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Instagram or Facebook for advertising? Budget may decide

Logan Baldwin | Student Facebook and Instagram are both effective tools for marketing. Deciding which is the most effective solely depends on your budget and what your marketing objectives are. If you have a small or nonexistent budget, want to spread brand awareness, and reach your audience in a more seemingly organic way, Instagram would be more effective. If you want to reach your target market very specifically and invasively, find a very specific niche market, and want to able to track every way that your campaign is working or not working, Facebook would be more effective.

Instagram is effective because, with a budget of zero dollars, you can use Instagram to see results. There are ways to pay for sponsorships via Instagram, but there are ways to use Instagram as a marketing tool for free. You can partner with influencers to promote your product.

This is a way to appeal to their followers because they already trust and follow them and can resonate with their posts. It seems more organic and can result in brand awareness.

You can use research popular hashtags to use in your posts that your target market will be following to increase the likelihood of them seeing your posts. You can do follow for follows to gain brand awareness and increase followers. Find pages that are similar to yours and follow everyone that is already following that account. There is a high chance if they already follow that account similar to yours, they will follow you back. There are free tools you can use to automatically like posts similar to yours. Instagram is less specific and invasive as Facebook, but if you have no budget, it is effective because of it’s potential to gain traction and go viral.

Facebook is effective because, with a small budget, you can allocate your dollars to your specific target market and track all your campaigns exactly to see where your money is going. Even though it costs some money, you can make your campaign as expensive or inexpensive as you want. The tools Facebook offers to reach a niche market is super impressive and sometimes scary. You can make the most out of your budget by having your ads appear only to people it applies to. You can find their age, relationship status, interests, likes, shares, location, education level, etc. and use this information for your campaign. Another tool Facebook has is the ability to see your ROI in black and white. You see exactly where every dollar goes and how effective it was.

Because of its tools to pinpoint your exact target audience, my initial opinion is that Facebook is more effective than Instagram; however, the downside of Facebook is that it is clearly an advertisement. Some view this as too invasive and it turns them off to the ad completely. It depends on your target market’s opinion of advertising, but I would have to say Instagram is more effective because it seems more organic and less aggressive.



Logan Baldwin, a student in Jon Pfeiffer’s Spring 2018 Media Law class at Pepperdine University, wrote the above essay in response to the following question:  Between Facebook and Instagram, which do you think is more effective for marketing and why? Can you tell a post is sponsored more easily on one or the other? If so, do you think that’s a positive or a negative?

  • Influencers | Social Media , Pepperdine Student Comments
  • Mar 21, 2018

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