Facebook vs. Instagram (for SMBs) — Which Should You Use?

Sam has been writing for WebFX since 2016, the year she graduated from Susquehanna University. In her free time, she likes to spend time on the beach, play with her cats, and go fishing with her husband.

In a battle of Facebook vs. Instagram for your small-to-medium sized business, which wins the upper hand? Should you use one over the other? Should you use both?

The truth is, both Facebook and Instagram have a variety of benefits for your SMB, and on this page, we’ll cover them all. And don’t forget, if you’re looking for a social media marketing agency that can help you market your business on a variety of social platforms, WebFX is here for you! Contact us online or give us a call at 888-601-5359 to learn more!

Which is better for SMBs — Facebook or Instagram?

Before we can determine which social platform is better for SMBs, let’s talk about users.

Facebook vs. Instagram: Usership

Facebook by user-base Here are some important Facebook stats for SMBs.

Instagram by user-base Below are some important Instagram stats for SMBs.

Facebook vs. Instagram for SMBs based on users When you compare the two social media giants in terms of users, it’s easy to determine which has a bigger pool of potential customers. With a monthly user base of 26 billion people, Facebook is the clear winner. Instagram sees 25 billion less users monthly.

Facebook vs. Instagram for SMBs winner by users: Facebook

Facebook vs. Instagram: Product discovery

Facebook by product discovery As an SMB that sells products online, part of your goal is likely to sell your products on any platform available. That said, Facebook advertising creates a fantastic opportunity for you to reach more prospects and sell more products. According to statistics, 15% of U.S.

Facebook users use the platform to find and shop for products, and 18.3% of U.S. adults made a purchase through Facebook in the past year. That said, Facebook is a great place to market your products as an SMB.

Instagram by product discovery When you compare the numbers, 11% of Instagram users use the platform to find and shop for products — just 4% less than Facebook.

All things considered, when more than 10% of your user base shops on a platform, it’s likely beneficial to market there — so don’t count Instagram out!

Facebook vs. Instagram for SMBs based on product discovery

f you’re looking to advertise and sell your products on social media, both Facebook and Instagram offer perks. If you’re going off what platform sees more shoppers, it appears that slightly more Facebook users shop for products in comparison to Instagram.

Facebook vs. Instagram for SMBs winner by product discovery: Facebook

Facebook vs. Instagram: Marketing strategy

Facebook by popularity as a marketing strategy

When it comes to businesses that use Facebook as a marketing strategy, 89% of marketers use Facebook to market their business online. That said, we can determine that most marketers put a lot of stock in Facebook marketing and the benefits it can have for their SMB.

Instagram by popularity as a marketing strategy

As for Instagram, 65% of marketers use the platform to market their products. That’s more than half — so it’s also safe to say that most marketers think that Instagram is a worth-while place to market their SMBs products and services.

Facebook vs. Instagram based on popularity as a marketing strategy

There are a few different ways we can determine the winner of this category. For starters, you’ll be in great company if you choose to market your SMB on Facebook — matter of fact, you’ll be joining nearly 90% of marketers. With that information, you can determine that Facebook marketing has a great track record for success — otherwise, why would so many marketers opt for a campaign?

However, that doesn’t mean that Instagram marketing isn’t a worth-while strategy. With more than 60% of marketers using Instagram to market their business, that’s no weak showing. Not to mention, there’s going to be a hidden benefit to advertising on Instagram — you can beat out your competition who isn’t advertising there.

Facebook vs. Instagram for SMBs winner by popularity: Facebook if you want to follow the crowd, Instagram if you want to undermine the competition

And the winner is…

Above, we looked at some of the most important metrics to help you determine if Facebook or Instagram is a better platform to market your SMB. If you like concrete answers based on numbers alone, Facebook is a clear winner. The platform boasts more users, more people shop for products there, and it’s even more popular among marketers.

But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t tremendous opportunities when you market with Instagram.

How you should use both Facebook and Instagram for your SMB

If you want to be the owner of a well-rounded, effective social media marketing strategy, it’s less about Facebook vs. Instagram advertising and more about making both platforms work together to your advantage. Here’s how:

Set up a Facebook account and an Instagram account

Since Facebook owns Instagram, you can sign in to both using the same account information. Each platform offers free signups, and you don’t have to pay to post content organically.

However, you will have to pay each platform if you choose to advertise.

Determine your target audience

Before you start to post on each platform, you should take time to determine your target audience. Otherwise, your posts might not use the appropriate tone, language, or format. For example, if your audience is mostly 20 somethings, the language will likely be much different than an SMB whose main audience is 50-65. Different age groups also prefer different content formats — so your teen target audience might appreciate videos more than images, while your older target audience may appreciate images. Taking the time to determine these pieces of information upfront will save you from wasting time creating posts that don’t resonate with the audience you want to reach.

Determine your goals

Here are some goals that you may choose to work toward with a Facebook or Instagram marketing campaign for your SMB:

  • Increased brand awareness
  • Increased website traffic
  • Increased sales and conversions

When you create your accounts, it’s ideal to state your goals up front so you have something to work toward. Setting goals upfront will also shape where you focus your energy on your campaign.

For example, if you want to increase brand awareness, you’ll focus more on getting users to interact with, like, and share your posts. If you’re more concerned with increasing website traffic, you’ll focus more on enticing users to click an ad to your landing page.

Employ a social media marketing agency

If you fear that you won’t be able to keep your SMB Facebook and Instagram accounts in order while you run your business, consider employing a social media marketing agency. Hiring an agency like WebFX will allow you to continue running your business while the agency:

Cross-promote your content

One of the biggest benefits of opting for both Facebook and Instagram for your SMB is the fact that you can cross promote your content. For example, let’s say that someone found your account on Instagram.

They check your Insta bio and see that you also have a link to your Facebook, which they choose to follow as well. Not only that, but you can post content on your Instagram that directs users to your Facebook, and vice versa. It’s a win-win situation since both platforms offer different perks.

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Perks of marketing on both Facebook and Instagram

When you choose to market your SMB on two platforms, you can sit back and reap the following benefits:

More exposure

When you combine Facebook’s 26 billion monthly users and Instagram’s 1 billion monthly users, you’ll be marketing your SMB to roughly 27 billion monthly users. Worst case scenario – if the usership completely overlaps, the lowest pool of users you’ll market to is 26 billion — which isn’t too shabby. Either way, there is likely to be users on each platform that don’t use the other, therefore — using both platforms ensures that you reach the most possible customers.

Different audiences

Your audiences will undoubtedly differ when it comes to Facebook and Instagram.

For example, check out the breakdown in age groups on the two platforms: Facebook users by age:

  • 79% of 18–29-year-olds use Facebook
  • 79% of 30–49-year-olds use Facebook
  • 68% of 50–64-year-olds use Facebook
  • 40% of 65+ year-olds use Facebook

Instagram users by age:

  • 1% of 13–17-year-olds use Instagram
  • 6% of 18–24-year-olds use Instagram
  • 1% of 25–34-year-olds use Instagram
  • 9% of 35–44-year-olds use Instagram
  • 3% of 45–54-year-olds use Instagram
  • 8% of 55–64-year-olds use Instagram
  • 3% of 65+ year-olds use Instagram

That said, you’ll find it beneficial to advertise to different age groups on different platforms — according to your target audience.

Different capabilities

Each platform has a variety of strengths that will benefit your campaign in different ways. For example, Instagram offers the highly-popular ‘Reels’ feature, which allows users to post short videos of themselves that appear in a separate tab on the platform. If the age group that you’re trying to target uses that Instagram feature, it could be a great way to boost the popularity of your products or services.

Here are the capabilities of each platform:

Facebook capabilities:

  • Content sharing: photos, videos, live videos, links, written content, and feelings and activities

  • Direct messaging
  • Facebook Advertising

Instagram capabilities:

  • Content sharing: photos, videos, written content as a caption
  • Direct messaging
  • Instagram Advertising
  • Reels
  • Stories

Facebook vs. Instagram? Both

We determined early on that the numbers suggest that Facebook is the most popular place to market your business — and that you’ll have the biggest audience there. But if you want to reach as many users as possible and reach them with several content formats (like Reels, Stories, and content posts), we suggest opting for both Facebook and Instagram!

If you’re ready to get started, WebFX can’t wait to work with you! We’re a full-service social media marketing agency that can help you earn more customers for your SMB. Regardless of the platforms you’d like to work with, we can help you construct a unique marketing or advertising strategy that engages users, increases clicks, and boosts your revenue.

To get started, contact us online for a free quote or give us a call at 888-601-5359 to learn more about our social media marketing services!

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