The biggest complaint when Instagram Stories came out was that it was practically the same exact thing as SnapChat. Yes, their purpose is the same. But no, they aren’t the same when you consider audience, viewership, usability, or reach.
So what is a business to do with these platforms? Pick one over the other? Pick both? Pick neither?
Both SnapChat and Instagram Stories have been out for a while now, so hopefully you have a good general understanding of how to use them. This article won’t be a tutorial. This article is to help you, as a marketer, decide which one is worth your time based on your business’ audience.
What is your audience?
SnapChat has more than 200 million users that are are primarily 13-35 year olds, with the 18-24 year old age group consisting of as much as 37% of their audience. Less than 14% of SnapChat’s users are over the age of 35.
Instagram has more than 500 million users with 55% of them between 18 and 29 years old and 28% between 30 and 49 years old. Teens are also a significant portion of Instagram’s users.
Using these stats found in Hootsuite Blogs, you’d need to compare them to your own business’ audience. Check which platform covers a larger amount of your audience. If your audience is mostly teens and young adults, SnapChat seems like the obvious answer. But Instagram also covers those demographics. If there’s even the slightest bit of potential that users over 35 would be interested in your business, you may want to consider Instagram Stories.
How is your business currently performing on these platforms?
Instagram has had a high and loyal audience for longer than SnapChat, and chances are your business may already have a significant presence on Instagram or Facebook. Facebook and Instagram are highly integrated and it is much easier to utilize those two in conjunction. If your business is currently performing well on any of these platforms, you won’t want to get rid of it, but you may feel enticed to test out the new platform. If this is the case, consider your marketing team’s capability of still producing quality work when more is being added. On the flip side, if you are on all the platforms, could your team produce better work if you take one away from the mix?
How many will see your content?
According to SnapChat’s ad numbers, about half of their 200 million users visit the app and watch videos daily. While Instagram claims that a fifth of their 500 million users watch stories. With that math, both platforms have an equal amount of 100 million people watching. Regardless, it also depends on each platform how many followers you are able to get.
How easy is it to get followers/viewers?
One downfall to SnapChat is that the only way to follow a user is if they know your username, have you as a contact or you share your Snap Code. While there’s many options, the biggest thing to recognize is that you’ll need a second form of promotion in order to notify users of your SnapChat account, whether that be with an ad that has your SnapCode on it or by cross promoting your username on a different social media site. Did you know that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all have a few sneaky ways to discourage cross-promoting audiences to your SnapChat? You can read more on that here.
Currently, there is minimal help else where for SnapChat. Yes, there are forums, groups, and lists on other websites where you can share your username or code. But there’s no way to find you directly within the app.
On Instagram, users can find you by looking up hashtags relevant to your business or in the Explore tab. You can also be seen be interacting with others such as following them and commenting on other’s photos. While on SnapChat, there is no public comments section and finding other users to follow is just as difficult as getting them to follow you.
There’s plenty more to consider, but as a marketer, hopefully you understand the value of your audience. If you’re not where they are, they won’t find you.