Facebook Vs. Instagram: Which Should You Be Using for Your Practice Marketing?

Pepsi vs. Coke. Marvel vs. DC. Microsoft vs. Apple. These corporate rivalries are incredibly well-known in the marketing world, and just about everyone takes a side. Fans of Apple Computers wouldn’t be caught dead using a Windows laptop. Lifelong drinkers of Pepsi instantly turn up their noses at a can of Coke. 

We all have our brand loyalties, but when you are marketing an aesthetics practice, you can’t afford to play favorites when it comes to social media. You need to play the field, using the online platforms that best suit your marketing strategy. There are so many social media channels out there that can be useful for different reasons, including Twitter, LinkedIn, and the current champ, Facebook. But there is an upstart challenger to these crowns: a social media service that got its start entirely on mobile devices, but has now turned into one of the best ways to share your visual content online across all devices. Enter Instagram.

A Little About Facebook and Instagram

Facebook was launched in 2004 as a competitor to social networks like MySpace. It soon eclipsed these sites to become the king of social media. You can share just about anything on Facebook, with just your friends or with a wider audience as well, including images, videos, audio, articles and more. It’s also a valuable marketing channel, allowing you to reach out to an audience of millions to promote your practice and products.

Instagram is a more scaled back take on a social network. Unlike Facebook (which offers just about everything under the sun), Instagram focuses solely on visual images and videos, with a clean and straightforward interface. As it got its start on mobile devices more recently in 2010, its audience tends to skew a little younger (mostly between 18 to 35), but it’s also one of the most active social networks regarding its growth, adding millions of active users every year, as older users become aware of how easy and fun this platform is to use.

Oh, and we should mention that Facebook owns Instagram, so they probably aren’t all that broken up about its success. 

What’s the Difference Between Facebook and Instagram?

While both Facebook and Instagram offer you fantastic opportunities to promote your practice, they go about it in very different ways.

For Facebook, you may want to focus on the marketing and advertising aspects. Their robust ad creation tools allow you to build marketing campaigns to target specific audiences of Facebook users. You can pick the gender, location, interests and much more, to be sure that your ads are being seen by the people you want. There can be some drawbacks to this, however. Modern ad-blockers can prevent these ads from being seen in the newsfeed. They aren’t in widespread use, but it is something to think about.

Instagram offers you a completely different way to advertise your practice to potential patients. As Instagram is primarily on mobile, ad-blockers are less of a problem. The advertisements are much better integrated into the content, rather than existing alongside it. Moreover, as Instagram is mainly a service with which you share images and video, it’s tailor-made for the plastic surgeon, allowing you to share your content for free, building an audience of those who are interested in plastic surgery.

The Difference in Audiences

It might seem strange to think about today, but for many years Facebook wouldn’t create an iPhone or iPad app. Why? Because they had a desktop mentality. Facebook was initially developed to be viewed on a computer in a browser window, and moving that experience over to mobile was something they resisted. This had long-lasting consequences as, even though Facebook today has multiple apps on every device you can think of, many people still think of it as primarily a desktop experience. This is reflected in the audience that uses Facebook, who tend to be a bit older and more affluent. 

Instagram, on the other hand, was developed entirely for mobile devices. In the reverse of Facebook, Instagram actually resisted creating a desktop version of the service that you could view in a browser. This mindset held them back at first, as the mobile market was still somewhat limited at the time they debuted. But now that countless people are using their smartphones as their primary device, Instagram’s popularity has exploded. 

So, Which One Is Right for Your Practice?

That’s easy. Both.

Facebook is still the king and it isn’t going to be going anywhere for the foreseeable future. With marketing tools are currently unmatched in the digital sphere, allowing you access to an audience of billions of people around the world, you simply need to be on Facebook if you are running an aesthetics practice.

Instagram should not be ignored in favor of Facebook, however, as its functionality is perfect for plastic surgery practices. You can share images of procedures, before-and-after photos, behind-the-scenes shots and more to help you build an audience of followers. 

It’s up to you where to put the majority of your money, but I highly recommend making sure that you are on both to maximize your reach. And these two social media channels aren’t the only ones you should be on. Your practice should also have a presence on Twitter, SnapChat and LinkedIn, certainly. You might not become the next plastic surgery social media star, but you will definitely connect with new patients who will help you grow your practice!

If you’d like to learn more about how you can best use Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms to build your practice, please visit our website at premierphysicianmarketing.com.