Although Facebook and Instagram tend to be viewed as very similar channels, there are major differences between the two in terms of how brands can use them to promote their brand and bring their audiences through the sales funnel, from driving awareness to influencing purchase decisions.
Although, we’d always advise any business to be active on both channels, the two platforms should be used differently in order to leverage the different benefits they provide for brands. It can be difficult knowing how to utilise each channel to its full potential, so we’ve put together a handy guide to navigating the different ways you can use Facebook and Instagram for your business.
Why use Facebook to promote your business?
With many changes to the Facebook algorithm over the past couple of years and organic reach in slow decline for business pages, many brands and publishers are concerned whether Facebook is still a good place for them to promote themselves and their content. But with a vast array of advertising options and a huge user base at your fingertips, Facebook still has a lot to offer.
Reach a huge audience
For starters, Facebook has the biggest audience of any social media platform with over 2 billion monthly active users. This huge number makes it ideal for brands and businesses to boost their visibility and widen their reach within new audiences. Although organic reach may be declining slightly, there are plenty of ways you can combat this by firstly focusing on real and genuine engagement within your audience to really boost the visibility of your content.
There has also been a misconception that Facebook isn’t a platform to reach younger users, however Facebook has still got a fairly consistent user base across the 18-34 age groups. Not only this, but the older age groups are rising quickly, meaning despite which age group you are targeting, you’re bound to reach them on Facebook.
Sell your products
As Facebook has grown, it has implemented more and more options for e-commerce businesses to sell their products. The Facebook shop enables businesses to upload products from their website to their Facebook page and users can easily and quickly click through to purchase. They have also given brand pages the ability to tag products from their shop in their Facebook posts, so that users can see price details without leaving Facebook & click through to be taken straight to the tagged product on the website to purchase.
Get more for your money from ads
Facebook offers the most complex advertising platform compared to any other social media channel (and arguably any other advertising channel in general). The amount of cash that businesses are spending on Facebook ads is increasing every year and with the number of objectives it can help you achieve, as well as the level of multi-layer targeting options available, it’s easy to see why.
Facebook enables you to target your audience throughout the entire sales funnel, from increasing brand awareness with video ads, to driving web traffic, encouraging purchases, app installs or generating leads. You can target brand new audiences by demographic, interests and behaviours or retarget your website visitors or email subscribers. There are tonnes of different ad formats to make the most of your content and engage your audiences – the opportunities really are endless and the return could be surprising.
If you’re finding that your Facebook ads are more expensive than usual, then you may be making some common errors, take a look at one of our previous blog posts to see what Facebook ad common mistakes you may be making and how to fix them.
What can Instagram offer for your business?
There are now over 25 million business profiles on Instagram, which has grown rapidly in the last couple of years, because brands are quickly seeing the huge benefits that Instagram can provide to them. Not only that, but there are 1 billion business profile visits every single day with 70% of those coming from non-followers, meaning the opportunity to reach on this channel is massive. Here are some of the other key benefits to using Instagram for your business.
Achieve high engagement
Although Instagram still has a huge amount of reach (after recently hitting 1 billion active monthly users), the engagement that is generated from this channel is unrivalled by any other social platform. Instagram’s engagement majorly outperforms that of Facebook with 80% of users following at least 1 business page and millions of people visiting a website, calling, emailing or direct messaging a business directly through the Instagram app.
We know that millennials are a highly engaged bunch, and with Instagram being most popular among young adults between 18-29 it’s clear that the best chance for engagement is through Instagram.
Tell your brand story with Stories
Instagram is a great channel for brands to creatively showcase their story and give personality to their business. The launch of Instagram stories 2 years ago has boosted this opportunity even further, giving brands the chance to publish raw, unpolished content that gives their audience a “behind-the-scenes” view of the brand – exclusive content that can’t be seen anywhere else and is only available for a limited amount of time.
With over 400 million daily active users on Instagram Stories, the platform is growing rapidly and Instagram are constantly innovating and adding new features to keep your audiences engaged. Get customer feedback with polls, answer FAQs with the new Q&A sticker and drive traffic to your website with a swipe up link. There’s a load of opportunity here for brands to make themselves approachable, relatable and inspirational.
Inspire your audience to purchase
Instagram is a place for brands to get ahead of new trends and tap into their audience’s passions and interests. Considering 29% of saved posts belong to a business, it’s one of the main places where users are going to be inspired for future purchases. Around 65% of Instagram users discover new products whilst on the channel & 75% of users take direct action after being inspired by a post, showing its huge potential in influencing purchase decisions.