Instagram VS Facebook 2020: for online business

Today, we are going to look at the differences and benefits of this trending duo of social media. If you’re in any kind of online business this post will provide you with everything you need to know about Facebook and Instagram for your business and how to use it’s potential to grow your reach. A total combined active user base of 3.30 Billion+ users, Facebook & Instagram are the two giants in the Social Media Marketplace. No doubt, Facebook has more total users but so Instagram also has a very strong following. Alternatively, they work differently for different kinds of audience. Even though both have their own advantages but when it comes to the technicalities Facebook is a complete 360 degree package for any brand whereas Instagram is all about visual representation.

Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV from Pexels

It was the year 2014, me and my roommate were the lead heroes of our own movie series : Facebook Wars. Yeah, we weren’t Instagrammies at that time. We used to share every little detail of our favorite pastime, like watching movies, feeling sad, happy, celebrating birthdays and convocation, listening to music, playing balling at the mall, or going on home vacations. Facebook was our only way to express our miles away feelings. We comment on each other in funny posts, we tagged each other on quotes relating to our status. Less aware of the fact that it had grown our basic following on personal profiles to 75%. Today when I look back at our stuff we did on Facebook, I regret my life for not being that free for making and sharing memories with my best friend. I am sure this story is relatable to you all. It’s so common with us today and why wouldn’t it be.

Facebook connects you with people, shares your opinion and reads information content at the same time. Everything at one place, that’s what makes Facebook special. A platform intended for networking and connecting with friends, brands, inspirational leads. Facebook is quite evident from their tag line “Be connected” with 1.13 billion daily active users as compared to Instagram which has 500 million monthly active users.

Facebook is leading in numbers, absolutely and Instagram in engagement and content sharing.

As Instagram says “ Capture and Share the World’s Moments”, it is a platform for sharing quality pictures and short videos. Practically both are owned by Facebook and have the same ad insights interface.

But for any business or brand who are using social media, they are a separate entity with different marketing goals and strategies for branding and marketing.

Bottom line is that Facebook and Instagram share some features in common, but both have their own strengths and weaknesses if we’re talking about online businesses. A strategy working on Facebook may not work for Instagram growth or vice versa. Before taking on how they both work for online businesses let’s first understand how the algorithm works for them, individually.

Facebook’s algorithms 2020


Posts that people don’t comment or react to fades don't count in no matter the quality of the content. .

2. Reactions

Facebook prioritizes the posts based on the reactions they are receiving. For example, a ‘haha’ emoji on a funny video or ‘thumb like’ on a quality content marks in high priority and will be shown to a number of more people.

3. Sharing links over messenger

This one makes most sense if a user shares a piece of content to their wall, that’s great. But what’s even great is sending that link in messages/messenger.

4. Demographics

It has been observed that Facebook has more percentage of elderly people as compared to Instagram.

Algorithm of Instagram


Your Instagram feed will be flooded by the similar type of posts and content which you have liked previously or binge scrolled. In my case, they are dog videos and classic memes.


How recently the post was shared. Yes, Instagram maes count of your post sharing timeline and prioritization for latest posts over old ones is the ground rule.


This is a unique factor where your content and its relationship with your audience whether sharing the post, as how frequently you like, tag or comment on his/her posts are the major factors of Instagram algorithm as per 2020.

So in conclusion I would say it clearly depends on you how you make the best use of these platforms and the nature of your business will tell which one is better for you right from the start. When I started working as a Social Media Manager, I performed very badly. Yes, it was freelance work without any limitations of time and delivery. I have to keep updating my company's social media and that’s it. But no, that wasn’t it. I had to make content in the form of texts, videos, images, infographic etc. I had to do daily research, plan things before going online. It was a daunting task as a fresher. And the end results were I had gained only 500 app downloads and 300 users.

My marketing head asked me very politely if I can leave the task or not. Trust me, it was hurtful but wasn’t bad. Why? Because I wasn’t a academic professional in the subject, I hadn’t studied any online course, neither had any experience in the same field. I was a complete newbie. But the first professional failure, like we all, taught me to give it a try. Again. But this time I wanted to make it a little more professional and polishing. So I joined online courses. I asked my friends who are in some businesses to give me access to their public profiles to practice my skills. It was not an overnight task. It took me two years of learning and practicing all about social media. I followed up with all sorts of businesses: creatives, products, tech, food, advertising, everything.

The results: Today, I am confident to say “YES” to any sort of business to help them with their social media management and content creation. Therefore, I was so eager to share my views on following things I have experienced so far while practicing my social media skills on business accounts. If you’re a social media manager you may be aware of it and if you’re a business, this is something you should look forward to while asking for a monthly report from your digital manager.

Facebook Organic Reach: Digital Marketers claim that the organic reach of Facebook is somewhere around 2-3% of your total fans if we exclude the reach through engagements on your posts. And I believe them. But why does Facebook do that? The main purpose of reducing the organic reach to around 3% is to encourage brands to use more sponsored post features by Facebook for marketing - Facebook Ads. Unlike Instagram & Twitter, hashtags have no importance in organic reach for your posts on Facebook. Period.

Facebook supports 7 types of posts mentioned below in order of highest to lowest organic reach:-

Facebook LIVE/ LIVE watch party >> Video( 1 min or 1:30) >> Slideshow with graphics >> Engaging Stories >> Image (Normal & 360 Degree) >> Mode (Mobile Only) >> Carousel Posts >> Status Update >> Links

The best way I personally use to increase organic reach is either by inviting people to like the page, making a formal request to share the Facebook page in their timeline or share posts mostly Facebook videos and status updates in groups with a good number of members (preferably more than 10K to 50 K).

It is no doubt that Instagram has a higher organic reach because of its hashtag & engagement driven community. As per experiences shared by most public Instagramers it has been observed that organic reach shoots up once an Instagram after account reaches 500-1K+ followers.

Instagram supports 4 types of posts mentioned below from highest to lowest order of organic reach:-

Instagram LIVE or IGTV >> Stories by Using Filters or Image or poll >> Story Video >> Image Posts >> Video Posts

TIP: Use hashtags in stories (Max 2 with a higher search volume) and add creative filters. It would increase the account visitors and increase the chances of getting followers. You can follow the same for posts with a mix of max of 15- 21 hashtags to promote your account & post widely.

Winner: Instagram -for organic reach

Facebook - for the number of active users

So it’s a tie.

Facebook Engagement: I felt that organic engagement in Facebook is also dead other than organic reach. It's true engagement but so is the truth that the highest number of active users in Facebook just gives thousands of opportunities for brands to create engagement manually. That being said, Increase your page followers though Sponsored Likes Campaign.


Share in different groups.

Ask employees to share.

Collaborate with others for cross posting.

Focus on Videos

Share informative & creative ads for users to share.

Instagram Engagement: According to Locowise, engagement rate of Instagram is on a constant decline rate irrespective of the fact that it manages to stay at the top. Forrester conducted a study on how users engage with the top 50 brands of the world. The results were most likely that a user from the target group will engage with the Instagram account of the brand rather than any other social media network.

TIP: Make the best and effective use of stories by adding trending and relevant hashtags and filters to increase the visibility of your Instagram account.

Facebook Ads: CPC(cost-per-click) and CPMCost per mille or cost per thousand) are cheaper when compared to Google Adwords but damn costlier if compared with Instagram Ads.In order to generate leads Ad type is the most costliest amongst all available ad forms in Facebook. A study shows Facebook Ads on desktop have 8x higher CTR (click through rate) & Facebook Ads in Mobile have 9x higher CTR compared to other forms of Online Ads. Facebook sponsored posts have a better engagement rate compared to engagement rate through paid ads in other social platforms.

Instagram Ads: CPC & CPM in Instagram Ads is the cheapest form of online paid ads at present. Although Ad types are not as diverse as that of Facebook & Google AdWords, the cost effectiveness helps in branding for any brand/company, regardless of the size. It is true that, both Ad forms are managed by Facebook Ads Manager, the budget for an Instagram marketing campaign is consumed faster compared to the same Facebook Marketing campaign with the same targeting & ad copy.

Winner: Equal scores for both as one is diverse in nature & the other is cost effective.

Facebook Marketing Campaign: Digital Marketing Experts worldwide says Facebook Marketing campaigns have the 3rd most marketing effectiveness after SEO & Google AdWords. Facebook Ads are truly a blessing with an active user base of 2.7 billion+ users combined with diverse ad options & real time tracking through Facebook pixel. Any marketer looking to target an audience, they can easily have them on Facebook out of the 2.7 billion active users. The different Ad types gives a Digital Marketer's freedom to experiment with new forms of creative marketing.

When it comes to organic Social Media Marketing, the reach is less as compared to Instagram but the variety of features like Facebook group, Events, Facebook Multi Camera Live broadcasting wins it over Instagram.

TIP: Explore Facebook Retargeting, Custom Audience & Lookalike Audience Feature in Facebook Ads Manager. Do not jump over the audience meter showing 7,50,0000 people reach, refine it to the minimum target.

Effectiveness of an Instagram Marketing Campaign: Instagram helps in branding by increasing brand visibility. One can also generate leads from Instagram, but the conversion rate & quality of leads is very low. I am well experienced like any other social media marketer in how Instagram loses to Facebook in terms of 2.27 Billion+ Vs 1 Billion+ Active Users).

In terms of organic Instagram Marketing, it helps brands to cross platform promotion of other social accounts and divert budget meant for boosting followers or engagements in other social media platforms instead of Instagram.

TIP: Make the best use of Instagram stories both paid & organic. Try to reach 1K+ subscribers. WHY? Instagram accounts with 1K+ subscribers can add links in their stories, which have a good organic reach. Instagram Try to promote full videos in IGTV and send users to your IGTV channel through your stories.

Winner: Facebook- considering conversion rate in both platforms.

Use of hashtags in Facebook: Unlike Twitter & Instagram where #tag helps in discoverability and a better organic reach, #tags in Facebook are limited to highlighting the text with a # before it. It doesn’t support your posts other than this.

Use of #Tags in Instagram: The performance of an Instagram account/post organically somewhat dependent on Hashtags because of its feature of following a particular #tag and check out posts using the same #tag which is helping people to filter posts of their interest in their feed.

Can we use both Social Media Platforms for one online business?

Yes, you certainly can. The results will likely depend greatly on the size of your following, using social media marketing campaigns for both Facebook and Instagram makes a lot of sense.

One very common way to do it to start with a Facebook ad campaign 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 them in audience.

Or, try the opposite.

Advertise on Instagram with the goal of engaging followers and ultimately getting them to a landing page where you got your service for them.

The good part: those who don’t convert can be targeted in a future Facebook Ad campaign. Followers on this list who already like your Facebook page will likely to end in conversion.. Use Facebook marketing tools to consistently publish content and generate more engagement out of your remarketing campaigns.

Let’s look at how should be your approach to target audience on both Instagram and Facebook:


Copywriting involves writing a message that is compelling, conversational, convincing, and cognizant.

Putting it simple, tell a compelling story that grabs the reader’s attention and engages them emotionally in order to get their response. I know like many, you also 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.

Add Value and authenticity to Your Message

The information you provide should be valuable (not monetary value, but the kind that can turn a person who knows nothing about you and your service into one who would want to buy from you.)

While creating your valuable copies it is very important to schedule the publication of your posts. You can do it yourself trying to keep a large amount of information in your head. You can use social media planer tools available online where you can effortlessly schedule up posts with a simple 3-step process—uploading, preview, and selecting accounts where you will be posting your content.

Ideas that Help You Add Value

  • Tell a story that your reader will relate to. Place yourself in their shoes; where are they coming from? What are they likely to be feeling?

  • Explain things simply. Avoid jargon and use simple words to explain things.

  • Convey emotions. Emotions that connect to your reader or viewer should see what you are offering as it will add value to their lives (i.e. solve a problem, make life easier, increase their profits…)

  • Tell your viewers the actions you want them to take step-by-step. Make it fun, fast, simple

Focus on Benefits

Facts come across as cold, impersonal, and sometimes boring!. It is best to focus on benefits because people prefer warm and personal communication (don’t overdo it).

Think of the benefits by featuring them. For example, let’s say a diamond is your product, then the number of carats is a feature. The benefits is how the product will make you feel, how it will change your view of the person who gave it to you or how others will regard you because you have a diamond ring!

A benefit will generally describe something that moves your prospect from frustration to pleasure. But over creating a valuable message for your both platforms, deciding the spending budget plays a pivotal role. You shouldn’t be creating content and spending money for no or less results.

How to Choose Your Budget for Successful Facebook & Instagram Ads

  • Every cost-per-click has different costs on an Instagram ad on the basis of user age groups (18 - 24, 25 -34, and 35 - 44). You can choose to spend your budget on the basis of the age-group that you find as your potential customers for your business.

  • Facebook ad pricing is governed by the time of the year which putting an ad out during the holidays will be a lot more expensive than on non-holidays.

  • Spend minimum for your Ad for the first two weeks.

  • Keep an eye on your Instagram and Facebook analytics after placing an Ad. It will give you a clear way of how your ad is performing & how you can adjust your budget for the next ad campaign.

The best outcome of Facebook VS Instagram 2020: Facebook Shop and Instagram Shop

As the world continues to struggle with COVID-19, the financial consequences for businesses have been pretty bad.

We’re seeing a lot of businesses that never had online presences get online for the first time, and we’re seeing small businesses that had an online presence now make them their primary way of doing business. This isn’t going to make up for all of the lost business, but it can help. And for lots of small businesses during this period, this is the difference between staying afloat and going under.

Mark Zuckerberg said.

You may have observed on your own that the vast majority of Facebook’s advertisers are small businesses which make up the biggest part of Facebook’s revenue.

In March 2020, Facebook announced a $100 million grant program for small businesses, with launching food delivery & gift card stickers, and Support Small Businesses stickers on Instagram.

When Facebook Shops were announced which is the biggest of all and probably Facebook’s most important e-commerce play so far, it came as a relief care for small and local businesses who are looking forward to growing online.

In Zuckerberg’s own words: “This is the biggest step we’ve taken yet to enable commerce across our family of apps.”

The basic idea behind Facebook Shops is that it allows small businesses to build an online store and sell tier products/services directly across Facebook’s family of apps, including Facebook and Instagram.

Businesses can create a dedicated “shop” section on their Facebook Page or Instagram profile and build out a catalog of products and services that visitors can browse, save, share, and even make a purchase. Pretty valuable for small businesses, indeed.

Shops are free and easy to create and, most importantly, they’re integrated across Facebook’s many apps, meaning once you set up your shop, it’s going to be available on your Facebook Page and your Instagram profile and can be accessed via Ads or stories. Also, businesses can choose the products they want to feature from their catalog and then customize the look and feel of their shop with a cover image and accent colors that showcase their brand.

The social giant also partnered with Shopify, BigCommerce, Woo, Channel Advisor, CedCommerce, Cafe24, Tienda Nube, and Feedonomics to help brands bring their products into Facebook Shops.

Amazing part is, a part of Facebook Shops’ customization comes from AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Facebook’s augmented reality tech.

For example, if you’re a homemade food shop that makes chicken recipes and paneer dishes, you’ll be able to personalize your storefront to show special chicken delights like butter chicken and paneer tikka, the most relevant to the visitor.

On the top of customized storefront, visitors will also be able to use AR to virtually try on things like sunglasses, makeup, and even furniture (a lot like Instagram’s augmented reality shopping feature). And like when you’re in a physical store and need someone for help along with the product, in Facebook Shops you’ll be able to message a business through WhatsApp, Messenger, or Instagram Direct to ask questions, get support, track deliveries etc.

Facebook is also planning to launch a new Live Shopping feature across Facebook and Instagram, which will allow you to shop on Live in real-time.

According to the Facebook data, more than 800 million people engage in live video daily across Facebook and Instagram, and a lot of that includes product tutorials and launches. No doubt it’s already a strong e-commerce culture attached to live video.

And with Facebook’s upcoming Live Shopping feature, businesses will be able to “tag products from their Facebook Shop before going live and those products will be shown at the bottom of the video so people can easily tap to learn more and make a purchase. Effortless timing and easy shopping.

Signing off here, Social media marketing is the use of these social media platforms to connect with your audience to build your brand, increase sales, and drive website traffic. And while staying connected to these social media platforms through social media marketing campaigns, you need to publish great content on your social media profiles, listening and engaging your followers, analyzing your results, and running social media advertisements. Feel free to ask any major thing I left to share or something you have to tell. Waiting in comments .