Social media gives you a way to talk to your audience instantly, which is essential for any modern pet care business. Not only will existing customers expect you to communicate in this way, but hundreds of potential new ones could be listening too. But where do you start? With so many different social media platforms available it can be hard to know which one to use. In this series, we are going to compare some of the sites out there so that you are armed with all of the information you need.
This time we look at Facebook vs. Instagram, to see which one might best suit your pet care business.
What is Facebook?
Facebook is a social media and social networking site, that originally began in 2004 for school and university students. This opened up a couple of years later to anyone over the age of 13 years, allowing it to quickly overtake MySpace to become the most popular social network in the world.
It currently has over three billion monthly active users, and while a whole array of other social media platforms now exist, Facebook still retains its strong appeal.
Facebook allows users to set up a profile and send ‘friend requests’ to others. They can use their profile to display information about themselves and make posts on their timelines, sharing a variety of media such as photos, videos, and articles. Their friends can see this information and interact with it, commenting or ‘liking’ it.
Similarly, users can ‘like’ pages of interest to them and start following, which is where businesses come in. When users like the page of a business they automatically become exposed to the information that the company shares, with their posts regularly appearing in their newsfeed. These can be liked, shared and tagged with wider audiences.
Its user-friendly nature is one of the reasons that it is so popular and is accessible to all age groups and other demographics.
Pros of Facebook for Pet Care Businesses
- Facebook is still the most popular social media site with billions of active users
- It is a user-friendly platform and appeals to a wide range of ages and demographics, so could put your business in front of a variety of potential customers
- Facebook allows people to share and post all sorts of different things, including videos, photos, music and written information, which makes it very versatile for businesses.
- It is free to set up a Facebook business page, with many tools specifically designed to help you manage it successfully. This includes features such as interactive chat (so clients can message you directly), the option to pay for boosted advertisements and analytics to see how well your page is performing
Cons of Facebook for Pet Care Businesses
- Younger social media users may be straying into newer platforms.
- So strong is Facebook’s appeal, that many people are now shying away from it. They are either uninstalling the app or deleting their profile, to reduce the amount of time they spend ‘scrolling.
- Facebook allows users to follow a page but unsubscribe from having posts appear on their timeline, meaning that your audience of 1000 followers may not actually be engaging with your content…
- Negative reviews are possible. With customers being able to interact with your business page, this can sometimes backfire if someone has an axe to grind. You can switch off reviews altogether but this means losing your positive ones too.
What is Instagram?
Instagram (‘Insta’) is a free social media platform that has been around since 2010. Users create a profile that allows them to post and share photos, reels, videos, and stories with friends. It also allows users to follow other people and businesses, liking, sharing, and tagging their posts.
Instagram has a variety of features to help users display their images in the best way possible, with editing tools and filters to enhance them. This can be useful as a business trying to advertise your brand and what you have to offer. Popular ‘Influencers’ often make use of these features, gaining thousands of ‘followers’ who enjoy seeing the photos and videos they post, as well as the brands that they promote. Many of these influencers make a living out of their social media presence.
As well as relying heavily on visual content, Instagram still has some of the features found on other social media sites, such as private messaging. This could explain why this social media platform is the second most popular out there, with two billion monthly active users. It seems especially popular in the younger demographic of 18 – 34-year-olds.
Pros of Instagram for Pet Care Businesses
- Instagram is a simplified version of Facebook, focussing mainly on visual media
- The website is popular with two billion active monthly users
- Instagram still shares some similar features to other social media sites, such as private messaging.
- Being shared and liked by an Instagram influencer could lead to massive exposure for your pet care business.
Cons of Instagram for Pet Care Businesses
- Content focuses mainly on visual information meaning if your pet care business wants to share more varied content or lots of written text this may not be the best platform for you
- Instagram is not web-optimized meaning it’s web version can look a bit disorganized, and it is better viewed on a phone app.
- Some users are tired of Instagram’s unrealistic picture-perfect content and are looking for things that are a bit more real or humorous.
- 60% of Instagram’s worldwide users are aged between 18 and 34 years old, which may rule out a large percentage of the pet-owning population
Summary – Facebook is a good choice for a pet care business
Facebook is the standout social media heavyweight. It is reported that half of global marketers selected Facebook as their social media platform of choice in 2022, compared to one quarter who chose Instagram. Facebook gives more versatility, appeals to a wider audience, and has the most active users of any social media site. So, I would always recommend that any pet care business concentrates on a good Facebook presence first. However, Instagram has its place and can be a good complementary site if you have time to run more than one platform.
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