Social Media Marketing

TikTok vs Instagram: Which is best for businesses? | Big 3 Media

As you can see, both platforms will meet your needs in different ways. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits each platform offers…

TikTok or Instagram?

Still a relatively new player, TikTok’s rise to popularity was unprecedented. With over 2 billion downloads, TikTok is a force to reckon with. Various known brands have also used TikTok for their marketing campaign in the hopes of going viral. Founded in 2010, Instagram has a longer history but it still manages to stay relevant with about a billion monthly active users.

Knowing their popularity, you’ve definitely heard of both.

The real question is, which is better for your business?

Depending on your marketing goals and target audience, here’s how to decide which platform to choose when promoting your business.

This is a brief breakdown of each platform’s relevance:

  • The average TikTok user spends 52 minutes on the app daily while the average Instagram user spends 28 minutes
  • There are 200 million business accounts on both TikTok and Instagram each
  • 43% of TikTok users are between the ages of 18-24 while 31% of Instagram users are between the ages of 18-24
  • 87% of Instagram users are not from the US while TikTok’s top users are from the US
  • 90% of TikTok users visit the app more than once a day

In summary, TikTok users spend a longer time on the app and a majority of their users are younger as compared to Instagram users. Marketers have flocked to both platforms to promote their businesses and the numbers are only projected to grow. With a longer standing, Instagram has also accumulated more users globally as compared to TikTok. However, TikTok seems to have a stronger hold on their users as most of them visit the app multiple times throughout the day.

As you can see, both platforms will meet your needs in different ways. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits each platform offers…

Benefits of using TikTok for your business:

TikTok is notorious for how fast their trends change. However, it’s also pretty easy to hop onto these ever-changing trends. Sometimes, it’s as simple as using a trending song and hashtag to start a trending video on TikTok. You don’t need expensive gear and equipment to post content, you can simply film from your phone anywhere and anytime.

In fact, younger audiences might prefer seeing this unfiltered image of your brand as it’s deemed to be more authentic. If you intend to promote your business to Gen Z, TikTok is an ideal platform since the majority of its users are from their age demographic. Moreover, TikTok encourages you to go wild with your creativity and if done right, you’ll be well rewarded with millions of views and likes.

TikTok also makes it easy for you to collaborate with others by letting other people duet your video or post content under your sounds or hashtags. This makes it easier for you to actively engage your audience and reach out to them. Beyond that, the ease of collaboration also lets you partner up with influencers to promote your products. With over 3 million influencers on TikTok, reaching out to these content creators can help introduce your business to a wider audience.

Overall, these are TikTok’s key benefits:

  • Creative format lets you jump on different trends easily
  • Promotes active engagement with your audience
  • Helps you reach out to younger audiences
  • Easy to collaborate with influencers

How businesses should use TikTok:

Don’t take yourself too seriously

Although you want your business to be treated seriously, TikTok is the place where you show a more relaxed and casual side of your business. Serious content doesn’t really work on TikTok. Not convinced? Just look at how Gucci marketed themselves on TikTok!

As a luxury high-fashion brand, Gucci is not exactly associated with being casual and free. However, this impression of them has changed significantly with the #GucciModelChallenge, where TikTok users dress themselves in various layers to mimic the signature Gucci look. Knowing that users are poking fun at Gucci, people were curious to see how Gucci would react to this trend and Gucci did not disappoint.

Gucci challenge on tiktok

Gucci responded by reposting these videos onto their official TikTok account. This showed a cheekier side to Gucci and made their brand feel more accessible to the youths. The viral trend helped adjust Gucci’s brand image whilst successfully promoting the brand as views soared to dizzying heights.

@gucci @orynbassaranel from the #GucciModelChallenge, will take part in a new project launching soon on #Gucci’s #TikTok. Voice by @morganpresleyxo ♬ original sound - Gucci

Create authentic content  

Staying true to your business creates a consistent brand image and helps you establish brand loyalty. With TikTok’s steep competition, it’s important to stay on-brand while promoting your business. This helps the audience identify your brand amongst so many others who are also clamouring for attention.

Duolingo’s success on TikTok has been unprecedented. Now the number one educational app on the Apple store, Duolingo’s TikTok marketing campaign is indeed full of lessons to be learned.

One of the main takeaways from their campaign would be how they stayed consistent to their brand. If you scroll down their TikTok page, you would be greeted with an unending stream of Duolingo’s green owl mascot.

Duolingo tiktok page

Not only does it scream that you’re on Duolingo’s page, it also shows you a fun side to the company.

One of Duolingo’s infamous features is the frequent notifications that remind you to continue your language lessons on the app. Rather than avoiding this topic to shun criticism, Duolingo has since made various jokes about this feature and endeared themselves to TikTok users. Instead of being seen as an annoying feature, it's now Duolingo’s iconic trait, all thanks to their TikToks!

Duolingo’s brand is all about having fun with learning. Their teaching methods involve bite-sized lessons that educate through entertainment. This playful spirit is reflected in their TikToks and their cheeky engagement with TikTok users.

Duolingo comments on tiktok

In the comment section, Duolingo wishes American artiste, Taylor Swift happy birthday whilst taking a playful jab at Jake Gyllenhal, who’s Swift’s ex-boyfriend.

Well, that owl’s got some sass and people are all for it.

Benefits of using Instagram for your business:

Instagram’s massive audience rivals any popular social media platform. It’s still the go-to platform for many marketers even though it’s been more than a decade since it was established. Moreover, the wider range of features on Instagram let businesses experiment with various formats for their content. From Instagram stories to Instagram videos, there is a myriad of ways to present your content on Instagram.

Its wide range of features also makes it more tailored for businesses. It’s much easier for brands to track their business analytics on Instagram’s professional dashboard.

Tiktok insights

Live rooms also make it easier for businesses to invite guests on their live streams. This helps businesses to host interviews, host Q&A sessions and collaborate with other brands.

Live rooms on instagram

Another attractive feature is Instagram’s paid advertisements. From $0.20 to $6.70 depending on your bidding model (prices differ for cost-per-click and cost-per-impressions), it’s hard to beat Instagram’s prices, especially when compared to other social media platforms.

Overall, these are Instagram’s key benefits:

  • Massive audience for you to reach out to
  • Wider variety of features
  • Business-centric features
  • Paid ads are relatively more affordable

How businesses should use Instagram:

Post relatable content

People love stories. What they love more are stories that resonate with them. Posting content that your audience can relate to will not only create a positive brand image, it will also bring in more people. Some of the biggest brands focus on posting personal stories on Instagram to add a human touch to their marketing strategies.

Take Nike for example. The sportswear brand constantly attempts to connect to their audience by posting stories of different athletes.

Nike instagram page

By putting individuals in the spotlight, Nike is highlighting qualities that they identify with and engaging the audience with authentic stories. Of course, you’d often find that the athletes featured are usually donning Nike sportswear but the focus is not on promoting these items. Instead, Nike indirectly markets to you while creating content that resonates.

The 80/20 rule is a great guide for marketing on Instagram. 80% of the time, you should be creating content that feels genuine and relatable. The other 20% can then be used for promotional content.

Instagram favours high-quality content

While TikTok is all about showing a casual side, Instagram favours a more curated image for your business. Instagram’s audience are more drawn to visually-appealing content.

Whilst promoting Moon Knight, Marvel collaborated with sg posters to release a series of beautifully designed Moon Knight posters. However, these beautiful designs are only the tip of the iceberg for Marvel’s marketing campaigns. Read this if you're interested in learning about the MCU’s marketing strategies.

The moon knight instagram post
the moon knight instagram page

Besides being a visual treat, these posters were on theme with the show’s setting and storyline. On top of looking good, the posters’ designs were purposeful and intended to pique the audience’s interest.

Similarly, your content on Instagram should also follow a similar format. While making it aesthetically pleasing, it’s more important to ensure that your content is designed with a purpose in mind. Creating content that’s aligned with your marketing objectives will only serve to make your campaign more targeted and help you track your progress.  


We hope that this comparison helps you determine when you should use TikTok or Instagram for promoting your business. Meanwhile, you can also engage a video production company to help you create high-quality content. Here at Big 3 Media, we specialise in social media content production. With the suite of services we offer, we’ve got you covered!

  • Livestreaming services
  • Video production
  • Website design and development
  • Media Buy
  • Graphic Design & Mascot design
  • Content Marketing Strategy

If you’re interested, drop us an email or message and find out how Big 3 Media can help you!

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