Snapchat and Instagram Stories both boast an impressive array of features for more creative and entertaining ways of reaching a younger demographic. Each having established a stronghold in the global market, they can be powerful tools for enhancing your brand and boosting your marketing efforts. But which do you choose?
On the surface, these two titans of ephemeral content may seem near-identical. They both allow users to post photos, videos, and more for a brief time. However, subtle and not-so-subtle differences in the way they work and the audiences they attract could make one better for your specific business needs. Let’s take a closer look.
Snapchat: The Origin of Vanishing Content
Originally imagined as a simple disappearing pictures application, SnapChat offers users quick and easy ways to share fun life moments with their friends that would vanish as quickly as they were posted after a time span of around 24 hours. That’s how it all started back in 2011, at least. Filters and augmented reality took the app to new levels.
Now Snapchat is still one of the top social media platforms in the world, but its content-sharing features are far less intimate. Users can check out the app’s Discover tab to view updates for their favorite brands with all kinds of fun and funky features included.
Instagram: The Multipurpose Platform
Instagram already feels like an old friend for most frequent social media users. Many companies have an established presence on the photo-focused app. Instagram is an effective tool for brands to build stronger brand awareness and cultivate a devoted community through the management of their own content channel on the app.
However, changing user needs has Instagram frequently adding new features, such as Instagram Stories, back in 2016. This allowed users to not only create and curate a permanent channel of content, but now they could also post live stories to let viewers into moments of their day in real time. Initially on the more basic side, Instagram Stories has since built an impressive library of picture filters, stickers, and GIFs that can now rival Snapchat’s.
Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories
Sharing content via social media helps you reach your target audience in a place where they are spending chunks of their time. This means there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories. It all comes down to who is using it and how.
Snapchat has around half a billion registered users, with 319 million of them using the platform every day. Slightly more females use Snapchat than males. Most users (39%) sit within the 18 to 24 age group. 13 – 17-year-olds make up 21% of the total audience.
Instagram, as expected, does significantly better with its 2 billion active worldwide users and 500 million Instagram Story daily users. The largest user age group is 25 – 34 at 31.5%, and the second largest is 18 – 24 at 30.1%. Fewer teenagers are active on this platform, though. Just 8.5% of users fit into this demographic.
How do you reach your audience using Snapchat or Instagram?
Again Instagram seems to win out on connectivity. Not only does it have a longer reach, but with many businesses already having established audiences, coupled with cross-post options to Facebook, stories are more likely to get seen with far less initial effort. Snapchat, on the other hand, presents more of a challenge, both in terms of usability and getting going with followers.
Don’t write Snapchat off just yet, though. Higher numbers don’t necessarily convert to better engagement. After all, if you are looking for a younger audience, you’re more likely to get it there. Many companies have played the numbers game, moving away from Snapchat in favor of Instagram Stories. That means less competition, so small-to-mid range brands have far more of a chance of standing out on this platform.
Features of Snapchat and Instagram
Where Instagram might dominate when it comes to the number and accessibility of users (unless your focus is teens and young adults), Snapchat still comes into its own when it comes to features. After all, Snapchat paved the way for this kind of content sharing, and that is still its clear overall focus.
Snapchat is great for companies with an evident personality. Its filters and augmented reality lenses lend themselves well to quirkiness, creativity, and, above all, spontaneity. It’s a great place to just have fun. Beyond that, the app’s Geofilters and SnapMap features generate great exposure for businesses with brick-and-mortar locations. In this way, Snapchat is still thriving.
Instagram tends to hit a more stylized note that its slightly older users appreciate. They also offer features such as the ability to easily pause a video, making them better for interaction and edging up the fun factor. The addition of links also means it’s much simpler for users to quickly become customers without having to search out your details and manually make their way to your site.
Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories: Overall Winner
With each of the big social media players offering something unique, it’s easier than ever to showcase your business online and connect with the right people.
When it comes to choosing between Snapchat and Instagram stories, you want to ensure that what the platform offers will play to your brand’s particular strengths. The best way to do this is to play around with each and see precisely what you can do on each platform.
If you really cannot decide, why not make use of both? Cross-post content by creating it on Snapchat, saving it to your camera roll, and uploading it from there to Instagram. That way, you can really see what works for you and which is worth your time.
If you need support upping your social media management strategy, our expert team can help you with optimizing all your social platforms, including Snapchat and Instagram Stories. Come reach out to the digital marketing experts at Firon Marketing for a free audit today.