Should Small Businesses Use Instagram or Snapchat?
Instagram Stories rolled out during my vacation while I was sharing a photo. The photo above was the first one I shared… below is the second.
The chatter about Instagram Stories was that it was a big, fat, copycat of Snapchat Stories. This is pretty much true. Facebook (Instagram’s parent company) saw an amazing opening with Snapchat back when they tried to buy them. The company does amazing work!
Although the two networks share remarkably similar features with their stories, Instagram adds similar value to the mix. Because of these differences, I’m not so sure that a small business needs to (or can afford to) choose between one or the other. They should be using both.
Instagram as an app has a tremendous amount of value behind it. The fact that it’s powered by Facebook affords small business users a variety of advertising options that Snapchat doesn’t have (yet) or care to implement. The Instagram stories and app itself operate on more of a passive share. You press “share” and your post will hopefully be seen. I see the biggest value for many small businesses in using stories for timely content or even your occasional sales pitch. If you’re creating amazing grams and you come swinging with an ask for business in your story, it could be a really great way to convert.
Snapchat Stories operate in more of a push, where you can send your posts directly to the individual or group of individuals and their feed. You show up in order of the most recent update. As a business, this can be the promised land if you continue to publish quality content. The entire experience is considerably more intimate, so this level of access requires you to produce valuable content (edify, educate, entertain). Due to the nature of Snapchat stories, it can be tough to fit in a sales pitch at all. The ones that I’ve seen so far have been really off putting. Your followers are there to learn more about your brand or be entertained. The story telling through Snapchat Stories are the typical Instagram posts in Instagram. Respect the context before posting the content.
Opportunity awaits with both networks. Try both, understand both, and be willing to take risks.
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