Everyone knows this right? Everyone understands that even though Facebook owns Instagram, the two networks are actually fundamentally different. While brands undoubtedly know this, it is amazing how often we see brands posting the exact same social media content on both social networks. Sure, some brands that do this don’t want to appear to be “mailing it in,” so they post the same exact content on both Instagram and Facebook on different days. While this is, perhaps, a bit more clever, we still aren’t fooled.
So why is posting the same content on both networks a problem? Outside of the fact that posting the same content on both networks is both boring (and you never want to be dull on social media) and lackadaisical, it also devalues the uniqueness of the social networks and their respective audiences.
Instagram isn’t Facebook. It’s Instagram. It is all about the artistry of the visuals. It is showing your brand’s creativity and personality. Instagram offers brands a chance to truly elevate their brand with images and engaging content that separates them from the competition. It affords the opportunity to present your product, the lifestyle it represents, and your target customer’s wants and aspirations beautifully. Why would a brand waste a joyous opportunity to engross and connect with potential customers by reposting the same product shots (don’t even get us started on the brands that post product shots exclusively) and content from Facebook on Instagram. We know that Instagram makes it easy to repost on Facebook, but that doesn’t mean it is the right social media strategy.
The other distinctive characteristic of Instagram is the page layout. Instagram allows you to create a virtual brand collage because the user sees the entire page when viewing your profile, not just a single image. So in essence, your businesses profile page should be thought of as a canvas: the imagery, content, symmetry, and white space should work collectively together. For instance take a peek at Think's Instagram page a an example https://www.instagram.com/thinkmediaconsulting/ We don’t want to toot our own horn, but our page is attractive as a whole as well as by single image. Of equal importance, our Facebook page doesn’t look like an exact replica of our Instagram page. Sure it is on brand, but it reflects the uniqueness of Facebook.
The other interesting aspect of Instagram is that this network truly allows you to emphasize your brand’s personality. Your brand can convey its personality not just in the caption of an image or video, but also in the bio itself. More and more brands are using emoji’s and other fun elements to create lively bios that instill an immediate impression for their brand while encouraging connections with their audience. This is a refreshing inclusion to the more mundane aspect of stating the who, what and why of your brand. This is another instance of Instagram’s and Facebook’s differences. Instagram allows brands to be far more playful whereas Facebook still has a “just the facts” approach to sharing your company overview, mission, and other aspects of your brand.
Another idiosyncrasy of Instagram is the ability to use Instagram Highlights, which means that brands can call to attention the most interesting elements of their company. This is principally the elevator pitch for the brand, but Instagram has raised the bar by making it interesting and fun. More than that, Facebook doesn’t have something similar, so it is worth noting when pointing out the dissimilarities.
All of this is not to say that Instagram is better than Facebook. We love you too Facebook! It is our love for both networks that compels us to remind brands to treat these amazing networks differently. These are individual, unique platforms and not just another place to post the same content. If you ignore this advice, your brand conveys the impression that it doesn’t really care about creating distinct communities on social media. Instead, your social media team is implicitly telling its followers that your brand is just checking off a “to do” instead of valuing the uniqueness of each social network.Be true to Facebook, be true to Instagram, and by treating them differently, you’ll end up being true to your followers (which is the most important thing of all).