Facebook vs. Instagram – Which platform is best for your brand?
Although Facebook, Inc. owns Instagram, there are quite a few differences between the two popular social platforms when it comes to marketing strategies. While you can certainly test marketing campaigns on either platforms (or both, simultaneously), there are some important distinctions to keep in mind before deciding whether Facebook or Instagram should be your brand’s #1 priority:
Instagram can help you reach younger audiences. Gen Z isn’t very interested in Facebook. While their parents, grandparents and even Millennial counterparts are still steadily using the platform, Gen Z is much more focused on Instagram and Snapchat. This means that marketers targeting audiences younger than 30-35 should factor overall reach into their campaign strategy and proceed with Instagram if you want to find Gen Z.
Sharing links is more difficult on Instagram. Unless you have a promoted/sponsored post with an Instagram business account, sharing links can be pretty difficult for marketers on Instagram. You only get one link in your profile and none for the caption of your post, which means that sharing stats will likely be much lower on Instagram than they would be on sharing-friendly Facebook. If you want to promote multiple web links at the same time, share links to content on your website or blog, or prioritize click-through rates in your next marketing campaign, then Facebook would be more suitable for these marketing objectives.
Adding Instagram can help increase engagement. There are more than 800 million monthly Instagram users (500 million of these are daily active users), and a majority of these users are based outside of the U.S. Notably, a 2016 study found that the engagement rate for all audiences on Instagram hovered around 0.84%, while Facebook’s engagement rate was only 0.53%. Additionally, studies have shown that Instagram users spend more time interacting with brands compared with Facebook users. Although Instagram makes it difficult to organically drive web traffic, a Yotpo study found that, on average, Instagram users spent more time on the website (192 seconds) compared with Facebook users who clicked on a link to a website (105 seconds).
All in all, there are plenty of good qualities to Facebook and Instagram that marketers can’t afford to ignore. However, with the latest privacy scandals and #DeleteFacebook movement (which was particularly popular among teens and early 20-somethings), Instagram is increasingly viewed as a better platform for marketers to use to reach their target audience members and boost sales.
3 unique ways to maximize the value of your brand’s social stories
If your brand has been treating short stories on Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat just like regular posts — or you’re not using the short stories feature much at all — then you could be missing out on valuable opportunities to engage your audience and gain actionable insights on their consumer behaviors and preferences.
Since more and more users are flocking to short stories on social media every year, it’s absolutely critical for every brand to keep up with their followers by incorporating their favorite stories features into an ongoing engagement/marketing campaign. Although social media sites are always coming up with inventive new ways to get businesses and consumers excited about short stories, you can’t go wrong with these 3 tried-and-true ways to get the most value out of your approach to short stories:
Behind the Scenes Sneak Peeks
A classic short stories strategy that every brand should be using at least sometimes is the “behind-the-scenes” preview. Even if you’re not a brick-and-mortar business, you can still give loyal followers an exclusive glimpse at your operations, new products or services, virtual meet-and-greets with your staff and/or influencers, and so much more.
Similar to movie trailers or blooper reels, the “behind-the-scenes” approach is great for personalizing brands and connecting with audience members on a deeper level by giving them unique, limited-time experiences that only the dedicated early birds will see before your story expires 24 hours later.
Want to get more information from your audience members without paying for expensive consumer data research or collecting information on your website (which few people voluntarily offer)? Running polls on your short stories can be an excellent alternative for a few key reasons:
- Short stories have limited response possibilities (typically 2), which can increase your chances of getting more respondents
- You can ask multiple questions across several short story posts (making it a fun mini-survey for your fans)
- You can figure out what your followers like/need/want by presenting them with two options and asking them which one they like more
- You can run weekly trivia contests through your short stories feature to keep followers engaged with interesting, fresh material
A final thing you could do with short stories on social media is giving shout-outs to your most dedicated followers without creating an entire post dedicated to them (which could be a turn-off for some other followers). You can do this by posting screenshots of someone who liked several of your posts, host “Follower Fridays” by tagging some of your fans in a short story post and offering prizes if they respond within 24 hours, or any other type of shout-out that you’d like to try with your fanbase.
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