What Our Data Revealed About Facebook Vs. Instagram for Brands


By   |   May 24th, 2016   |   Reading time: 5 minutes Brands

We looked at brand engagement on Facebook and Instagram for major brands to see how engagement varied and how brands can tailor their content for success. 

With so many social platforms, it can be overwhelming to know which is best for your brand. In an ideal world, your brand is on every appropriate platform, delivering killer content that wows your fans and boosts your brand’s reputation.

Recently, we looked at essential steps for brands on Instagram and on Facebook.

In our analysis of major brands on both platforms, we found some key takeaways that social media marketers should consider.

Higher Engagement Per Post On Instagram

In our data, we saw that Instagram generally attracted more likes and comments per post than Facebook. This was especially true for smaller brands, and those in the food, fashion/beauty, and travel sectors.

How big can this discrepancy be? During April, Victoria’s Secret saw an average of 2,078 likes per post on Facebook. On Instagram, that average was 283,030.

brands Facebook vs Instagram

Facebook is a hub for everything social media, while Instagram has a tighter focus and prompts the user to take an action while scrolling through.

Facebook can spread outside the platform more, as sharing is one of the three main actions and not on Instagram.

Red Bull is a master across social media, but it’s very simple to click and share its content on Facebook. On Instagram, one needs to tag other users by commenting with @+username. This isn’t a measurable metric yet on Instagram, so Facebook can show where content is spreading across the platform easier. 

Different Visual Methods

Instagram is ideal for photos, and recently the limit on video length has been extended. Our data has seen that photos get more engagement than videos on Instagram. The bright and bold photography Instagram is known for drives big engagement.

Marriott Instagram layout

Marriott Hotels is very conscious of the photos posted on their channel. They regularly post photos in bursts of one color palate, and create photo collages across several photo posts.

That’s not to say Facebook isn’t visual. Facebook is great for brands looking to engage fans longer and oftentimes, deeper. Facebook Live video broadcasts, such as an unveiling of a new luxury car, can keep avid fans glued to their account.

This Live broadcast showing off Mercedes-Benz autos drove over 44,000 reactions and 5,600 comments. Live videos create a micro-moment that makes users want to join in and be part of the fun. 

On Facebook, not Instagram, video is the star, with videos having potential to go viral on a global scale.

Another example is the deeper levels of commenting on Facebook. For brands like Petco, users often share photos of their own pets on the posts by Petco. Instagram comments are only text/emoji-based.

petco cat facebook

Facebook is a source of information, so there’s room to go into deeper levels of interaction. Instagram is about capturing moments. Try NewsWhip Spike to discover what’s trending on Facebook and Instagram.

Instagram, a Place of Positivity

When comparing brands’ accounts on Instagram and Facebook, Instagram can seem like a pollyanna’s paradise for some brands. Especially with Facebook’s new reactions, if an audience is displeased with a brand, there may be a sea of angry emoji on the page.

On Facebook, American Express‘s social media managers field an onslaught of consumer complaints on their content. Meanwhile, their Instagram captures exponentially more likes and positive reception.

Planning the next adventure. #travel #MemberMoments

A photo posted by American Express (@americanexpress) on

For brands hoping to focus on positive associations, you can see why Instagram is the easier win. Facebook has more opportunity for feedback of all kinds.

This can be a good thing, as we noted in our analysis of Facebook reactions for brands. You can take that genuine feedback and address customers’ concerns. Community managers can form bonds with followers and quell their worries.

British airways facebook

British Airways has their Facebook community managers quickly respond to customers’ questions, even just rumors that their followers are worried about. 

In the long run, the audience feels like they’re being heard and this strengthens the brand’s reputation.

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Go Niche on Instagram

On Instagram, influencers like photographers and hobby enthusiasts set the trends. Instagram provides an opportunity to showcase your brand in an innovative way.


FedEx, which we’ve mentioned before, uses Instagram to put a Where’s Waldo spin on their brand, sourcing photos from followers. 

However, this approach is also more of an investment of creativity, time, and resources. While Instagram creates opportunities for brand awareness, Facebook can help you reach a wider demographic. Instagram is still used primarily by users under 30 years old. For brands seeking to reach an older age range, Facebook might be more helpful. 

Brands still need a Facebook presence, as Facebook is used more and more as a resource on people doing research around purchasing decisions. It comes down to how your brand can be most valuable to consumers on each platform. 

Find the Best Content for Social Media

Of course, Instagram and Facebook are just two puzzle pieces. There’s Youtube, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr—the list goes on.  

How do you monitor all of them and ensure your presence on each is the best it can be? Our clients use Spike, our social signals platform.

millennial fashion instagram

With Spike, social media managers survey the digital landscape from a bird’s eye view. They can see how their own content is doing across major social media platforms and by granular metrics, such as Facebook comments or reactions.

Spike tracks billions of content pieces each day. It’s a vital tool for discovering what’s going to go viral, and the trends currently driving huge engagement.

Get started discovering the best content for your brand today on Facebook and Instagram

 

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