The recently launched Instagram Stories has taken the social media world by storm.  It was something fresh and new, but was it really all that new.  Instagram Stories copied, Snapchats format of insta-sharing.  Now the roles are reversed and Snapchat is taking a little bit of what Instagram Stories has done.  We will take a look at both of these platforms and go over the pros and cons of both and see which platform will be better to help grow your brand.

What is Snapchat?

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Snapchat is a mobile messaging app used to share photos, videos, text, and drawings within your social circle.  This quickly took off in the younger demographic.  The one feature that made Snapchat very different from other social sharing apps is that messages will disappear from the recipient’s phone after a couple of seconds.  The message literally disappears after 10 seconds. 

There are some brands that are killing it on Snapchat, like Coca-Cola, Jolly Rancher, and younger influencers are shining on Snapchat.  To follow someone on Snapchat you can either scan their Snapchat code or enter their username.  Other than that, you will have to promote your Snapchat on other social media platforms to help drive traffic to your Snapchat profile and grow your Snapchat audience.

What is Instagram?

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Instagram is a social networking app made for sharing photos and videos.  When posting a picture or video it will be displayed on your profile and your follower’s newsfeed.  Similar to Twitter, hashtags are the way to go on Instagram.  It helps people discover and find your photos by searching hashtags. 

Instagram is owned by Facebook, so the two major social media networks are intertwined with each other which makes gaining a following a bit easier than Snapchat.  There are many great brands killing it on Instagram and have come up with some really creative promotions that have proven to grow their brand while growing sales numbers as well.

Good & Bad of Snapchat Stories

In business if you don’t learn to adapt to the times, then you can possibly vanish.  Snapchat got on board of sharing your stories by adding Snapchat Stories to its app.  Similar to Instagram Stories, it allows people to share a 10 second photo or video feed on to the “Story Line” and unlike regular Snapchat features, it now lasts for 24 hours.  This was a great idea for Snapchat to get on board with the stories and they did so quickly when Instagram launched its Instagram Stories.

The things we love about Snapchat are the features it has when posting a video or picture.  You have so many creative emojis to use and also really cool filters for its pictures.  The geo-filter is a great addition for Snapchat travelers and the selfie takers on social media.  If you demographic is the younger market then Snapchat is a great social media platform to invest on.  With over 60% of its users under 25 years of age.  One thing to consider is that demographic is getting older and will be entering the workforce soon, if they haven’t already.  So, this is a growing platform and more people are joining daily.

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As a marketer there are several downsides to Snapchat that we are not fans of and would like to see on the platform one day.  One of the major aspects of marketing is driving people to a website or driving people to a purchase. 

There are no links on Snapchat.  Meaning that you can’t place a link to your website anywhere.  There are creative ways to use Snapchat to get people to your site, but nothing there for people to click and direct people to your site.  Also it is hard to grow a following on Snapchat.  You either need to scan your Snapcode directly or you need to know exactly what your Snapchat profile name is.  To grow your following, you need to rely on cross promotion and word of mouth, which if you are not native on Snapchat daily, then forget about it.

The Good & Bad of Instagram Stories

Instagram made a huge splash in the social media world with the addition to Instagram Stories.  At first people were taken back by it and didn’t know how use it or what they should use it for, but after a couple of months it is taking off.  If you have a big following on Instagram you can now even increase building your brand with Instagram Stories.  If you have an audience for your pictures, you now have that same audience who will see your stories.

Instagram Stories is growing in population and the fact that it just slides directly into your current Instagram profile is a big plus.  No having to grow from ground up here.  Your stories will show on your followers feed and will help grow your brand awareness with your stories.  Also you can promote your campaign and drive them to your profile where you have a link directing them to your website.  Unlike Snapchat you are able to have one link in your profile to help track your campaign.

Instagram Stories is new to the market and therefore, the filters are very basic and not exciting.  Unlike Snapchats cool filters, Instagram Stories filters are very bland and really kind of boring.  I am sure Instagram will come out something soon that will enhance their Instagram Stories.

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Final Thoughts on Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat Stories

So, which is better for your brand?  In our opinion, if your demographic is for younger kids and you have the capabilities of creating fun 10 second snaps then Snapchat is a great platform to invest your time on.  Creativity is the key with Snapchat!  You have to be creative and you have to have something new and fresh to draw attention from the younger audience or they will see that you’re older and not cool.  You don’t want to NOT be cool on social media. 

If you have a loyal following on Instagram and have been on that platform for years now, then don’t switch games to Snapchat.  You want to be consistent with your Instagram Stories, but the great thing about Instagram Stories is you have Instagram and Facebook to use to tell people to go and check out your Instagram Stories.  This is a feature for highlighting a campaign or anything you want to draw attention to your brand.


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