Facebook or Instagram: Do You Know Which to Use?
Deciding which social media networks to use isn’t always easy. So when the decision is between Facebook or Instagram, do you know which one you should use?
If you’ve been reading this blog for some time, you know that you don’t need to be everywhere online. Your task is to know who your readers are and use the networks they prefer.
It’s really as easy as it sounds.
- If you write for women, Facebook and Pinterest are great sites.
- If you write young adult novels, you should use Tumblr, Instagram, and Snapchat.
- If you write nonfiction, you need to be on LinkedIn.
I’ve written about this concept before, and you can check out my most recent post on this topic titled Authors: Use New Pew Center Results to Better Reach Your Readers.
But what if you write New Adult books intended for Millennial women? Should you be on Facebook or Instagram?
And if you don’t write for Millennials and you only have the time to use one or two social media sites, should you opt for the dominance of Facebook over the popularity of Instagram?
Let’s delve into some answers.Know who your readers are and use the networks they prefer Click To Tweet
Fastest-Growing Social Media Sites
According to Quora, there are more than 7 billion human beings in the world. This is where those who are online spend their time:
- 5 billion are on Facebook (Quora)
- 8 billion are on YouTube (Quora)
- 5 billion are on Google + (Quora)
- 4 billion Instagram (SocialTimes)
- 4 billion are on LinkedIn (Quora)
- 3 billion are on Twitter (Quora) However, Snapchat has more daily users than Twitter.
- 5 million are on Snapchat (Business Insider)
So, if there are more people on Facebook than Instagram, is that where you should devote your time online? Not necessarily.Find out which are the fastest growing social media sitesClick To Tweet
First, let’s review a few statistics about this massive social media site.
- 968 million people log onto Facebook daily.
- Users between the ages of 25 and 34 represent 29.7% of the network’s users.
- One in five Internet page views in the United States occurs on Facebook.
- 77% of female online users are on Facebook.
- 82% of all online users between 18 and 29 are on Facebook.
- Facebook has the largest demographics in users between the ages of 45 and 65+.
This is what we can draw from the above statistics. Facebook’s appeal is wide-ranging demographically but most popular among women and users between the ages of 25 and 34.
If you write for the following demographic, use Facebook:
- Readers who enjoy romance novels and erotica, and New Adult novels
- Genres popular among “older” readers
Now let’s look at Instagram’s demographics:
- 400 million users
- 75% of its users are outside of the U.S.
- 40 billion photos shared
- 80 million images shared daily
And here’s some demographic information from the Pew Research Center:
- Instagram has by far more women than men
- Blacks and Hispanics outnumber Whites
- The largest demographic falls within the 18 – 29 age group
- Most users have attended college
Although not apparent in the statistics, Instagram is also popular among teens.
Looking at the numbers, we know that you should use Instagram if you write for:
- Young adults and Millennials
- Blacks and Hispanics
- Those who enjoy reading Young Adult and New Adult novels.
- Fiction with characters that fall within the groups of minorities, teens, and Millennials
Facebook or Instagram? It Can Depend on Your Genre
Let’s say that you don’t write for teens or Millennials or minorities, but you like Instagram. Should you use it anyway? Sure. The more you enjoy a social media site, the more often you’ll use it and the more successful you’ll be on it. For example, I like Twitter the most, and it’s been excellent for my career as a writer and a social media marketer.When should an author use Instagram? Click To Tweet
Consider that Snapchat and Instagram are the fastest growing social media networks, respectively. So if you’re trying to reach teens, use Instagram (and Snapchat provided you can figure out how to use Snapchat because it isn’t as intuitive as other sites).
If you’re trying to reach Millennials, don’t waste your time on Facebook unless your reader demographic is also older. Remember, the younger sets dominate all social media sites, however, Facebook is a catchall for all ages, including the older sets of folks.
If you write romance and erotica novels, definitely use Facebook. But if you write YA and New Adult novels, use Instagram.
If you write nonfiction, and you had to choose between Instagram and Facebook, I suggest that you use Facebook because of its newest features, Instant Articles, and Facebook Live. Also, Facebook now ties YouTube regarding video viewing so stick with Facebook.
What if you write historical fiction? Use Facebook.
If you are trying to reach younger demographics, including Millennials, opt for Instagram because it’s still the cool site and because images are popular on social media.
If you plan to purchase advertising to reach readers 45+ and readers who prefer romance, erotica, historical fiction, nonfiction for women, and thrillers and mysteries, use Facebook.
If you wrote a photography book, you’re a painter, or you write poetry and can create images, use Instagram. If you write Steam Punk, also use Instagram.
Is it getting clearer?
While Facebook may be viewed as the older, stodgy social media, it’s innovative and here to stay. While Instagram is one of those sites growing popular among multiple demographics, it’s base is still relatively young.
So the answer to your question, Facebook or Instagram, depends on how well you know for whom you write and targeting that demographic on the right social media sites.
About the Author: Frances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at TheBookDesigner.com and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several books including The Author’s Guide to Goodreads, Avoid Social Media Time Suck, and Twitter Just for Writers, which is available for free here. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writer conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Ask Frances to prepare a social media audit for you.