Unless you’ve won the lottery or taken on major investment, it’s unlikely that you have enough cash on hand to just throw it at the wall to see what sticks. Because of that, when it comes to promoting your business, you need to be selective about where you’re spending your money and to ensure that you’re putting it to the best possible use.
These days, advertising is a must, especially when it comes to social media marketing. There’s simply so much competition for people’s attention that if you want to cut through the noise and ensure that your message is heard, you need to use ads to amplify it.
But with a limited budget available, it’s also important to choose the right platforms on which to advertise. That’s where this article comes in.
Today, we’re going to take a little look at whether you should use Instagram or Facebook ads to promote your business.
One easy way to decide where to advertise is to start by defining your goals. Different types of ads have different purposes, with some marketers aiming for engagement and reach and others trying to score conversions and direct sales.
Instagram tends to be a better option if you’re looking for reach and brand awareness, but it doesn’t work particularly well at driving direct sales because of the nature of the platform and the way in which people consume content from it.
Facebook is generally a better option if you want more control over the appearance of the ad and if you’re pushing for direct sales, but if you’re looking for engagement then it’s also a good idea to save a little budget so that when one of your updates performs well organically, you can afford to boost it.
Pro Tip: Vista Social includes inbuilt features that are designed to help you to optimise your posts for the best performance on each social network. Use Vista Social to optimize for Facebook and Instagram to maximize your organic performance, then run ads to further enhance those that receive the most engagement.
You can manage both Facebook and Instagram ads through Facebook’s Ads Manager, and so you’ll want to spend a little time familiarising yourself with the system. The good news is that while it can be intimidating at first, it’s pretty easy to get started.
One of the most important things for you to work on is to focus on developing existing demographics and audiences. The good news is that Facebook and Instagram have a huge amount of data on their users, and so you can create different audiences based on everything from names and locations to their interests. Once you’ve created an audience, you can use it again in the future for later campaigns.
You should also note that Facebook and Instagram have different ad types available, and so if you plan to run the same ad on both networks then you may need to make some minor adjustments to make it work. Some of the most popular types of advertisement include:
One final thing to bear in mind is that Instagram doesn’t support clickable links in its captions, although there’s a workaround that you can tap into with Instagram ads. Their platform allows you to create call-to-action buttons to your adverts that people can click on to move them towards taking their next action.
After you’ve created and launched your ads, you’ll still need to monitor their performance by keeping an eye on the analytics and carrying out regular tweaks to make sure that they’re performing at their best. In many ways, this comes back to making sure that you’ve set a goal and decided how to track it, because otherwise you won’t know what success looks like.
Much of experimentation also comes back to the kind of ads that you’re running. If you’re sponsoring content that’s already doing well organically, for example, then the only real way to test it is to wait for your next piece of high-performing content and to promote that. If you’re running more traditional type of advertisement, you can run more traditional testing, like multivariate testing in which you trial different images or calls-to-action.
Analysis and experimentation is always important when it comes to marketing, but it becomes even more important when you’re committing to spending money in the form of advertisements. This analysis and experimentation step will help you to get the most bang for your buck and can be particularly powerful when your goal is to increase conversions.
Facebook Is arguably the better choice of the two networks when it comes to carrying out testing, especially because of the ability to run so-called dark posts. These are essentially unpublished page posts that you advertise, allowing you to run dozens of different variants without overwhelming people’s feeds by sharing a ton of slightly different updates.
Pro Tip: Vista Social includes a powerful social media reporting and metrics tool that can provide fully automated reports that quickly tell you what’s working and what’s not. Learn more about how Vista Social can help you.
Ultimately, the decision of whether to advertise on Facebook or Instagram will come down to the specific goals that you have and which of the two networks is most likely to help you to achieve them. As with many aspects of marketing, getting the fundamentals in place and advertising for the right reason is the most important step, although the analysis and experimentation stage comes a close second.
Of course, if you’re struggling to create and publish great content or if you need a better solution to monitor the impact of your advertising campaigns, we can help. Find out more about Vista Social, or click here to select a plan and get started.
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