If you’re running a small business e-commerce website, you’ve probably been advertising across the social media landscape for quite some time now.
As you should be.
While social media marketing has changed drastically over the last year or so, its influence remains undeniable. There are 3.78 billion active social media users and most marketers are developing what they believe to be loyal followers by advertising and engaging with them.
And while you are likely making use of multiple social media platforms that make sense for your company, it begs the question: which are the best for you?
In this new blog, we’ll pit the best of the best in social media platforms against one another to see who comes out on top as the best option for your social media marketing dollar.
So who’s it going to be?
Time to throw down. It’s Facebook versus Instagram! FIGHT!
Table of Contents
What are the advantages of Facebook over Instagram?
Facebook is the second-most visited website in the world, bested only by The Great Google itself.
Out of 3.78 billion active social media users globally, 2.74 billion of them are active Facebook users. That doesn’t mean brand engagement is the highest, though.
One thing that Facebook is exceptional at is attracting all age groups of adult Internet users. The age group 18-29 tops among all others with a whopping 82% participating. Because of such wide acceptance across age groups, there is exceptional potential for increased ad visibility. This is especially true if you’re not targeting any specific audience group.
This all suggests paid advertising, though. If you’re planning to also incorporate posts promoting your blog, or other relevant products or landing pages, Facebook is going to be a much friendlier atmosphere for your business. You have unlimited access to including direct links within your posts.
Instagram users are restricted to just one link in the bio of a post with no link on the picture itself. A clear win for Facebook in this instance.
But ads need to be engaging.
Simply relying on the fact that more people are going to see your ad isn’t going to be effective.
And the video is the new king. Photos may make up a high percentage of all posts on Facebook, but the video has the highest engagement, and it’s not close.
A study by Adweek shows that photos outpace video 54% to 3% in terms of sheer post quantity. Yet videos get significantly more clicks.
And those clicks are mostly coming from mobile users. 85% of the advertising revenue comes from mobile ads, and 98.3% of users access Facebook from mobile devices.
Does Facebook satisfy all your needs?
Search isn’t the only effective channel for B2B marketing; social networks, especially LinkedIn and Facebook, can also be very effective.
New Linkedin statistics say that 89% of B2B marketers rely on lead generation. In fact, 80% of B2B leads can be attributed to LinkedIn:
While LinkedIn is the favored choice for 92% of B2B marketers, it’d be silly to overlook the targeted reach and retargeting capabilities of Facebook which is used for lead generation by 88% of B2B SMB marketers:
Adding on that,
Facebook’s lead ads come as a cherry over the cake. Facebook lead ads are a more straightforward way for businesses to get leads over the platform without sending users to another web page to fill in the info and get the gated incentive - decreasing bounce rates.
A WordStream study proved that campaigns using lead ads had a conversion rate of 12.54% against the 10.47% conversion rate of landing pages.
You can also use SocialPilot, a social media scheduling tool, which enables you to create lead ads for multiple Facebook accounts from a centralized place, saving you from the hassle of switching between various tabs.
Experience it yourself - Start your free trial!
Top of the funnel social ad example
With this ad, ‘Aspect Software’ targets key decision-makers in the IT industry to raise awareness of their product without going straight in for the hard sell.
This sponsored post is a classic top-of-the-funnel example because it’s general enough to be interesting to a wide range of readers, but taps into a specific problem of the target audience.
You can upload a filtered export from your CRM to go after leads you’re currently marketing to and keep your company top-of-mind.
In the case of the Aspect ad above, the company saw a 322% increase in engagement from the targeted companies, a 290% increase in referral traffic to their blog, and a 17% increase in page followers.
Hooking your target companies on social media is powerful because you can continue to deliver targeted messages over time as they move into the middle of the funnel.
Middle of the funnel social ad example
The middle of the funnel is the perfect place for retargeting ads, especially ones that position the power of your product in the words of your customers.
Remember, you’re nurturing leads here instead of pushing for conversions. For these purposes, an interactive carousel ad with testimonials works well for a B2B audience.
The example from AdEspresso above generated 38,456 impressions, 181 clicks, and 40 conversions with a budget of $98.18!
Retargeting works by tracking when prospects visit your site and then displaying a relevant ad to the same user when they are on the platform.
According to SEO Marketer
“Facebook retargeting, in cohesion with SEO tactics, places an undisputed level of efficiency. Rather than targeting a new demographic of customers, using the pixel you are targeting users who have shown the initial interest based on SEO.”
This means you can get more for your money in the middle of the funnel by targeting visitors that are more likely to end up converting than total strangers.
Warm traffic versus cold traffic
To set up retargeting ads for mid-funnel leads, you first need to add a Facebook pixel to your site. This places a cookie in the browser of any visitor landing on a page and allows Facebook to target only those leads with your ads.
Bottom of the funnel social ad example
This ad from Veeam Software has a very specific offer for a very specific audience. You can tell by the low number of views on the video that it’s targeting a small niche rather than a broad segment.
Instead of just selling the fear of losing IT data, which would be more general, it is selling a free 30-day trial of an Oracle database backup suite.
This assumes the target audience is a database management decision-maker running Oracle infrastructure, and that they’re far enough down the funnel to buy.
One solid strategy you can use to leverage your existing Facebook audience and widen reach is to use lookalike audiences to target leads with similar expressed interests in their Facebook profile.
To set this up, you can use your email list as the source and clone your customer base.
Instead of generating a lookalike audience with your customer file, you can also market straight to your existing customers with upsells.
It’s much less expensive to retain and upsell than it is to create a new customer, so by using your existing customers you can boost LTV without running over budget.
What are the advantages of Instagram over Facebook?
Instagram is currently the perfect platform for reaching a much younger audience. Demographics that include a huge Millennial following really set this market apart.
It’s a much more visual medium than Facebook, which is reflected in the categories that users tend to gravitate towards Fashion, Photography, Beauty, and Architecture to name a few.
Though young, this audience is still willing to engage and spend time with half of all users following at least one business and doing product research within the app. More than one-third of Instagram users have made an online purchase using their phones and their average spend is actually 15.4% greater than Facebook’s.
Perhaps the best part of advertising with Instagram is that about 72% of marketers are currently making use of it.
In a landscape with a relatively low level of competition, you can market yourself to a desirable, engaged, young audience on the cheap with the help of free Instagram tools.
Why not use both social media platforms?
Well, you certainly can. While the effect will likely depend greatly on the size of your following, integrating social media marketing campaigns using both Facebook and Instagram makes a lot of sense.
One way to do it would be to start with a Facebook ad campaign and then turn around and do an Instagram promotion targeting the part of your audience that didn’t convert. Facebook will get you the traffic while Instagram follows up and helps to convert the stragglers.
Or, try the opposite approach.
Advertise on Instagram first with the goal of engaging followers and ultimately getting them to a specific landing page.
Those who don’t convert can be targeted in a future Facebook campaign. Users on this list who already like your Facebook page will be especially likely to end in conversion for you. You can use Facebook marketing tools to constantly publish content and generate more engagement out of your re-marketing campaigns.
Copywriting involves writing a message that is persuasive, conversational, and believable.
In essence, you will have to tell a compelling story that grabs the reader’s attention and engages them emotionally so that they respond the way you want them to.
Because of this, many view copywriting as manipulative; but it doesn’t have to be. It is a very powerful way of communication, but it doesn’t have to be the blatant, disrespectful, and manipulative ugly messages that we, unfortunately, come across all too often.
Add value to your message
The information you provide should be perceived as valuable. I am not talking about monetary value, but the kind that can turn a person who knows nothing about you, into someone who would want to buy from you.
It should be noted that scheduling the publication of your posts is important too.
You can do it yourself trying to keep a large amount of information in your head. But there is an opportunity to simplify this process with the help of special tools such as SocialPilot.
You can effortlessly schedule up posts with a simple 3-step process—upload, preview, and select account. In this case, you can schedule from 1 to 500 posts.
Creating value in your communications doesn’t apply just to a sales letter, but to all kinds of writing, from a blog post to a customer service email, or your response to a complaint.
Ideas that help you add value
- Tell a story that your reader will relate to. To do this successfully place yourself in their shoes; where are they coming from? What are they likely to be thinking about or Feeling?
- Explain things simply. Even when writing about something technical, avoid jargon and use simple words to explain things more easily.
- Convey emotions. If you present your message well, with emotions that connect to your reader or viewer they should see that what you are offering will add value to their lives (i.e. solve a problem, make life easier, increase their profits…) you get the picture.
- Tell your readers/viewers the actions you want them to take step-by-step. Make it fun, fast, simple and you will benefit from higher conversion rates – whether it is for an opt-in list or a purchase
Focus on benefits
Facts come across as cold and impersonal (and sometimes even boring!), so it is best to focus on benefits because people prefer more warm and personal communication, but don’t overdo it. This again applies to any communication and not just a sales letter or an advertisement.
Differentiating benefits from features
Think of a diamond as being the product. The number of carats, for example, is a feature. The benefits, however, can be how the product will make you feel, how it will change your view of the person who gave it to you, or even how others regard you because you now wear the diamond ring!
In business, a benefit will generally describe something that moves your prospect away from pain, or from frustration to pleasure, or how your service will help them achieve… you fill in the blank.
You must master this distinction because people rarely buy based on features, most buying decisions are highly emotional and people buy on benefits.
Facebook vs. Instagram: And the winner is
Instagram, with the caveat, that it ultimately just depends on your business goals.
Instagram is still growing rapidly and has a massive, incredibly engaged youth following. There isn’t nearly as much advertising competition when compared to Facebook.
With mobile devices dominating social media and online shopping, it makes a lot of sense to be marketing on a platform that caters to users who mostly engage in this way already. And remember that, just because they’re young, doesn’t mean they aren’t engaging and spending, because they are.
Besides, it is not important to hire a big team of copywriters to create appealing content because few people read the description below the photos.
In this case, it is enough to publish a perfect photo to attract customers. For conversions, Instagram is the clear winner.
Facebook, on the other hand, is fantastic for targeting an older, more traditional audience. If you’re implementing full-funnel marketing, this is the place to be.