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Which Social Media Platform Is Best For Advertising In 2019? Facebook Or Instagram? A Detailed Comparison.

Content Marketing | Social Media
Last Updated: August 30, 2019
Sahil Kakkar
Sahil Kakkar

Here is a million-dollar question. Which is the best advertisement platform to promote our online content? Facebook or Instagram? The answer is never simple or straightforward. That is why it's a million-dollar question But we bring you the latest facts and trends to help you make better decisions and you can get most out of your money and time.


Table Of Contents

Building your presence on most social media platforms is essential for all online and offline businesses. With so many options and choices, it is not unusual that our actions conclude at that particular question only.

Why is this the case? We examine

Because regular postings and communication on those platforms don't tend to deliver expected results.

Our social media efforts surely help us gain followers, leads, and sales, but the facts are that numbers are bound to slow down over time unless we run advertisements.

As we know, running social media advertisements can enhance brand awareness, inbound traffic, search engine rankings, and conversion rates.

There are nearly 3 billion people who are using social media actively. To a marketer, this is the potential number of people that his brand can reach out to generate leads and boost their conversion rates.

In social media, two platforms have experienced a constant increase in their monthly users and are leading in the field as well: Facebook (2 Billion) and Instagram (800 Million).

But if you are planning to run an advertisement on any one of these platforms, which one should you choose:

Facebook or Instagram?

Do not follow blindfolded advise.

You need some facts and best way is to ask yourself a a few questions that will help you determine whether it is worth promoting posts on Facebook and Instagram or not.

1. Which social media platform has a broader reach?

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Is it Instagram?

Nearly 800 million people use Instagram every day, which means that this social media platform has a potential reach of 800 million people.

Or, is it Facebook?

Now, Facebook has been around for over a decade, and technically, it is the parent company of Instagram, plus it has nearly 2 Billion monthly users.

So, no point to argue here, Facebook has won this round.

2. What demographics do facebook and instagram they cover?

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Majority of Instagram users are female (58%) under the age group of 18 - 29 (59%). And it is accessed primarily on mobile devices and for an average time of 15 minutes.


On this platform as well, the majority of users are female (52%) under the age group of 18 - 29 (88%). Facebook is accessed more via smartphones and for an average time of 35 minutes.

This round, between Facebook and Instagram, is a draw because if your business’ target market is females, you can choose any of the mediums. In fact, it would be better if you run your campaigns on both of these platforms to get optimum results.

3. Which social media platform is more engaging?

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Instagram? Or does Facebook win this round?

Well, studies have proven that Instagram brings more brand engagement when compared to Facebook. No other social media platform comes closer to Instagram’s engagement rate including twitter.

4. Which social media platform has more optimization options for advertising?

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Instagram Ads optimization

Ads on Instagram allow you to create photo ads, video ads, and feed advertisements (Carousel Ads) that you encounter while scrolling down your Instagram feed. Also, Ads can be run through the stories. Plus, you can optimize the ads with the call to action buttons.

Ads can be focussed at the specified audience your business chooses to target, along with the gender.

Facebook Ads optimization

Facebook Ads offers you sufficient amount of optimizations that are common to Instagram ads as well. You can optimize ads based on gender, age, language, etc. You have the freedom to remove and add people from audiences based on the demographics, and connections to your pages.

Additionally, Facebook Ads provide you with custom audience options where it creates a group of audience based on the information provided by you or Facebook generated data.

Also, to run Instagram Ads, you need to optimize them on Facebook Ads.

So, who wins?

Undoubtedly, Facebook is the winner of this round, because it’s customization options are far wide-ranged than Instagram’s.

5. Which social media platform is best for which type of goal?

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If your business is aiming at engaging the audience, then, you should run your advertisements on Instagram because, as previously discussed, it's engagement rate is much higher than Facebook's.

Other than that, you can take a look at the differences in engagement yourself.

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The image includes a list of brand and the average likes they receive from both of the platforms. You can see that 283,030 people like Victoria's Secret posts on Instagram (on an average), but on Facebook, the likes didn't rise above 3K. The similar case is with McDonald's: Instagram - 19k, Facebook - 0.7k. The difference is huge.

So, for engagement purposes, Instagram is the platform on which you should run advertisements.

For Visibility - Facebook

Facebook has an astounding reach to over 2 billion people in this world, and that’s not just millennials, nearly every age group is using Facebook actively.

For Informing - Facebook

When it comes to distributing information, the research proves that Facebook is a forerunner in the field. Instagram somehow limits the distribution of information by not giving users the liberty to include links in their posts, which Facebook gives you complete control of their posts.

For Targeting The Millennials - Instagram

Instagram is the perfect medium for brand’s whose target audience are the younger generation as a majority of its users are between the age group of 18-49.

6. Is it a good idea to run Ads on both Facebook and Instagram simultaneously?

Running ads on both platforms can produce impressive results. You’ll have a broader reach and more opportunities to generate leads and increase your sales.

Plus, you can manage your advertisement of both platforms through a single medium: Facebook Ads.

Facebooks Ads allows you to manage, customize, and run your Instagram advertisements. And even though you do not have an Instagram account, you’ll still be able to run ads on those platforms. Although, you will have to customize those advertisements keeping in mind the audience and interface of both the platforms.

Closing Thoughts:

Both these platforms are equally better, running advertisements on any one of them or even both can generate impressive results. They do have differences in the demographics and engagement rate; both of which play a crucial part in choosing the appropriate platform to run ads.

Demographics of the platform will assist you in opting for a platform that the majority of your target audience is using. So, your chosen social media platform for running ads should deliver stunning results in terms of engagement, lead generation, and conversion rates.

Moreover, if you don’t favour running ads, you can do influencer marketing, you can partner with a social media influencer and promote your brand. Both Facebook and Instagram have a massive number of influencers, you just need to choose the ones which are right for your brand.

About the Author:

Sahil is the CEO and Founder of Rankwatch - a platform, which helps companies and brands stay ahead with their SEO efforts in the ever growing internet landscape. Sahil likes making creative products that can help in automation of mundane tasks and he can spend endless nights implementing new technologies and ideas. You can connect with him and the Rankwatch team on Facebook or Twitter.

Sahil Kakkar

Published Under: Content Marketing

Disclaimer: “Whilst we have made every effort to ensure that the information we have provided is accurate, it is not and advice. We cannot accept any responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions. Visit third party sites at your own risk. This article does not constitute legal advice.