Full disclosure: I began writing this post about how Instagram Stories are better for businesses than Snapchat based on the level of engagement they can elicit from consumers. Then halfway through my draft, Snapchat released its most recent update, allowing users to include website links in snaps. Game. Changer.
Given how quickly these platforms are changing, let’s do a side-by-side comparison – as of this writing – of how these two social networks stack up from a marketing and business perspective. Here are some of the key differences between the two.
- Before July 5, 2017, the only way users could link followers directly to a website was through paid ads. Now, any Snapchat user can add a link directly into snaps, increasing organic traffic.
- The general feeling of Snapchat is more “raw” – users tend to feel that it’s the most instant and genuine.
- Users can create custom Geofilters to use for a set location and amount of time. This can certainly aid in brand visibility, especially when used in conjunction with an event or special occasion.
- Snapchat stories are ordered by the most recent ones. Thus, if your brand is posting often, your stories are more likely to be shown at the top, gaining more visibility.
- Snapchat is more challenging in terms of building a following. Followers have to be sought, and the Snapchat account usually has to be promoted through other social accounts in order for users to seek it out.
- Consider the audience. Snapchat has a higher ratio of millennial users.
- You can add URL links to stories – but only if the account is verified.
- Users can be tagged in stories.
- In contrast to Snapchat’s more raw and casual feel, Instagram stories tend to be better curated and more stylized.
- Building an Instagram following is a bit simpler through standard posts, hashtags and targeted campaigns. More followers = more views.
- Similarly, Instagram users with more followers will have stories that appear sooner than those with fewer followers. Unlike Snapchat, Instagram stories are not ordered by most recent.
- Users can add a location tag at the exact place the photo or video is taken – which can come in handy when promoting events.
- While Snapchat has a higher ratio of millennial users, Instagram has more users overall – most recently hitting 700 million monthly users.
As far as which one is right – it really depends. Many businesses feel more comfortable with Instagram. But, if your target audience is 18-22, Snapchat is where it’s at.
Which one do you prefer?