by Logan Cross
Let’s face it: Instagram stories are in. Snapchat, while the originator of the 24-hour, tap-and-you’ll-miss-it features, just doesn’t offer the same kind of benefits for public relations and marketing as Instagram.
This isn’t to say that Snapchat is on the out and that it should be ignored when it comes to social media strategy -- although, their stock has been shaky since they went public in March earlier this year. Snapchat is still used daily by millions all over the world, according to businessinsider.com, and still is a part of the circle of popular social media networks that people (AKA your audience) use today.
However, in less than a year-and-a-half after its initial launch, we’re seeing that top social media influencers are using Snapchat 33% less than and posting twice as more to Instagram Stories in just six months.
Yeah. Six months.
So how can we, as PR professionals, use this to our advantage? And how, and more importantly, why should we choose to make Instagram Stories an integral part of our social media strategy as opposed to Snapchat?
On Instagram, you not only can you draw, add text, mess around with stickers and poll your audience, but you can also layer multiple sets of text, sample colors directly from the photo you’re using, adjust the thickness of your pens and poll your audience. Did I mention you can poll your audience?
Seriously -- polls are one of my favorite features that Instagram has recently debuted. You can directly ask your audience what they think without having to direct them to another link or asking them in an email to fill out a questionnaire (which no one wants to do). This finally allows us the possibility to get feedback more directly and quickly -- it’s genius!
2. You Don’t Need Another Entire App to Create & Publish On
As a consumer who loves nothing more than consuming content via social networks, I will tell you this: I will not check out something that’s happening on another social network when I’m already in one. Even writing that out was exhausting and something I don’t want to do again.
For example, if a brand starts off a video in an Instagram story, they will sometimes ask the viewer to check out the rest of the video in another app or platform. This request, in my experience, is usually in vain. People don’t want to do more than they have to, especially when it comes to consuming content. They want everything right there, right now and they don’t want to have to work for it, even if that only means exiting out of one app to log into another.
This is part of why I also think Snapchat’s usage is declining among social media influencers. Many influencers likely rose to fame through Instagram and their audience can be widely reached on that platform. If there’s now a feature that allows them to reach their entire audience without having to ask them to look at (or even download and create an account on) another app, then why use that other app at all?
3. If You Already Know How To Use Snapchat, You Know How To Use Insta Stories
Instagram stories have been out for over a year now, we can say it: Instagram blatantly took the idea of stories and all its fun features from Snapchat. While this was detrimental to social network, it makes it easier for users.
From the first time I used it, it was easy to navigate. While there were some things I had to learn and other techniques I picked up on, for the most part, it’s very, very similar to how Snapchat operates. If you have any members of your team who have never used Instagram stories in their lives, but do use Snapchat, then there’s not much you have to teach.
Disclaimer: this has caused me to get outright angry at Snapchat because I’ve been spoiled with all of the bells and whistles that make up Instagram stories.
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