Make your Facebook content work on Instagram— and vice versa

While the ideal in content marketing is to design every piece of creative specifically for where you intend it to live, not everyone has the resources necessary for that. So let’s talk about how to make the most of the resources you have, and be sure your Facebook content works on Instagram, and vice versa.

How you handle your organic content may differ from your paid content, so we’ve got tips for both, while keeping in mind the best ways to be consistent across your entire multi-channel social media presence.

Organic content

From our recent post on how photo content performs in the Facebook News Feed, we know that Facebook users create their own experiences – for example, clicking on photos means they’ll continue to see more photos in their News Feed. This means you’ll have to test various kinds of visual content to see exactly what resonates with your specific audience. A similar approach goes for Instagram. (For either, take a look at our Social Suite to measure the impact of your content across social media.)

To help with this, we have some tips for creating content that will work well across both Instagram and Facebook.

  • Post high-quality content. High-quality images perform better across the board on social media. No blurry or out-of-focus images, please.
  • Don’t over-process or over-filter. Simplicity and clean images are often best! Use well-lit images that require minimal editing.
  • Tweak one image for each platform. Once you know what your Facebook followers like and what your Instagram followers like, use images that overlap in those two categories and then tweak them. If Instagram loves text super-imposed on images while Facebook doesn’t, you can post the same photo in both places but with the text only in the caption on Facebook.
  • Use the same image with different text. Choose recurring images that fit your brand (and are even branded) and pair them with different text. To maximize this approach, see the next bullet.
  • Post at different times. Your Instagram audience might be more active in the evening and Facebook in the early morning, but you can also post the same image in both places at different times on different days. Everyone’s feeds are so busy it’s unlikely they’ll feel overwhelmed seeing a single image twice, even if they manage to.

One final tip: If you’re cross-posting Instagram content directly to Facebook, be sure to go back to your Facebook page once it has been shared to edit out some of the tags. The occasional tag does work well on Facebook – those around conferences like #CES2016 or big Internet cultural tags like #TBT – but for the most part you want to leave the hashtags on Instagram.

Paid content

Facebook owns Instagram, and both provide a ton of resources around advertising with them. You can start with Advertising on Instagram and Advertising on Facebook. Based on our own research, brands who advertised on Instagram continued to see a boost in engagement activity even after their ads finished running. So how do you design a successful Instagram ad that also works on Facebook?

Here are some things to keep in mind when designing an ad for Instagram, Facebook or both.

  • Definitely use high-quality, eye-catching images. Instagram especially favors high-quality images from brands
  • Keep the text to a minimum. Include a short but catchy caption that invokes interest and has a call to action (CTA).
  • Chose images that reflect your brand values and voice. Make sure the visuals you select are still recognizably you.
  • Have a clear CTA that directs traffic exactly where you want it, like a specific product page on your website or blog post.
  • Swap out ad creative if you’re running a campaign for a while. Paid posts are stickier, and you don’t want your audience to get bored with your content. If you only have resources to design two images, for example, use one on Instagram while you run the other on Facebook and then switch. Switch up the copy you use as well.

Important for multi-channel marketing

For most brands Facebook and Instagram, are just two components of their multi-channel content marketing plan. The most important element of any content plan is cohesive visual branding. You want to be sure that your images all have something in common that immediately calls your brand to mind when fans and followers see them, no matter where they are. In other words, design your images to invoke a visual brand voice that reflects your brand’s values and stay consistent with it across your social presence.

And if you want to see the differences in how your visual content is performing across social media, then you might like the Union Metrics Social Suite.

Specific, actionable social intelligence. See how Union Metrics helps marketers win.

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Featured image via Unsplash.