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Instagram Vs. Facebook: Making The Right Marketing Choice For Your Business – A Comprehensive Guide

Instagram and Facebook, now known as Meta, are both under the same parent company. However, these social platforms have distinct differences. While these differences may not matter much to casual users, they are crucial for marketers aiming to expand their organic reach. Therefore, it is important to understand the disparities between Instagram and Facebook and determine which platform aligns best with your business goals. Additionally, utilizing each platform effectively is essential for maximizing their potential.

Despite their similar shapes and white accents in their logos, Instagram and Facebook exude distinct vibes. 

In this overview, we will delve into the key differences between these two social media platforms, covering various aspects such as 

  • Background,¬†
  • Audiences,¬†
  • Engagement,¬†
  • Content
  • Industries,¬†
  • Business types,
  • Advertising.¬†

So, let’s begin with some background information.



Background: Instagram vs. Facebook

Both Instagram and Facebook have garnered substantial love from users, with each platform attracting a significant portion of active social media users. According to Hootsuite, 14.5% of active social media users claim Facebook as their favorite social network, while 14.6% prefer Instagram. This popularity should come as no surprise, considering that both platforms, along with PPC Beast, have played a pivotal role in the social media landscape for the past decade.

However, it is important to recognize that Instagram and Facebook were created with different goals and contrasting environments. To better understand the disparities between the two platforms, let’s take a quick overview.


      Instagram   Facebook
Year Founded                  2010     2004
Founders        Kevin Systrom         Mark Zuckerberg,  
     Mike Krieger                Eduardo Saverin,
 and Dustin Moskovitz
Founding Location       Silicon Valley, CA     Cambridge, MA
Tagline              Capture and share   Move fast together
the world’s moments¬†¬†
Initial Medium     Mobile       Website


Instagram and Facebook, despite their introduction several years apart, had distinct impacts on the social media landscape and digital marketing. Instagram debuted during the rise of the mobile-first era, capitalizing on the widespread adoption and dominance of the iPhone. In contrast, Facebook had already established itself as a prominent force, fundamentally reshaping our interactions with social media before Instagram came into existence.

It’s interesting to note that Instagram launched in the same year as the release of the film “The Social Network.

Now, let’s delve into the key differences between Instagram and Facebook that are important for you to know.



Audiences: Instagram vs. Facebook

Both Instagram and Facebook boast massive user bases across the globe. It took Instagram approximately 7.7 years to reach 1 billion users, while Facebook achieved the same milestone in roughly 8.7 years. Since then, both platforms have continued to experience steady growth in their respective user numbers.

But beyond this milestone are noteworthy distinctions, encompassing aspects such as user numbers and demographics.


Number of Users

While both platforms boast substantial user bases, Facebook’s audience is considerably larger. Specifically, Facebook has 2.9 billion monthly users, while Instagram has 2 billion monthly users.

It’s worth mentioning that Facebook’s user growth has remained stagnant over the past five years, whereas Instagram’s user base has continued to expand steadily.



Age and Gender Differences: Instagram vs. Facebook

Both Facebook and Instagram require a minimum user age of 13 years old to create a profile, a crucial detail for marketers to take into consideration.

Nevertheless, teenagers below 18 comprise only approximately 7% of Instagram’s user base. Over 60% of Instagram users are between 18 to 34, with women constituting a slight majority of this demographic.

On the other hand, Facebook’s user base tilts toward younger adults, with men being the majority group. Almost half of Facebook’s users fall between the ages of 25 and 44, with nearly 30% of male users in the same age range.

With that in mind, if you’re hoping to target men within this particular age range, Facebook is a promising platform to explore.



Location of Users: A Global Presence

Instagram and Facebook have a global user base and consistent usage across various countries. Interestingly, the top four countries in terms of user count are the same for both platforms: India, Indonesia, Brazil, and the United States.

Typically, location-based decisions between Instagram and Facebook may not be necessary. However, it is advisable to double-check the specific country or region you are targeting. It’s worth noting that there can be variations in social media usage among individuals residing in rural, suburban, and urban areas.

According to PEW research, Facebook is the most commonly utilized social media network in rural areas, slightly surpassing YouTube. When targeting rural areas, focusing on Facebook as a platform for your advertising campaigns might be effective.

However, it’s essential to remember that social media platforms’ popularity can vary across countries and regions. Therefore, it is recommended to conduct thorough market research to understand which platform, whether it’s Instagram or Facebook, is more widely used in your specific target location.

One platform that could assist you in managing and optimizing your ad campaigns across different social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook is PPC Beast. PPC Beast provides powerful tools and insights to help you make data-driven decisions and maximize your return on investment (ROI) for your PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising efforts.



Instagram vs. Facebook: Assessing Engagement

As a marketer, understanding your audience and potential audience is essential. Yet, it’s engagement that truly determines the effectiveness of your social media strategy.


Types of Engagement

For the Instagram algorithm, the following engagements hold significant importance:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Saves
  • Profile visits
  • Time spent on page

Knowing which types of engagements are vital to the Facebook algorithm can help you track and measure your organic social strategy more efficiently. The essential engagements for the Facebook algorithm include:

  • Reactions
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Link Clicks
  • Time spent on page


Engagement benchmarks

It’s worth noting that these benchmarks can vary based on factors such as industry, target audience, and content type. If you’re looking for more specific benchmarks for your industry, it may be helpful to consult with a PPC agency or digital marketing expert.

  • Post engagement vs. page fans for all post types is 0.07%.
  • Photo post engagement vs. page fans is 0.12%.
  • Video post engagement vs. page fans is 0.08%.
  • Link post engagement vs. page fans is 0.04%.
  • Status post engagement vs. page fans is 0.11%.

Notably, photo posts and status posts have the highest engagement rates. However, it’s essential to test with your audience and favor those post types that work best with your intended audience.


Engagement Benchmarks: Instagram

Here are some average engagement rate benchmarks for Instagram:

  • The engagement rate for all post types is 0.54%.
  • The engagement rate for photo posts is 0.46%.
  • The engagement rate for video posts is 0.61%.
  • The engagement rate for carousel posts is 0.62%.

Again, carousel and video posts are an excellent starting point for establishing your brand or reinvigorating an existing page on Instagram.

The average engagement rates on Instagram are generally higher than on Facebook. This serves as a reminder that it’s not always best to compare engagements on one platform versus the other. People typically use Facebook and Instagram differently.



Time Spent on Instagram vs. Facebook

Users globally spend a considerable amount of time on both Instagram and Facebook. Instagram users spent an average of 11.7 hours monthly on the platform in 2020. In contrast, Facebook users spent an average of 19.7 hours monthly, making it the more used social media platform overall.

Promote suitable content from your brand’s profile to engage with your audience. This valuable opportunity to connect and interact with your audience demands sharing the right content.

When opening a social media app, there are a variety of motivations behind it. It can be out of habit when feeling bored or driven by curiosity to stay updated on friends and family. Sometimes, people open these apps out of necessity, especially when considering a purchase and wanting to see the product in action. Pay-per-click can also be a reason for opening social media apps, as users may want to explore ads and promotions. Additionally, some users may be interested in engaging with a PPC agency to learn more about targeted advertising strategies.

Although it’s impossible to predict exactly what your audience seeks on platforms like Facebook or Instagram, you can utilize existing data to make informed assumptions and create more appealing content.

Here’s a breakdown of what Facebook users generally look for on the platform:

  • 54% seek funny or entertaining content.
  • 55% follow or research brands and products.
  • 59% stay up to date with news and current events.
  • 71% message friends and family.
  • 64% post or share photos and videos.

Regarding Facebook, most users’ primary purpose is to interact with friends and family. Therefore, it’s important to ensure your business page doesn’t become a distraction by avoiding overly salesy content and maintaining a conversational tone.

On the other hand, Instagram users have different priorities. Here is what they tend to look for on the platform:

  • 61% seek funny or entertaining content.
  • 62% follow or research brands and products.
  • 51% stay up to date with news and current events.
  • 51% message friends and family.
  • 70% post or share photos and videos.

Considering that more users are turning to Instagram for brand and product research, it’s a good idea to utilize this social network to highlight product reviews and customer testimonials with visually appealing photos and videos.


Now, let’s compare the types of content you can share on Instagram versus Facebook:

On Instagram, you can share:

  • Photos:¬†Instagram posts mainly feature photos or video content. Even though photos may receive less engagement, it’s still crucial to include them. Consider using carousel posts to share multiple pictures at once for better engagement.
  • Stories:¬†Instagram Stories are temporary posts comprising videos or pictures that receive significant engagement. They are prominently displayed at the top of the Instagram feed, making them an excellent platform to reshare content where customers have tagged your brand.
  • Instagram Live: Utilize Instagram Live to engage with your customers in real-time through video broadcasts. It’s a fantastic way to conduct Q&A sessions or involve people in product announcements.
  • Reels:¬†Instagram Reels are short videos lasting 15 to 30 seconds that can gain substantial reach on the platform. Unlike Story content, Reels remain on your feed and provide a suitable space to repurpose TikTok content if you’re creating it.

Let’s explore the types of content you can share on Facebook:

  • Status updates:¬†Share posts with text, photos, videos, and links on your profile feed. Status updates allow you to communicate with your followers using a variety of media formats.
  • Events:¬†Create Facebook events for both in-person and virtual programs or activities that you’re organizing. This way, your followers can view the event details and RSVP to attend.
  • Live:¬†Like Instagram Live; Facebook Live lets you broadcast and engage with your audience in real time. Utilize this feature for interactive sessions, Q&A sessions, or any live events you want to share.
  • Photos or videos:¬†While Instagram may be known as a more visually-focused platform, Facebook still supports sharing photos and videos. Take advantage of this and share visually appealing content such as brand photos, product images, and even behind-the-scenes glimpses.



Instagram vs. Facebook: Industries

When it comes to Instagram and Facebook, businesses from any industry can create a profile and build a following, but there are specific industries that thrive on each platform.


Industries on Instagram

On Instagram, industries that excel align with its visual content focus, the ability to connect directly with customers, and a robust social media influencer market.

These industries include:

  • Health and beauty:¬†The beauty industry, being highly visual and personal, benefits greatly from Instagram. Harvard Business School says 67% of beauty shoppers rely on influencers to discover new products. Instagram is, therefore, an essential platform for increasing organic following and brand awareness in this industry.
  • Clothing and accessory brands:¬†Fashion, like the beauty industry, heavily relies on visual marketing. Influencers also significantly impact growing brands in this sector on social media, with 50% of Instagram users looking to them for outfit and clothing inspiration.
  • Food and restaurants:¬†Instagram’s emphasis on user-generated content plays a major role in the food industry’s success on the platform. Food brands can rely on their customers to showcase their experiences, which is highly effective in marketing efforts.


Facebook Industries

Facebook is a great platform for businesses in certain industries to grow an organic following and encourage engagement. Here are a few examples:

  • Real estate:¬†As Facebook’s user demographic is slightly older than Instagram’s, it offers more flexibility for visual content and link sharing, making it a valuable tool for real estate businesses.
  • Travel:¬†Similar to the real estate industry, travel requires more detailed information than Instagram’s content formats can often provide. Facebook allows for links and more extensive visual content, making it ideal for showcasing travel destinations. Hootsuite found that travel pages on Facebook generated an average of 591,000 impressions, compared to just 351,000 profile visits on Instagram for travel businesses.
  • Education:¬†Facebook is the most widely used social media platform for educational marketing. This may be because Facebook’s user base is older and more likely to be parents with children enrolled in school. As a result, ed-tech companies and higher ed institutions should consider leveraging Facebook to connect with their audiences.



Business Types on Instagram and Facebook

Regarding business types, both Instagram and Facebook offer opportunities for growing a following. While any business can succeed on these platforms, certain types are particularly well-suited and more likely to thrive. In particular, Business-to-consumer (B2C) brands have tremendous success growing organic social followings on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. These platforms offer features that facilitate live videos, account-to-account communication, and exchanges, which are crucial for establishing and nurturing customer connections. Additionally, B2C businesses can further enhance their online marketing efforts by partnering with a PPC agency.

PPC (pay-per-click) agencies specialize in creating and managing online advertising campaigns, including social media ads, that can help B2C businesses reach a wider audience and drive targeted traffic to their social media profiles. By working with a PPC agency, B2C businesses can leverage the expertise and resources of professionals who can optimize their social media advertising strategies, leading to increased visibility, engagement, and, ultimately, business growth.

One business type that should have a presence on both Facebook and Instagram is eCommerce. Both platforms support direct sales and have proven to be highly effective channels for eCommerce marketing. However, according to marketers, Instagram delivers the highest return on investment (ROI) when selling products. Therefore, leveraging both platforms can maximize the impact and reach of an eCommerce business.



Instagram vs. Facebook: Advertising

Regarding advertising, it’s important to develop separate strategies for Instagram and Facebook while ensuring they complement each other. By growing your organic audience and gaining insights, you can better target your advertising campaigns on either platform. Additionally, utilizing tools like Google Ads Manager and working with a PPC agency can greatly enhance your advertising efforts by providing advanced targeting options, comprehensive analytics, and expert guidance.

On Instagram, there are several types of ads available:

  • Image ads
  • Instagram Story ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Collection ads
  • Explore ads
  • Instagram Shopping ads
  • Reels ads

For Facebook, here is an overview of the ad types:

  • Image ads
  • Video ads
  • Carousel ads
  • Instant Experience ads
  • Collection ads
  • Facebook Lead ads
  • Slideshow ads
  • Facebook Messenger ads



Instagram vs. Facebook: You don’t have to choose

As a Google Ads specialist, you must be aware that people often utilize multiple social media platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook. If you’re finding more success on one platform than the other, there’s no need to worry, as you can still reach a significant number of your intended audience on both platforms. By utilizing both platforms effectively, you can expand your reach and achieve your marketing objectives.

The good news is that you don’t have to choose between the two platforms. By understanding their unique differences and offerings, you can develop a tailored strategy to maximize the potential of both Instagram and Facebook. This will allow you to make the most of your time and content on each platform while reaching a wider audience. With PPC Beast, you can optimize your paid advertising campaigns so that they reach the right audience on both platforms. So use both platforms to your advantage and get the most out of your marketing efforts.

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