Instagram vs. Facebook: Differences and Best Practices in 2020

Instagram vs. Facebook: Differences and Best Practices in 2020

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What does it mean to have a “current” understanding of Facebook and Instagram advertising? As both platforms evolve, consumer behaviors and demographics shift, and marketers adjust their strategies in response, the landscape of both paid and organic social on either platform is constantly changing.

This report will reference Socialbakers’ Instagram vs. Facebook data from Q1 2019 – Q1 2020 to uncover the latest trends and insights that are crucial for marketers to understand if they want to find success leveraging social media in 2020.

It will also review the current (Q1 2020) distinctions between Instagram vs. Facebook that are important to consider in order for marketers and brands to:

A.) Effectively allocate paid budgets between the two platforms 

B.) Create content strategies that align with each platform’s strengths and weaknesses

The Key Instagram vs. Facebook Report Insights: 

Marketers Shift Their Focus to Instagram 

One of the biggest trends covered by almost every marketing publication over the past 2 years has been the shift in total ad spend from Facebook to Instagram, a trend that continued at a far more blistering pace in Q4 of 2019 compared to previous years.

We can look at Socialbakers’ data from the past year (with metrics compiled from the top 100,000 branded accounts across all social media channels), and see that this trend is tied to positive shifts in engagement and reach metrics for Instagram over the past two years. Despite the impact of COVID-19 in Q1 of 2020, the existing trends in overall engagement and reach established in 2019 continued into 2020. 

Instagram vs Facebook revenue

Audience Engagement and Audience Size Move to Instagram

Similar to engagement, brand audiences on Instagram have been trending up while the same metrics for Facebook remain stagnant. In Q4 2019, the total audience size on Instagram (for the top 50 brands) surpassed that on Facebook for the first time. In Q1 2020, the trend continued and the gap grew – for top 50 brands, audience sizes on Instagram were 28% larger.

Instagram vs Facebook audience posts interactions

Date range: Chart Time Range: January 01, 2019 – March 31, 2020; Sample: 50 Biggest Facebook & Instagram Brands Profiles Worldwide; Source: Socialbakers data

#BlackoutTuesday Impacts Ad Spend

#BlackoutTuesday was a coordinated boycott of social media and business activity in a demonstration of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Taking place on June 2nd of 2020, the chart below clearly highlights to what extent US brands stood up to support the movement.

Ad spend in North America decreased dramatically on June 2nd, before recovering in the following week. Globally, the same trend was observed but to a lesser extent – note that #BlackoutTuesday did not specifically target advertisers, however brands were clearly conscious enough to pause their paid campaigns

Add spend by region in USD

What else is in the Instagram vs. Facebook report? 

The further sections of the report provide a granular look at Instagram and Facebook advertising costs, distribution of objectives, and analysis of the most effective ad placements. It provides a detailed analysis of advertising formats and also compares the audiences of the two platforms. 

By keeping in mind the Impact of COVID-19 on Social Media Report, the Instagram vs. Facebook report examines Instagram’s move towards e-commerce and provides further analysis of the latest algorithm changes and feature updates. Get the full report now.  

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