During the last weeks, some working mates and friends keep asking me about Instagram. Some of them have already opened a profile for their business and post randomly, however they still see no big advantage compared to Facebook, where they spend most of their Digital Marketing time
This post tries to answer all these request and to introduce the real power of Instagram (Reach) and why we should not choose between Facebook or Instagram, but go for both of them
Performance oriented plans. Taget: Sales
If we are looking for Direct Sales, Web Registrations or in general for a performance oriented plan, Facebook is still clearly ahead Instagram. Comparable to Google Ads, Facebook Ads is a mature traffic generation tool with strong customization tools and a big variety of options (click to website, conversion to website, post-engagement), however Facebook is getting too big, and they are cutting their Reach capacity.
Reach Engagement Oriented plans. Target: Branding
However, not everything is Sales. Brands need to be permanently in touch with their audiences: introducing new trends, sending messages along with their vision & mission and engaging target users with content. Here is where Instagram has clearly passed Facebook, specially after Facebook modified its algorithm to cut organic reach several times during 2014 and force brands to pay to keep their boost rates, reaching a point of “organic death” according to many marketers
Let’s have a look to some examples of big brands to understand the difference. We can see how Facebook profiles with much larger communities have very low reach & engagement compared to their Instagram profiles with a lower amount of followers
Let’s say Starbucks, if we compared the engagement (amount of likes, shares and comments) of the last 3 Facebook post (Starbucks fan page has 35+million fans) with the latest 3 Instagram posts (Starbucks Instagram counts with 5.7 million followers) we see:
Facebook Engagement: 116,009 people
Instagram: 551,193 people
Which means, that Instagram provided 5 times more engagement with a 7 times lower community.
If we compared the last couple post, the difference is even greater with almost an almost 25 times largest engagement.
Facebook post – New store in Panama (12 September, 21hr after post): 6,876
Instagram Post – New store in Panama (12 September, 13hr after post): 179,379.
This happens not only to Starbucks, if you compare other big brands in different industries like Zara Facebook Zara VS Istagram Zara or even in Sports with the last 3 post of Man. United Facebook (243,040) against its Instagram pal (473,363 engaged people) more than double with 11 times less followers (6 million Instagram against 65 million in Facebook)
Why Instagram is not Facebook yet?
So, why people are not using Instagram instead of Facebook. There’re several reasons of why we have such a massive differences:
- Facebook ads as a product, is far more developed and mature than Instagram:
- In terms of markets: (not present at dozens of big markets), allowing marketers to drive traffic in a more effective way
- In terms of revenues: Facebook and Instagram, as marketing solutions, are in different production stages. We could say that Facebook is present with 7.8 billion USD in revenues during the first 6 months of 2015 only, compared to the 0.30 billion USD Instagram target (26 times higher), and Instagram is the future with a revenues target of 2.81 billion USD in 2 years .
- Expansion difficulties: due to a worse ads product and because of being a mobile platform, to grow in Instagram is always slower than Facebook.
As an experienced digital marketing professional, I do recommend to keep both networks:
- Facebook: for performance oriented plans using their Facebook Ads
- Instagram: for brand oriented plans (and thinking in another tool to expand performance oriented plans in the future)