Use Twitter Facebook or Instagram

Is Instagram better than Facebook and Twitter?

Granted, it's not always the easiest choice when it comes to which social media platform is best for your business. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram? Or is it everywhere? The more the better - right? In any case, you should set yourself priorities. Is Instagram better for you, or are Facebook or Twitter ahead of the game? We compared the three social media services with each other and in this post we will tell you which platform could be worthwhile for you.

Interactions: is Instagram better than Facebook and Twitter?

And how much more! The proof of this is provided by Red Bull, which has around 48 million fans on Facebook and 13 million fans on Instagram. There is continuity in both networks, so it is posted regularly. While a snowboard video on the Red Bull Facebook page receives around 23,000 likes (0.05 percent interaction rate based on followers), a very similar snowboard video on Instagram receives around 78,000 likes (0.6 Percent interaction rate based on followers - twelve times as much as on Facebook). A huge difference!

So if your company has a lot of visual content, pictures, and short videos, then you should definitely set up an Instagram account. You can find out how you can still use Instagram as a company in this post.

algorithm

A social media algorithm is first and foremost software that is supposed to ensure that users are shown the results that are most relevant to themselves first. Not so relevant results are only shown when the user scrolls. This is basically a good thing, because it keeps the big platforms attractive to users. The problem for companies in this environment is that users don't think company news is as relevant as the cat video that their best friend has posted online. Or like the cousin's lunch. That's the way it is - deal with it.

Facebook
Facebook was the first major platform to introduce an algorithm called Facebook news feed algorithm. I explain how it works in this post. In addition to the three announced factors of affinity (relationship), weight (weighting of interactions) and decay (distance between the publication of your post and the login of one of your followers on Facebook) there are a number of other factors that are not specifically communicated. However, we know that, for example, clickbait headlines or fake news exposed as such have less reach in the news feed. The algorithm now decides which posts will be displayed in your fans' news feed. As the sender of messages, you only have a limited influence on whether your content is displayed or not. Even the users themselves only have a limited influence on whether the algorithm is used or not - if they switch from “Main News” to “Latest News” under “News” in the favorites, they get the chronological view again. But only until Facebook switches it back to "main news". A permanent change is not possible.

Twitter
The short message service Twitter joined the algorithm in February 2016. Too bad. Personally, I prefer the real-time charm. Quite simply, without any trickery. After all, you can turn off the algorithm on Twitter permanently. To do this, go to the settings in your Twitter account and simply switch off the “Timeline: Show me the best tweets first” in the “Account” section under “Contents” (if it is actually active).


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Instagram
While Instagram has simply played content in chronological order for a long time, it also received an algorithm in May 2016 - at the same time as a new logo. A rogue who thinks evil. The Instagram algorithm works similarly to the Facebook news feed algorithm, but has a total of six known factors. It relates to all Instagram content, i.e. the feed as well as stories, reels, etc.

Summarized
Algorithms often make life difficult for companies in social media marketing. Without them, content is played out chronologically and displayed to users in real time, with them the organic reach decreases. You should therefore expect to have to spend money on reach sooner or later on all platforms - currently especially on Facebook and Instagram, where the algorithm intervenes particularly deeply in the display of content. But that shouldn't scare you as a company - because in every other medium you also have to pay for reach. Just think of the daily newspaper, outdoor or television advertising. Of course it costs money! So why should social media platforms no Get money for reach?

Text length

Facebook
On Facebook, the optimal length of a post is typically short. Around 40 characters are assumed. Very little? That's true. But consider how users use Facebook: They scroll through their news feed like crazy, and at best get stuck on visually interesting posts. If the photo or video is correct, the text is also consumed. The shorter the better, because the attention span on Facebook is very small. Exactly for this reason, posts that are too long would bypass the recipients. "Oh, don't feel like reading." Facebook is not used specifically to obtain information, but rather for »let's see what my friends are doing«.

Twitter
You don't have a lot of space on Twitter anyway - originally just 140 characters, now there are at least 280 characters, including spaces. The optimal text length, however, is around 100 characters - significantly more than on Facebook. And don't forget to add hashtags!

Instagram
Since the main focus on Instagram is on visual content, the text length is relatively irrelevant on this platform. The main thing is that there is something underneath to complement the photo - but if the text is good, your loyal followers will also read it. If possible, use hashtags so that your content can also be found by people who are not yet followers.

Summarized
Text content is often overrated on social media platforms - people are eye animals, they want to see pictures. If the picture is good, he will also read some text. So put your main focus on visual content - no matter which platform you use.

Frequency of advertising content

Facebook
At this point, Facebook is the absolute front runner. Facebook manages to play a balanced mix of paid and organic contributions to its users. The ads then appear like regular posts in the news feed or stories, which is why the advertising platform works so well. In addition, of course, there is also the effect that the advertising that the user gets to see usually actually interests him (if the advertiser is targeting properly. But there are still people who define their target group as “everyone” ... 🏼‍♂️). So for you as a company it is a suitable opportunity to advertise and set accents.

Twitter
You can use Twitter Ads to promote your tweets. Just like on Facebook, you have the ability to select target groups based on criteria and measure results in real time. What does this bring you as a company? Well, you have the option to advertise tweets and include a link that leads to your website, for example, or to a landing page of an advertised product. Services in particular have a place on Twitter. Compared to Facebook, there is significantly less advertising, at the same time it is considerably more conspicuous. There is not just a small note with the label “Sponsored”, but Twitter ads very often stand out because of their over-professional design. And what does the normal person do with advertising once they have been identified? Right: he ignores her. (Incidentally, it is still legally controversial whether "sponsored" is sufficient to label an advertisement.)

Instagram
Instagram uses the same advertising platform as Facebook, namely the Facebook ad manager. Advertising is therefore open to every business profile. The perceived advertising density on Instagram is considerably higher than on the other two platforms, and the advertising is - in contrast to Facebook - similarly invasive as on Twitter. Because there are relatively few organic videos in the Instagram feed, but almost every ad in the feed fidgets.

The advertising in the stories is also usually perceived as extremely annoying - in many cases it appears far too professional and too unauthentic.

Summarized
As a company, you have the opportunity to advertise on all three platforms. The frequency and the disruptive factor of advertisements differs considerably between Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. While it makes sense for you as a provider of visually attractive physical products to advertise on Instagram, it makes more sense on Twitter with services. On Facebook, on the other hand, it doesn't matter whether you offer services or products - you will definitely find your audience there, too.

Corporate Design

Facebook
Bringing stylistic devices from the company's corporate design to your company's Facebook fan page? This works via the cover and profile picture. The profile picture should show your company logo so that you can be identified immediately. You don't have more options for customizing your social media presence at this point - Facebook sets the visual framework.

Twitter
The trophy in the category "Adaptation of the profile to the corporate design" clearly goes to Twitter. Cover picture and profile picture can be freely selected and as an extra bonus the adaptation of the »design color« mentioned by Twitter. Certain elements such as links are displayed in the specified color (as on my Twitter profile). However, this only works in the desktop version. And the set colors are only visible to other Twitter users in the desktop version. The problem with this is that Twitter is primarily used on the move and so the whole workload is pretty much wasted. And with it the trophy in the category »Adaptation of the profile to the corporate design«.

Instagram
Adapting the style to the company on Instagram is unfortunately only possible to a very limited extent. The only thing in which you can identify yourself as a company is the account name and profile photo - this should definitely be your company logo.

Summarized
Features of the corporate design of your company can be incorporated anywhere - the common denominator for all three services is the profile picture. Twitter and Facebook also allow you cover images. However, Twitter has the edge when it comes to customizing the design. My general recommendation is that you keep your presence as consistent as possible - so create recognition across all platforms you use!

Hashtags

Facebook
The possibility to use hashtags on Facebook is there. However: Hashtags on Facebook don't really work - especially not in comparison to Twitter and Instagram. Hashtags aren't in Facebook's DNA. Hardly anyone clicks on them, hardly anyone searches for them. Facebook is simply not used as a search engine, but is more of a platform where users are surprised by the posts in their news feeds. There is even research that suggests that the use of hashtags on Facebook increases the reach of your posts, but above all also the activity sinks. Hence my general advice: Don't use hashtags on Facebook. (The meaning of hashtags has changed a bit in 2020, but it still doesn't really show any real impact.)

Twitter
The short message service launched the hashtag in the first place and is exactly the right place for it to work. 280 characters is not a lot - hashtags help to find content or to express a complex idea with just one word. So if you tag your tweet with a specific keyword, it will appear under the tweets that are provided with this hashtag. #madness

Instagram
Instagram is often used as an insane number of hashtags. The direct way to get interactions on Instagram is to set up to a maximum of 30 hashtags per image. Hashtags are the preferred way to search for content. My tip: don't do that. Use one or two relevant hashtags that describe your picture. Then that's enough. Incidentally, this is also the recommendation from Instagram itself.

Summarized
Regardless of whether Facebook, Twitter or Instagram - it is possible to use hashtags on all three networks. However, there are clear differences. Hashtags on Facebook are still more or less a wasted effort - they are simply not established on Facebook. Quite different on Twitter - every minute there are always new hashtags about world events and current events. It's very similar on Instagram, because here the following applies: the fewer followers you have, the more targeted hashtags you have to set in order to get interactions and new followers. As a company, you can always come up with your own hashtags. In this article I describe how hashtags work in general.

Conclusion - is Instagram better than Facebook and Twitter?


Do you have a question about social media marketing?

Book your video call now with social media advisor Gero Pflüger!

The question asked at the beginning of whether Instagram is better than Facebook and Twitter cannot be answered, except with a confident "It depends". Anyway, if your business can deliver visual content, Instagram is great for you. Here at geropflueger, for example, we have an Instagram account, but actually only use it for demonstration purposes because it is not part of our social media strategy. Instagram - at least the feed - doesn't suit us (the stories are more likely). But that doesn't matter - Facebook and Twitter also offer excellent opportunities to position your company.

This post first appeared in June 2016 and has been updated 3 times since then.

Photo: Gero Pflüger

Gero Pflüger is a social media consultant from Hanover. He advises companies from all over Germany on social media and content marketing, conducts workshops and training courses nationwide and holds lectures and seminars. He also supports his customers in operational activities on the social web.