Facebook IQ Study: How We Use Social Media

Facebook IQ Study-
I love social media, I’m on it almost every day! From an outsider it may seem pointless to be active over several social media platforms, but the truth is we do it because each platform serves a certain purpose! Facebook’s new IQ Study polled over 5,500 users of Facebook and Instagram in six countries – Australia, Brazil, France, Japan, U.K. and the U.S, analysing their ‘behaviour and emotions across the two platforms’.

A Facebook IQ researcher summed up my desire to use both networks perfectly using a wine analogy (is there anything better?). Vicki Molina-Estolano likes to think of Instagram as a white wine and Facebook as red. Different wines suit different moods and occasions, say for example red with steak and white with seafood. You don’t need to pick one or the other, you just need to know how to pair them perfectly. Facebook satisfies our need for empowerment, recognition and connection, and Instagram works to fulfil our desire for fun, relaxation and discovery. These values influence the way we use these platforms and what content we are more likely to engage with.

Today you will learn: 

  • Facebook IQ’s Study insights for Facebook and Instagram
  • How you can use them in your businesses social strategy

Facebook IQ Study Insights

Celebrity Content

Respondents were 1.3 times more likely to interact with celebrity content on Instagram than on Facebook. We all love to follow the lives of celebrities, as sad and strange as they often are! When it comes down to it very few celebrities have or manage their own Facebook accounts. Facebook’s study shows that we are far more likely to follow and engage with users we don’t know personally on Instagram, rather than Facebook. This is great news for marketers who have a strong focus on influencer marketing or endorsement deals. But you don’t need to have a celebrity on board to take advantage of this.

How to use this

Not everybody has the cash to splash on an A-list celebrity endorsement! But you don’t need Kim K posing with your product in order to take advantage of our weird obsession with the rich and the famous. When posting on Instagram try give your photos and captions a pop culture flavour. Refer to current events and high profile celebrities by using quotes like ‘What would Beyonce do?’ or ‘I love (blank) more than Kanye West loves himself’. In saying this you need to tread the line carefully as to not mislead your audience with false associations or use any copyrighted images.  


Video is the content king of the web! Platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat are all racing to optimise their video capabilities. Facebook has made clear their intentions to put video at the forefront, even updating their algorithm to show more videos over written content in your newsfeed. Instagram has also made itself more ‘video-friendly’ by extending their upload limit from 15 seconds to 60 seconds. Why is this? Well, Facebook IQ’s study shows that we are far more likely to seek out and engage with video content on the web, especially Millennials!

How can I use this? 

Video should be a big part of your content strategy in order to reach the Millennial market. Repeat after me, ‘MILLENNIALS LOVE VIDEO!’ Both Instagram and Facebook are tailored to work with video, however their video capabilities vary. Instagram’s extended upload length has opened up more avenues for marketing on the platform. In saying that it’s still better suited for short and punchy content. Nobody does video quite like Facebook! The capabilities for video on Facebook are endless…well almost. Facebook allows high-quality videos as long as 45 minutes long. On top of this, it also allows users to Livestream videos from just about anywhere in the world so long as you have phone reception. If you wanna avoid being scrolled past or even just completely lost in Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm then video content is your best bet.


You would think that men and women come from different planets based on the way we react, think about and engage with social media. Facebook’s study shows that 51 percent of male respondents use Facebook to help them organise their life, and 47 percent said the same for Instagram. Women, on the other hand, are more likely to use the platforms to connect with friends and family.

How can I use this? 

Most brands have a pretty good idea of what gender they are marketing to. For some, it is predominantly one gender and for others it may be an even split. What works for a female follower, isn’t necessarily going to work for a male. Across both platforms you should tailor your content so that when you are targeting men you focus on being direct and straight to the point, and for women, you should encourage conversation and sharing.

News Content

Thanks to social media news isn’t only for people who have the time sit down and watch tv, read a paper or listen to the radio. According to Facebook IQ we are more engaged with this content now than ever before. Whether we like it or not we are constantly exposed to news updates from around the world on social media and this encourages people to get involved and join the conversation. When major events occur, respondents turn to Facebook for news updates, reactions and opinions. Facebook’s ‘trends’ feature allows us to filter through popular events and see what is trending in the world. Instagram on the other hand, is better suited for reactions to events. For example, in the aftermath of the Paris attacks  people shared the ‘Pray for Paris’ artwork on with the corresponding hashtag on Instagram in order to show their support.

How can I utilise this? 

You need to be very careful about aligning your brand with particular political agenda as you can easily upset people. It’s also important not to commercialise or manipulate a current event in order to push your brand as this is highly offensive and inappropriate. It comes back to showing what your brand stands for! If you see something happening in the world that aligns with your brand’s values you can show your support on your Facebook or Instagram page, but this should never be matched with a sale or advert. Your customers care about what’s going on in the world, your brand should too!

Be careful not to make your cross-platform marketing too generic because what works on Instagram isn’t necessarily going to work on Facebook. Think about how you use the platforms personally. What do you seek how? Like? Share? Why did you choose that specific platform? Now us this method to analyse how your customers would think. Go out there and have fun with it!

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