Instagram and Facebook Content: What’s the Difference?

The most popular social networks among marketers, Facebook and Instagram both provide abundant branding opportunities in a visual and engaging way, but different tactics must be employed for each platform. Most brands publish the same content to both channels, but the reality is, different channels require different content strategies. With Facebook’s hefty two billion monthly active users and Instagram’s one billion, brands must be on top of their content plans. To help you get started, here are the top three differences between Instagram and Facebook content.

Each tell a unique story

Both social media platforms come with a different set of audience expectations. Content posted to Facebook can come in the form of images, text, links, and videos, so there is no shortage of variety on this platform. Facebook is geared toward connection, therefore posts on the platform should tell a compelling story that lines up with the Facebook’s culture while standing out on a noisy newsfeed.

Users on Instagram are after an inviting experience that includes visual storytelling coupled with solid branding. Instagram’s platform is much quieter than Facebook, and content should be focused on seizing user’s attention while they’re scrolling through feeds. Brands must get creative with the content they post, tapping into Instagram Stories for in the moment content, and utilizing Instagram feed for showcasing their brand.

Curated content vs. in-the-moment content

Facebook’s interface allows for a generous content curation strategy. This is paramount to establishing your brand as an expert in the field as organizing, sharing, and adding your voice to a piece of content you did not create allows you to offer new insight to audiences. Posting curated content is a great way to network and to grow your business without coming up with original content 100% of the time.

Instagram, however, demands content that is fresh, whether it be on Instagram Stories or on user’s feeds. The Instagram feed provides an opportunity for brands to create an aesthetic or theme that audiences can be drawn to and depend on. Creating unique and compelling content is what will set you apart from the pack on Instagram. Engagement tends to be higher on Instagram, so getting audiences involved by asking questions, going behind the scenes, and sharing valuable thought leadership is a great way to increase reach.

Reactions and opinions vs. behind-the-scenes content

People gravitate toward either platform for different reasons. A survey by Facebook found that users found Facebook posts more “opinionated” and Instagram posts “behind the scenes” oriented. When looking at Facebook feeds, users tend to share real time reactions, opinions to announcements, news reports, or product launches, while Instagram users are more apt to look into behind the scenes content that focuses on details, personalities and conversations.

Facebook’s research has determined that their platform is “more about exposure to new ideas and new ways of thinking,” and on Instagram it’s “more about inspiration.” Instagram users are more likely to open the app to find inspiration on lifestyle, fashion, food, travel, recipes, and design. Facebook users are looking for ways to keep in contact with their favorite brands, while also seeking updates from news outlets and humor content.

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