Since its inception, social media has been an empowering, free marketing tool for businesses. It paved the way for personal, one-to-one interactions with brands, which seemed unimaginable just over a decade ago.
For the first time, DataReportal’s Digital 2020 July Global Snapshot shows more than half of the world’s population — 3.96 billion people — use social media.
It’s a digital landscape ripe for the proverbial picking. Business owners can build brand awareness and improve customer loyalty easier than ever through social media marketing.
However, too often, companies make the mistake of wanting to be present on every social media platform.
Here’s the issue:
Maintaining profiles on every platform can create more problems than solutions, especially if your resources are already stretched thin.
You don’t need to download every social app for your business — just concentrate on the right channels for your company’s objectives.
Two of the most popular social media channels today are Instagram and Twitter.
Perhaps you even searched, “Which is better: Twitter or Instagram?” and landed here.
It’s important to note that one platform isn’t supreme over the other on a broad scale. Twitter and Instagram serve different purposes for different brands.
To determine the best social media solution for your company, you’ll have to consider your target audience and the type of content you’ll be producing.
We’re comparing Instagram and Twitter to aid in your decision.
Let’s jump in.
Twitter basics and benefits
Twitter is a microblogging social network for skimmable posts — or Tweets — and real-time conversations. A Tweet can include copy, images, videos, or links. Each Twitter post can only contain up to 280 characters.
Example strategies for your business could entail Tweeting press releases, product information, or blog posts.
Twitter’s second-quarter results for 2020 show 36 million monetizable daily active users (mDAUs) in the U.S.
With a business account for Twitter, you have access to insights and the ability to run advertisements.
Top 3 benefits of Twitter for your business
1. Twitter Lists for competitive research
A Twitter List is a customized timeline composed of Tweets from specific accounts that you’ve selected.
Any public account can be added to a List — even if you don’t follow them — and any List can be private and viewable only to you.
Twitter Lists allow you to draw inspiration from other brands and keep an eye on the competition.
2. Business analytics to improve performance
Twitter Analytics for businesses show video and Tweet activity, as well as an overview of engagement and impressions.
Within the Analytics page, you can find suggestions from Twitter regarding how to improve performance.
You can access useful information, like top mentions from other users and engagement rates on individual Tweets. When you monitor those metrics, you can make the necessary adjustments to improve your marketing strategy.
3. Search engine optimization for your website
Social media may not be a direct ranking factor for Google; however, experts agree that social media and SEO go hand-in.
The 2015 deal between Google and Twitter to display Tweets in the search engine results continues to give Twitter the upper hand.
Logically, it makes sense. The more social media users share and comment on your Tweets with links, the more potential traffic is driven to that link.
Instagram basics and benefits
Instagram is a video and photo-sharing site for visual content.
It didn’t take long for the application to catch the spotlight. Founded in 2010, Instagram was quickly acquired by Facebook two years later for one billion dollars.
Statista projects that Instagram will reach over 120 million monthly users in the U.S. by 2023 — up from 107.2 million in 2019.
Instagram started with just a few basic photo filters. It now boasts vertical video optimization through Instagram TV, built-in video capabilities like “Boomerang,” and “Highlights” to categorize and pin content.
Not to mention the social channel’s highly engaged audience. Instagram’s 2017 internal data suggests more than 200 million platform users visit at least one Business Profile each day.
Top 3 benefits of Instagram for your business
1. Instagram Categories
- Architectural Designer
- …and so on
Instagram categories are shown at the top of your brand account and provide users with a better understanding of your business’s offerings or services.
There are a plethora of industry category selections. Choose the best match for your product or service.
Instagram categories are part of a suite of capabilities that help you optimize your visibility to potential customers with Business Profiles.
You can also include contact information for your business or customer service team and include keywords and clickable hashtags in your bio to help with searchability.
2. Built-in insights to improve performance
With any business profile, Instagram provides free, built-in insights to help you monitor content performance and analyze demographic data.
For free data, Instagram Insights is quite intuitive. You can glance at a quick overview or dive into more granular details based on the metric.
3. Instagram Shopping for online stores
Facebook data from 2017 found that 70% of shoppers turn to Instagram to discover new products. So, it makes sense that Instagram would level up its shopping capabilities for retail and e-commerce businesses.
Instagram Shopping has a host of features to help you create a seamless online store and customer experience, including:
- An immersive full-screen shop
- Clickable Shopping Tags for in-feed product details
- A Checkout feature for in-app purchasing
Comparing Twitter and Instagram: User demographics
The first thing you’ll want to consider when comparing Twitter to Instagram is user demographics. Be where your target audience is.
Both Twitter and Instagram have relatively younger audiences.
Pew Research Center’s 2019 social media research found that 38% of Twitter users are between 18-29, with just 26% of users in the 30-49 age range.
Similarly, the same research found the majority of Instagram users also fall within the 18-29 age range at 67%. This percentage drops to 47% for those who are 30-49 years old.
Where Twitter features a pretty even split between male and female users, Instagram sways more heavily toward a female audience.
Comparing Twitter And Instagram: Business Ads
When it comes to advertising your business on social media, both Twitter and Instagram offer basic targeting options, including segmentation by demographics, location, and languages.
Since Facebook owns Instagram, it’s privy to all of Facebook’s advanced targeting options, like behaviors and interests. You can also create custom and lookalike audiences to reach a broader audience.
However, Twitter is the clear winner for mobile targeting. Capabilities include the option to focus on device models, carriers, and even operating systems.
As far as ad types, Instagram is an excellent option for video and brands with rich media.
A few advertisement options include:
- Stories ads
- Image carousels
- Immersive experiences through Collections
However, if you’re looking to launch a new app or drive traffic to your website, Twitter may be better suited for your ad needs.
Comparing Twitter and Instagram: Business analytics
Analytics are imperative to understanding content performance and how you stack up against the competition. Analytic metrics allow you to assess whether your current strategy is working, or if you need to make changes to stay on par with marketing objectives.
We briefly touched on this earlier, but let’s do a closer Twitter to Instagram comparison.
Instagram and Twitter offer insights and analytics for free with business accounts. Although, they differ in metrics provided and length of comparison.
Instagram shows you insights for account performance over the last seven days. For built-in analytics, they’re more robust than other platforms.
The metrics you can track on Instagram include:
- Website and profile visits
- Account reach and performance
- Specific content interactions
- Audience demographics
Twitter shows you analytic performance over the last 28 days.
The metrics you can track on Twitter include:
- Profile visits
- Tweet impressions
- Tweet growth
- Individual Tweet performance
However, unlike Instagram, Twitter doesn’t show audience data.
If you’re looking for more detailed data comparisons within each platform or cross-platform, use a software tool like Fanbooster.
Fanbooster’s reporting feature aggregates the data across all your owned accounts and provides visual performance reports for easy viewing. The platform shows information over the last 30 days by default.
Metrics include things like geography, daily stats, and detailed audience information.
Final Thoughts: Comparing Instagram To Twitter For Your Business
There are many useful social media channels that can amplify your brand voice and presence, but that doesn’t mean you need an account for every platform. Invest your time and resources in social networks that provide the most value to your brand and target audience.
When it comes to comparing Instagram to Twitter, each offers different benefits for your company and is a great social tool for growing a business.
The question isn’t about which is better — it’s about which is best for your needs. Perhaps both may offer benefits for your brand.