 2018, Instagram has 1 billion monthly users, while Facebook has more than twice the amount, at 2.3 billion monthly users. Demographic-wise, Instagram’s main audience consists of 18-34 year old men and women, while Facebook’s most active groups are 25-34 year old men, although all age groups are active.

Delegate Tip for Vendors: Facebook is a great place to reach out to a wider range of age groups, but if you’re reaching out specifically to millennial and Gen-Z women, advertising on Instagram should be prioritized over Facebook.

Instagram vs Facebook: Focus & Algorithms

Facebook aims to be a platform to help people keep in touch with family and friends, and focuses on encouraging personal conversations. This mission is reflected in their algorithms, where posts from users’ personal connections and posts likely to start a conversation are ranked higher on users’ news feeds.

This results in certain posts having lower rankings:

  • Brand posts that have no personal connection to users
  • Promotional posts that push users to buy something or join contests
  • Unofficial ads, where the text matches other official Facebook ads 

Thus, users receive less exposure to brands and public content on Facebook.

On the other hand, Instagram is an avenue for visual storytelling and is an ideal platform for everyone, from average people to artists, brands and celebrities.

Posts that rank higher include:

  • Posts in relevant genres to user
  • Posts from accounts that the user interacts with frequently
  • Recent posts
  • Posts that users spend more time on looking

This results in less discrimination between brands and personal connections, and focuses more on users’ interests. Thus, users will receive more exposure to brand and public content on Instagram.

Delegate Tip for Vendors: Instagram could be more useful in reaching your target customers and providing your brand with more exposure.

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Instagram vs Facebook: Engagement & Ad Media

Brand engagement refers to the interaction between user and brand pages, which includes sharing and viewing content, leaving comments and asking questions.

While Facebook has 60 million business pages, only 32% of users engage with these brands. On the flip side, Instagram has a smaller number of business profiles, but 68% of users are engaged with them. Thus, Instagram is a stronger avenue for engaging with users. However, although Facebook has lower brand engagement, it manages to rack up 8 billion daily views for videos.

Delegate Tip for Vendors: Facebook is great to share video ads, while Instagram works for photo ads and is an ideal platform to interact and build relationships with users.

Instagram vs Facebook: Mobile-friendliness

Facebook is easily accessible via mobile app and a web browser, and is well optimized for desktop, laptop and mobile usage.

Instagram, however, is only optimized for mobile usage. Accessing it through a web browser limits its functions to just scrolling feed and stories.

Delegate Tip for Vendors: Take into consideration whether your target audience would prefer to book you through a mobile app or on a desktop/laptop web browser. For big-ticket items like wedding packages or event spaces, clients may prefer to view and inquire through web browsers on a desktop/laptop layout.

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Verdict: Which platform should you choose for your business?

Ultimately, it depends on your goals and target audience as a brand. Both Instagram and Facebook offer different kinds of exposure and engagement, so do make sure that you tailor your content to the strengths of each platform to fully maximize them.