Facebook Ads vs Instagram Ads: Which One is Better For E-Commerce

Apr 25, 2020 6 min read

If you're on a strict budget and are having trouble figuring out whether you need to run ads on Facebook or Instagram or both for your e-commerce business, this post is for you.

In this post, we'll pit the two most popular social media platforms against each other and identify the best one for your e-commerce business.

Which Platform Is The Best Fit For Your E-commerce Business In 2020?

Facebook and Instagram have their distinct advantages, while the former has a massive user base (2.2 Billion) the later has an unmatched engagement rate.

"Engagement with brands on Instagram is 10 times higher than Facebook, 54 times higher than Pinterest, and 84 times higher than Twitter"

So how do you decide where to advertise for your e-commerce business?

There are 3 key factors you need to consider when you're choosing the right platform for your ad campaigns.

To get the best ROI for your ad dollars spent, you need to ensure you're not only targeting the right audience but are also able to reach them. To achieve this, you need to know the following three elements for each social media platform: Reach; Engagement; and Demographics.


Reach refers to the number of people you can reach on a social media platform.

Reach On Facebook

Facebook is the oldest and the third most visited site worldwide (outranked only by Google and YouTube).

The platform gets more than 2.41 billion monthly active users which coupled with incredibly detailed user-targeting options, makes it the right choice if you're looking to reach the maximum number of people.

Reach On Instagram

Instagram recently surpassed the milestone of 1 billion monthly active users, making it a good bet for business and brand promotion.

The platform also has a considerably better organic reach when compared to Facebook. Your unpaid content has a better chance of reaching more people on Instagram and features like "Suggestions for you" and the ability to follow Hashtags also play a huge role in reach on Instagram.


Engagement refers to how users interact with a post on social, i.e. liking, commenting, or sharing.

Engagement On Facebook

While organic content on Facebook struggles to get any engagement from users, the advertising opportunities on this network are still high.

Recently South Korean shoe brand Sappu achieved a 46% increase in the purchase conversion rate and a 22% lift in purchases with Facebook Ads.

Engagement On Instagram

Instagram arguably is the king of all social media platforms when it comes to engagement. The platform has been just killing it from the last few years with engagement rates for brands being ten times higher than Facebook.

Also, with the recent expansion of Instagram shopping platform, e-commerce businesses can now leverage the platform to increase sales directly.


Demographics on social media refer to the types of people that are using the platform. Depending on the type of products that you are selling, demographics can play an important role while selecting a platform for advertisement.

Demographics On Facebook

According to the latest "Pew Research", 69% of US adults use Facebook, with 74% of them visiting the site at least once a day. Considering daily usage, this number is higher than Instagram's.

Facebook also gets more females users than males; however, the use of Facebook amongst teens has dropped in recent years in favour of Instagram & Snapchat.

Demographics On Instagram

Instagram has quickly become the go-to platforms for the younger generation, with "75% of 18–24 year olds" using Instagram in 2020.

While the US still has the most number of Instagram users at 116 million, the platform is growing rapidly on an International level, making it appealing to both brands and influencers alike.

Advantages Of Running Ads On Facebook In 2020

We've already established that Facebook still has the most number of users, and the platform offers effective targeting options. Still, there are a few more advantages to running ads on Facebook in 2020.


  • Facebook has the "highest referral to e-commerce sites at 80.4%", Instagram comes in at second with 10.7%.

  • Facebook is exceptional at attracting all age groups. If you sell products that appeal to multiple age groups, Facebook offers increased ad visibility & can be the right platform for you.

  • Facebook also offers many options for businesses that are looking to promote landing pages & other relevant products with the ability to include direct links within your posts.

  • Facebook also doesn't shy away from providing extensive analytics & reporting for your ad performance. This data availability helps you fine-tune your campaigns as needed.

  • Facebook ad CTR has been increasing steadily over the last few years as Facebook improves its advertising tools. This presents an incredibly opportunity for businesses to target desired users on the platform.

  • Also, advertising on Facebook for your e-commerce business can drastically improve customer attribution. Attribution is the number of times your audience sees your brand. Increase in customer attribution can lead to more conversions in the future.

Advantages Of Running Ads On Instagram In 202O

If advertising on Facebook doesn't resonate with your e-commerce business, there are a lot of distinct advantages to running ads on Instagram in 2020.


  • Instagram is the king of social media with engagement rates more than any other social media platform.

  • If your product catalogue caters to a younger audience, Instagram would be the perfect platform for your business. Instagram demographics include a huge Millennial & Gen Z following which sets it apart from Facebook.

  • Since Instagram is a much more visual medium than Facebook, businesses that offer Fashion & Beauty product can get a better ROI as compared to Facebook.

  • In 2019, more than 1/3rd of Instagram users made an online purchase using their phones with their average spend being 15.4% greater than Facebook's.

How Much Does It Cost To Advertise On Facebook & Instagram?

The cost of running advertisement on these platforms can be a deciding factor for a lot of businesses.

While the actual cost of advertising can vary a lot depending on different factors, "recent studies" claim the average CPC for Instagram ads to be around $0.20 - $2 while the average CPC on Facebook is about $0.80.

To get a better idea of the running costs for your target audience, you can create similar ads for these platforms and then compare the ROI.

Should You Be Running Ads On Both?

Now that we've compared the two platforms head to head and have also mentioned their unique advantages, you can choose between either of them or go with both of them. There are certain benefits of running ads on both of these platforms; some of these benefits are:

Instagram's Connectivity With Facebook

Since Instagram's the prized possession of Facebook, the platforms are heavily integrated with Facebook's business manager. All your budgeting and scheduling tasks along with the setup and creation of ads for both these platforms can be done through Facebook.

Optimization & Fine Tuning Of Your Campaigns

If you choose to run ads on both these platforms, you'll be able to analyse the performance of the ad campaigns then and see which platform is getting you the best returns. You can calculate the number of clicks you are getting, and at what cost to make a decision.

Best Way To Manage Ad Campaigns On Facebook & Instagram

Advertising on Facebook & Instagram isn't cheap, so to get the most out of your advertising budget, it's important that you manage your ad campaigns efficiently.

While Facebook Ads manager does give you plenty of options to manage your ad campaigns, it severely lacks when it comes to managing the engagement you get on your ad campaigns.

Using a social media management tool like Statusbrew, you can create and manage campaigns as a team from a single dashboard.


You can easily manage ad comments on Facebook and Instagram and also get detailed insights for your campaigns via Paid Performance reports.

Did we tell you that you can claim your free 7 day trial for Statusbrew when you sign up for ad campaign management?

Explore Statusbrew!

Statusbrew is an All-in-one social media management suite that supports Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, and even Google My Business.

Shivam Devgan

Shivam is a content and marketing strategist at Statusbrew and loves to write content that tells a story. When he's not on his laptop you can find him working out and jamming to pop music.

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