Instagram vs Facebook: Which Is Better For Optimal Social Media Engagement

Instagram vs Facebook_ Which Is Better For Optimal Social Media Engagement

Instagram vs Facebook: which is better for engaging your audience and amplifying your brand? This practical guide contrasts both social media platforms’ vital statistics, engagement opportunities, and unique features. Whether you’re a marketer eyeing demographics and ad ROI or a creator aiming for viral content, we pinpoint where each popular platform shines and where the other falls short.

Prepare to make an informed choice about where to direct your social media firepower.

Key Takeaways

  • Instagram’s user base skews younger and is preferred for visual content, leading to higher engagement rates, particularly among individuals 34 and younger. At the same time, Facebook has a broader age range and more users of higher incomes.
  • Instagram dominates with a higher median engagement rate per post and daily usage time than Facebook, fostering more visual and aesthetic content interaction.
  • Both platforms offer a variety of ad formats and targeting options, with Instagram’s high engagement offering good ROI potential, despite Facebook’s diverse audience and content types that can lead to a high ROI for advertisers as well.

Demographic Showdown: Instagram vs Facebook

Illustration comparing Instagram and Facebook

The battle begins with a demographic showdown. Instagram’s user base is youthful, with the 18-24 age range being its largest segment. On the other hand, Facebook casts a much wider net, with its most substantial age group falling within the 25-34 range.

With over 3 billion monthly active users, Facebook encompasses a population and a wide range of income levels within its social media user base. However, Instagram’s flourishing user base and signs of declining Facebook usage suggest a pivotal shift in user interests among social media users and towards the former among internet users.

Age Groups

When we examine age groups more closely, Instagram remains attractive to younger generations. Gen Z and millennials make up roughly two-thirds of Instagram’s user base. Global statistics reflect Instagram’s youth appeal, with 70.8% of its users being 34 or younger.

Instagram finds particular popularity among Americans aged 12 to 34, with regions like Singapore reflecting similar trends online. In the context of Singapore’s population, around 85% of the country’s Instagram users are aged between 16 and 24, underlining the platform’s youthful demographic appeal.

Interests

Considering interests, Instagram emerges as the preferred social media platform for visual content, while Facebook users lean more towards informational content. Instagram’s visually-driven platform is a playground for brands promoting creative ideas and style inspiration.

For instance, brands promoting eco-friendly practices can effectively engage with environmentally-conscious audiences on Instagram.

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Income Levels

Turning to income levels, Facebook leads with a user base that boasts higher incomes, attributable to the platform’s popularity among older consumers. This demographic diversity supports a broad range of content and engagement strategies, enhancing Facebook’s appeal for brands targeting a wide income range.

Engagement Battle: Instagram vs Facebook

Illustration of engagement on Instagram vs Facebook

The contest for engagement statistics between Instagram and Facebook is indeed intriguing. Instagram has earned its laurels as the king of engagement statistics on social media. With a median engagement rate per post of 1.60%, it vastly outshines Facebook’s 0.09%. From 2021 to 2022, Instagram engagement notably increased by 17.25%.

A comparative example is a post from Quest Nutrition, which received 2,400 likes and 20 comments on its Instagram account, while the same brand’s Facebook post received only 21 likes and 1 comment. The intention of user interaction differs significantly between Instagram and Facebook, with the former encouraging more visual and aesthetic content engagement.

Engagement Rates

Instagram’s superior engagement is apparent across multiple sectors. Users spend an average of 33.1 minutes per day on the platform, compared to 30.9 minutes on Facebook. For agencies, Instagram has a higher average engagement rate of 1.53%, in contrast to Facebook’s 0.72%.

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Even in the education sector, Instagram experiences growth with an impressive engagement rate figure of 2.55%, while Facebook’s rate lags significantly behind at 1.34%.

User Interaction

The high user interaction on Instagram is primarily due to the app’s focus on visual content such as images and videos, which leads to high engagement with aesthetically appealing content. Furthermore, the coexistence of many brands and users on Instagram facilitates a more immersive and interactive experience for both parties.

Engaging the Instagram audience can be effectively achieved through integrated third-party tools that enable Instagram giveaways and contests.

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Platform Features: Instagram vs Facebook

Visual storytelling on Instagram and expanded functionality on Facebook

Exploring platform features further reveals Instagram’s emphasis on visual storytelling through formats like Stories, IGTV, and integrated commerce capabilities. In contrast, Facebook supports various content formats, catering to content creation, usage, and sharing preferences.

Facebook provides diverse engagement avenues as Facebook continues to innovate and expand its features, including:

  • Text-based updates
  • Images
  • Carousels
  • Events
  • Video posts
  • Contests
  • And more

Visual Content Focus

Instagram’s ability to have users create and focus on visual content is highlighted by features such as Instagram Stories, Live, Direct Messages (DMs), Story ads, and Reels ads. All these features can be accessed and utilized through your Instagram account using the Instagram app.

This focus on visual content creates unique engagement opportunities, allowing brands to showcase products through aesthetically pleasing formats.

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Success stories of brands like McDonald’s Singapore and Sunnyhills SG demonstrate the power of visuals and content shared on Instagram in resonating with audiences, building loyalty, and emphasizing brand values such as sustainability.

Expanded Functionality

Conversely, Facebook boasts a broad feature set that includes:

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  • Business Pages
  • Groups
  • Events
  • Stories
  • Facebook Messenger
  • Live

These features cater to various interaction and community engagement methods. The platform aligns with content strategies prioritizing video, offering full access to robust video-sharing and live-streaming features.

Features such as Facebook photo albums effectively share and organize visual content on the social network, like the best pictures from company events.

Ad Performance: Instagram vs Facebook

Ad Performance: Instagram vs Facebook

We will now examine ad performance on Instagram and Facebook, considering ad formats, targeting options, and return on investment.

Return on investment (ROI) data is crucial in comparing advertising on Instagram and Facebook. Testing content on both platforms is essential to determine which platform yields better ad performance data.

Ad Formats

Instagram provides an array of ad formats, including:

  • Image ads in landscape, square, and vertical formats
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads allow up to 10 images or video cards
  • Story ads
  • Slideshow ads combining images or videos with sound
  • Explore ads targeting the Explore page
  • Reels ads
  • Shopping ads
  • Collection ads

These various mobile formats give advertisers flexibility in creating engaging and visually appealing ads on Instagram.

Conversely, Facebook’s ad formats extend across various placement options online, including:

  • The News Feed
  • Marketplace
  • Audience Network
  • right column
  • In-Stream
  • Instant Articles
  • sponsored messages in Messenger
  • as part of Facebook Stories

These diverse ad formats cater to different audience preferences and marketing strategies.

Targeting Options

Instagram and Facebook both offer advertisers access to substantial targeting options for their ad campaigns, including:

  • Location
  • Demographics
  • Interests
  • Behaviours
  • Connections

These features allow for the creation of finely tuned ad campaigns on both platforms, helping brands effectively reach specific demographics through mobile apps on their mobile device.

Return on Investment

The high engagement rate on Instagram can potentially open the account to significant marketing opportunities, thus enhancing ROI. Meanwhile, the average cost per click for Facebook ads is $0.49.

With its extensive targeting capabilities, Facebook can result in growth and a high return on investment for advertisers.

Social Media Strategy: Choosing the Right Instagram or Facebook Platform for Your Brand

Social Media Strategy: Choosing the Right Instagram or Facebook Platform for Your Brand

Selecting the appropriate social media platform for a brand requires alignment with distinct marketing objectives, core values, and the nature of their products or services.

Understanding the platform’s functions and identifying where a brand’s target audience is most actively engaged is critical in choosing the right social media channel. Brands must also assess the manageability of social media platforms, considering available resources and expertise for maintaining an active and effective presence.

Furthermore, conducting competitive research helps identify how competitors successfully use social media platforms and can expose opportunities to capture market share through strategic social media marketing.

Content-Type

The nature of the content a brand shares plays a significant role in determining its platform of choice. Here are some examples:

  • Images and original photo content related to a company and brand perform better on Instagram
  • Company news and updates are more suited to Facebook
  • Image contests should be hosted on Instagram to ensure high engagement due to the platform’s visual content focus.
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On the other hand, Facebook’s content flexibility allows it to cater to different audience preferences and marketing strategies. A social network or a social media user’s platform for content sharing should be influenced by whether their content resonates with the platform’s audience.

Target Audience

A brand’s target audience significantly factors and influences the choice of platform. Instagram’s user base skews towards a younger demographic. In contrast, Facebook’s user base is more diverse in age, with significant representation worldwide in various age groups, including older adults.

Understanding audience demographics and the prevalent age groups on each platform helps brands tailor their messaging and social media strategies to interact most effectively with their desired customer base.

Marketing Goals

The choice of platform is deeply linked to marketing and business goals. In 2024 and beyond, there are significant business opportunities for brands and affiliate marketers to increase engagement, drive sales, or build brand awareness through strategic platform selection.

It is essential to align a brand’s platform selection with specific marketing goals to capitalize on these opportunities.

Case Studies: Success Stories from Instagram and Facebook

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Real-life success stories offer valuable insights into the potential of both Instagram and Facebook for marketing and engagement in the realm of social commerce. From fashion e-commerce platforms to skincare brands, businesses across the country in various industries have leveraged these platforms to create compelling narratives and build robust online communities.

Instagram Success Story

Let’s examine some successful brands on Instagram. Love, Bonito, a Singapore-based fashion e-commerce platform, started as a small project selling second-hand clothes to friends and has grown into a multifaceted brand, reaching a broad audience on Instagram. Waistlab.co fosters user engagement through user-generated content and the strategic use of branded hashtags.

Brands like Ceramiracle and Absolute Cycle Singapore have implemented effective media and Instagram strategies by producing educational content that deepens customer engagement and brand loyalty.

Facebook Success Story

Numerous brands on Facebook have utilized the platform’s varied features to run successful marketing campaigns. Here are some examples:

  1. L’Oréal Singapore’s Collaborative Ads campaign with Lazada led to a 22% increase in sales and a 46% increase in return on ad spend.
  2. Foodpanda’s ‘Delivering Joy’ campaign during COVID-19 resulted in over 16 million video views and a 47% rise in app downloads.
  3. Local Singapore brands leveraged the Curry Chicken Trendjacking campaign on Facebook to engage with audiences and enhance brand awareness.

Summary

In the great debate of Instagram vs Facebook, it’s clear that each platform has its strengths. Instagram’s youthful demographic, high engagement rates, and focus on visual content make it a powerhouse for brands aiming to capture the attention of younger, visually oriented consumers.

On the other hand, Facebook’s diverse demographic, robust functionality, and extensive ad targeting capabilities make it a versatile tool for brands targeting a wide age range and content preferences. The choice between the two ultimately depends on your brand’s specific marketing goals, target audience, and content type.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why would anyone use Instagram?

People use Instagram to engage with top brands, connect with friends and family, follow favourite celebrities, and share audio, video, and images based on their interests. It is the most popular platform and website offering diverse social and entertainment opportunities.

Which platform has a higher engagement rate, Instagram or Facebook?

Instagram has a higher engagement rate than Facebook, with the data showing a median rate per post of 1.60% for Instagram compared to Facebook’s 0.09%.

Which platform is better for visually oriented-brands?

Instagram is generally better for visually oriented-brands due to its visual content and storytelling focus.

Which platform offers more ad formats?

Facebook offers a wider range of ad formats than Instagram, including options for posts in the News Feed, Marketplace, Audience Network, right column, In-Stream, Instant Articles, Messenger, and Facebook Stories app.

How does the target audience affect the choice of platform?

Knowing the prevalent age groups on each platform helps brands tailor their social media strategies to interact effectively with their desired customer base. This understanding is essential for reaching and engaging the target audience.

About the Author

Tom Koh

Tom is the CEO and Principal Consultant of MediaOne, a leading digital marketing agency. He has consulted for MNCs like Canon, Maybank, Capitaland, SingTel, ST Engineering, WWF, Cambridge University, as well as Government organisations like Enterprise Singapore, Ministry of Law, National Galleries, NTUC, e2i, SingHealth. His articles are published and referenced in CNA, Straits Times, MoneyFM, Financial Times, Yahoo! Finance, Hubspot, Zendesk, CIO Advisor.

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