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Instagram vs. Facebook How to Know Which Is Best for Your Plant-Based Restaurant

I started my day by walking next to the ocean. I feel the energy in the air. Sixty days in quarantine, sets its mental health, right? I felt lucky to finally being able to be outside, and while realising I haven’t been meeting people for such a long time, I started to smile at people. And you know what happened? People were smiling back at me. Everyone reached a state of mind that I believe never happened this century. So beautiful. We’re in this together! While smiling my way down to my end destination: Starbucks for my morning coffee I felt the heat in my neck. The summer is here.

I did something I have never done before. I switched my order from a ‘Grande Coffee Latté with coconut milk’ to an ice tea. I’m not sure if it was the smiling people I met on my morning walk or the fact that the summer is here. Well, it might have been the ‘Starbucks VIP subscription’ giving me an ad on Instagram about their new flavours of Ice tea that was registered in the back of my head. Whatever it was, I-WAS-SOLD! So, on my back home, I started to reflect over the ad I saw and the power of Instagram. I thus began to make a “Pron & Cons” of Instagram vs Facebook, and here’s my result.

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As a digital agency, one of the most common questions I hear from clients is “Should I use Instagram or Facebook, and how do I know which platform is right for my plant-based restaurant”?

So before giving you my ‘Prons & Cons,’ I need you do identify your goals. It’s critical to establish your restaurants’ marketing goals first, to leverage these social channels to their true potential. 

In this blog article, we will be exploring the strengths and weaknesses of both platforms from a restaurant business standpoint. I’m not here to tell you that one platform is better than the other; I believe you have enough clarity when identified your restaurant marketing goals. Let’s go!

FACEBOOK STRENGTHS

Increased Brand Awareness

Are you looking to build your online presence? Look no further because increased brand awareness is one of the many benefits that come along with choosing Facebook. With over 2.5 billion users on this platform, the opportunities to reach a wider audience are endless. As a result, more brand awareness means more (potential) customers! Tell your story and make people fall in love with your plant-based restaurant! 

Efficient Communication Channel

In any relationship, communication is key. Whether it be with your family, friends, coworkers, you name it. As a plant-based restaurant, building a strong relationship with your customer base is no different. Ideally, you also want to understand why your customers want to chat and how it can change your business. Luckily, Facebook is an efficient channel of communication. It is an excellent platform to post announcements and engage with your customer base.

Effective Targeting

Another unique feature Facebook has for businesses is that it allows you to target specific demographics. Let’s say you would like to boost posts or advertise. Facebook allows you to set particular parameters and target by birthdays, hobbies, social status, region, gender, age, and pretty much anything else you can think of. 

Drives Website Traffic

Do you have a website? A beautiful one, where you put all your soul into but doesn’t have too much traffic on there? Let me tell you; this is another strength of choosing Facebook. It is so simple to include links on posts, and as a result, you can easily link to blog posts, articles and other pages from your website.

FACEBOOK WEAKNESSES

Time and Resources

Setting up a Facebook page for your business takes time. At the beginning stages, you can’t expect people to like or follow your page right away. *VERY IMPORTANT HACK* once you’ve set up your Facebook account, create a “LIKE CAMPAIGN” ad within your local area. Write a short text of what you’re offering and ask them for help by liking your new pape. Many people want to support local business. 

 However, maintaining your business Facebook page also takes time. Posting, live videos, stories, more ads are a few things that must be published on a daily basis. 

Decline in Organic Reach

The Facebook algorithm has changed a lot in recent years. There was a shift to make the News Feed more about connecting with people and less about consuming media in isolation. With this said, Facebook wants all businesses to invest in advertising to be seen. Luckily the ‘Pay per reach’ is still cheap, but I believe this will change the more people advertise. NOW is the time to advertise! 

Budget

As said before, now it’s time to advertise. So, if you want to make the most out of Facebook for your business and take your social media marketing to the next level, setting aside a budget to spend on Facebook advertisements

Dealing With Negative Feedback

Just like in our everyday lives, we can’t expect to be liked by everyone. There will be instances where you’ll have to deal with negative feedback on Facebook. People may criticise you and disagree with you. In these situations, always answer those, maintaining a degree of professionalism is crucial.

INSTAGRAM STRENGTHS

Visuals, Visuals, Visuals!

Instagram is strictly a visual platform, which is one of the strengths that separate Instagram from other social media platforms. Instagram is solely comprised of photos and videos, providing opportunities to ignite your marketing campaigns.

Video content is becoming increasingly popular on Instagram. Ultimately, this social media platform provides a highly visual experience for its users.

Increased Brand Awareness

Similar to Facebook, Instagram helps businesses increase their brand awareness. The use of hashtags is prevalent and is one of the driving forces for companies and brands looking to be discovered by a wider audience. Features such as Instagram Stories and IGTV gives rise to more opportunities for businesses to promote their brand, product, or service.

Collaborate With Influencers

Instagram has transformed into a hub of plant-based influencers, looking for opportunities to collaborate. As the number of influencers on Instagram continues to grow, companies should take this as an opportunity to increase their brand exposure. 

INSTAGRAM WEAKNESSES

Instagram Algorithm

Instagram’s changing algorithm has caused a whole lot of mixed feelings over the past few years. “Why are my posts not showing up on some users’ feeds?” Remember when the posts on your Instagram feed appeared in reverse-chronological order? This is one of the main challenges you may face if you decide to adapt to this social media platform for your business. Every time the algorithm changes, you’ll need to reevaluate and alter your existing Instagram strategy (e.g. when to post).

Difficult to Drive Traffic to Website

Unlike Facebook, it is a little more challenging to drive traffic to your website using a social media platform like Instagram. While you can easily directly link to different webpages with each Facebook post, Instagram has not gotten to the stage yet where they’ve enabled clickable links for their feed posts. If you include a link in your feed post text, users would have to copy and paste the URL into their web browser.

However, here’re alternative: 

  • Using “Swipe Up” option on Instagram stories. 
  • Using “Swipe Up” option in the IGTV description boxes. 
  • Directing to the one clickable link in your profile bio. (This is an additional ask for users and less likely to get clicked). 

Targeting Specific Audiences May Be Difficult

Instagram is a social platform that is mainly dominated by a younger age demographic, typically by millennials or Generation Z. Although there are older users on Instagram, it may be worth considering if Instagram is worth the investment for your business if your target audience is much older. Because chances are, they might not even have Instagram.

THE END:

At the end of the day, neither platform is better than the other. Both Instagram and Facebook have strengths and weaknesses. Ultimately, it all comes down to which of the two platforms you think aligns best with your marketing strategy and your business objectives and goals. I truly believe you should work out both of the platforms. Of course with a proper strategy behind. 😉

However, one piece of advice to close on: be authentic and share the real story of your business. Who’s making the food in the kitchen? Share your mission, your story behind your restaurant. Share more and sell less! People love to build relationships but hate to be sold to, especially when it’s obvious. 

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