For the release of their August issue, centered on ‘America’s Women Billionaires’, Forbes featured reality television’s protégé, Kylie Jenner, on its cover. At 20 years old, Jenner is the youngest woman to appear on this list, and the social media darling is set to become the youngest self-made billionaire of all time. Jenner, currently 27th on Forbes’ list of wealthy American women, has an estimated net worth of $900 million.
But just how did Jenner turn her television fanbase into a legion of loyal customers? How did she generate such monstrous profit from $29 lipstick kits? The answer is simple: social media. With an Instagram following of 114 million, Jenner has a ridiculously large audience-base to advertise her products to. By regularly engaging with her fans (and subsequent customers), Jenner has exceeded all expectations, and made enormous financial returns.
Whilst not everyone begins their career with famous familial connections and a massive social media following, Jenner’s clever usage of Instagram and other secondary platforms (Snapchat, Twitter, etc.) is testament to the immense potential of social media as a marketing tool.
Among the numerous social media platforms that exist, Facebook and Instagram remain the most popular. Both of the sites offer businesses advantageous marketing tools, and can optimise market growth and reach. However, when dealing with a strict business budget, choices have to be made. Budgets cannot always accommodate the purchase of multiple advertising packages, so it helps to consider your options with a discerning eye.
But when it comes down to it, choosing between Instagram and Facebook is difficult. Both have their advantages, but which one will benefit your business the most? Ultimately, the decision is up to you; however, not all advertising opportunities are created equal. Below is a break-down of the factors to consider before deciding between Instagram or Facebook.
In terms of reach, both Facebook and Instagram have a staggering amount of monthly users. As Sprout Social reports, Facebook has, as of September 30, 2017, 2.07 billion monthly active users, whereas Instagram has 800 million. Judging by those numbers alone, Facebook would be the clear winner, yet there is more to consider beyond the numbers.
Chiefly, the idea that Facebook and Instagram reach different demographics of users. Instagram, being a newer, more refined technology, is highly popular among young adults between the ages of 18 and 29, and a study conducted by Pew Research found 55% of the total internet users in this age group use Instagram.
Facebook, on the other hand, attracts adult users of all ages. Whilst it is also most popular within the 18-to-29 age bracket, it was also found that seventy-nine percent of internet users between 30 and 49 have, and use, a Facebook account.
Therefore, when using Facebook for advertising, an organised, targeted approach is absolutely necessary to reach your intended audience. There is a much larger pool of users to filter, and whilst Facebook employs strategic marketing techniques, reaching your desired demographic can be difficult. Instagram, on the other hand, having fewer users, and a more concentrated age demographic, avoids the same problems as Facebook. However, Instagram fosters a younger generation of users, meaning that it is a less viable option in order to reach older audiences.
Regarding design, it’s no argument that Instagram and Facebook have very different layouts. Despite their respective evolutions over time, their original purposes were vastly distinctive. Both platforms have built upon their original designs, and have shown their ability to adapt to the rising tide of social change. However, their original layouts and base premises have directly influenced audience engagement on their networks.
Instagram, for example, has always been an incredibly visual platform. Its model revolves around the sharing of photos and video, and its growth has been structured around more effective and engaging ways to do that. The simplicity of a feed filled with photos, albeit pictures embellished with hashtags, locations and captions, streamlines content, and makes ad campaigning easy.
Facebook on the other hand, pioneered the idea of a multi-faceted post, one that featured text, videos, images, and links. The combination of these elements allowed Facebook to become a breeding ground for interesting varied content. Strategic, targeted advertising has quite effortlessly slipped into the equation; the addition of marketing allowing customers to “like” and engage with their favourite brands. However, as time goes by, Facebook is becoming over-saturated with more and more content, and as Forbes has reported, the brand has made moves to limit the amount of advertising it features.
So as a business, where does that leave you? In the changing digital landscape, it appears Instagram is taking the lead. It’s clear that both platforms have fostered successful advertising campaigns, and have contributed to amazing brand growth and recognition. But by prioritising personal content, Facebook is taking a clear step away from the e-commerce marketplace. Instagram, on the other hand, is taking large steps to establish itself as the premier social media marketplace. With the incorporation of in-app shopping features, and the monopoly on younger generations’ engagement and usage, Instagram is the future of e-commerce on social media.