Social media is constantly evolving. A decade ago the hype was Facebook status updates now it is stories. Snapchat was the first to implement stories in October of 2013. Instead of 10-second videos that disappear after they’re opened; friends can view your stories for 24 hours. Quickly stories on Snapchat became a hit especially with the ever-changing filters and geotags. In fall of 2016, Instagram joined the story world. The concept was the same, 10-second videos or pictures that were visible for 24 hours.

So which one can help your brand? The answer, according to an article in PR News, is that it depends on your audience, message and engagement. Snapchat has a slightly younger audience with 25% of their users under 18 while Instagram is at 22%. On both Snapchat and Instagram, consumer-focused brands do the best with 10 times more fan engagement than on Facebook.

Let’s break it down:

Snapchat:

What makes it great…

  • Geotags allow brands to insert themselves into private conversations
  • Users are more active because they must “friend” a brand
  • More person-person contact
  • Important events can be easily publicized

Downsides…

  • No marketing metric for ads
  • No analytics-Snapchat cannot measure peak hours or demographic engagement
  • Difficult to start a conversation with users
  • Upload feature states that it is from “camera roll”

Instagram:

What makes it great…

  • Visually appealing images, boomerangs and videos
  • Allows a brand to post more than one piece of content per day
  • Advertisements are popular
  • Brands can link out in ads and bio
  • There is an upload feature for premade content

Downsides…

  • Metrics are organic posts are not always available
  • Constant addition of advertisement may lead to fatigue
  • Instagram is becoming more like Facebook and younger demographic may leave

So what do the pros suggest?

An article by Jessica Smith for Social n Sport states that brands are more widely accepted on Instagram than Snapchat. Audiences go to Instagram to see good visual and dynamic content. She also suggests using the upload tool to post premade graphics and other visual content.

Neil Horowitz for SportsPR says in an article that the ability to tag specific people and locations gives Instagram stories a leg up on Snapchat. He also touches on uploading graphics as well as having Snapchat-like content.

At the end of the day the key things to remember are:

  1. Stay relevant and concise
  2. Know your audience
  3. Be creative
  4. Choose one and commit to it
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