How Do You Choose between Snapchat and Instagram Stories?

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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Hey Snapchat, be flattered by Instagram’s release of Instagram Stories that by most accounts is a direct imitation of your platform. Since these platforms are attracting a LOT of attention, marketers must consider them as a tool in their promotional arsenal. But, how do you choose between Snapchat and Instagram Stories when you market a business? Let’s take a look at each of these social channels and what advantages they have for businesses.

What is Snapchat?

What is it? Snapchat is a mobile messaging app released in 2011 where Snaps—photographs and videos that can be edited using overlays, stickers, filters and text—are used for instant expression. Snapchat Stories are a compilation of Snaps that appear in chronological order. Stories can be viewed an unlimited number of times for 24 hours and can also be saved if you’d like.

From Snapchat’s CEO, Evan Speigel:

Snapchat by the numbers:

  • 150 million people use it each day
  • 10 billion videos every day
  • Reaches 41% of all 18- to 34-year-olds, but adoption is growing for those over 25

What you need to know: If for no other reason than its popularity with the highly coveted millennial audience, brands should pay attention to this social media channel. However, there are other reasons savvy and even older users are jumping on the Snapchat ship including:

  • Early adopters of social media channels have an easier time standing out from the crowd than those who jump on the bandwagon later.
  • As a mainstream communications channel, no different than Facebook or Twitter, marketers have to learn the system to stay competitive.
  • It is not expensive or difficult to get involved. Literally with a push of a button, you can get your thoughts and brand message out to a broad audience.
  • Snapchat is authentic and allows you to build a loyal audience.

What is Instagram?

What is it? Instagram launched in 2010, and is a mobile photo and video sharing social media network. Instagram Stories were unveiled in August 2016, a feature that mimics the functionaltiy of Snapchat Stories where you can post photos and 10-second videos that only survive for 24 hours unless you save it.

From Instagram: Instagram Stories

Instagram by the numbers:

  • 300 million daily users
  • On an average day, 80 million photos are shared
  • 90% of Instagram users are younger than 35

What you need to know: While nearly half of all brands are on Instagram, this number is predicted to grow to 70.7% by 2017 to make it one of the most popular social media platforms. This year, Instagram launched new business tools that aren’t available to regular accounts to make it more effective for businesses.

  • Brands perceive Instagram to be very brand friendly, because it is easy for fans to follow them and like their posts.
  • Currently, Instagram is larger than Snapchat. Facebook purchased the Instagram platform in 2012.

How Do You Pick Between Snapchat and Instagram?

  1. Don’t overcommit. Rather than attempt to do it all in every social media platform, pick the one that feels most comfortable to you and jump in with both feet, full energy and resources.
    If your company already has an Instagram following, it might make sense for you to stay on that platform instead of starting over with Snapchat. Vice versa, if your community is on Snapchat already, your decision may already be made for you! Here’s what Jeff Mindell, an avid Snapchat user, photographer and social media influencer said:
    “For me, it’s not really about the numbers. It’s 100% about the community. I’m not saying I won’t be using the new Instagram Stories, I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t cool, but it’s not where my most dedicated audience is.”
  2. How will they find you? Since Snapchat doesn’t have an effective search to find followers, it may be more difficult for people to discover you on Snapchat. Brands currently experience huge reach on Instagram. The first day Instagram Stories were available, Nike generated 800,000 views in 24 hours, whereas its best reach on Snapchat was only 66,000 views.
  3. Although alike, there are differences. While Instagram tends to portray a perfectly coifed “highlight reel” of our businesses and lives, Snapchat made sharing “real life” moments fun. What image do you want to portray?

How to Use This Information

Social media is just another way to push content out to your ideal audience. You should always start by defining your social media goals and content marketing objectives to determine if Snapchat Stories or Instagram Stories (or any other social media platform for that matter) are where you should be to achieve them. Our strategic marketing experts will help you navigate these decisions to create a plan that produces results. Give us a call at 303-300-2640 or contact us online.

Have you taken the plunge to Snapchat or Instagram Stories? Which one did you choose and why?

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