Instagram vs. Snap: A Social Showdown

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I’ll never forget the day at KO when the social team gave an impromptu lesson on how to use Snapchat. It was a great day full of filters and roaring laughter, and for the weeks following the lesson the entire team became obsessed with creating supreme Snap Stories. Just like the rest of Snap’s 150 million active monthly users, KO couldn’t get enough of it! Well, flash forward a few months and that enthusiasm slowly faded and turned into confusion. Why? Because Instagram unveiled their own Stories, causing mass panic and leaving question marks about where content should now exist: Snap or Instagram?

Let’s dive into the details. The past few years have been big for Instagram. With over 400 million active monthly users, the network has become a social giant. Instagram has rolled out a constant stream of updates to keep up with its growing user base, and more importantly, to challenge its competition. Between 2015 and now Instagram has introduced ads, Boomerang, an algorithm based feed, zoom capabilities, Stories, and live broadcasting. And that’s not all. Some of their updates made the user experience more attractive (like zoom functionality) while other updates brought content strategy into question for brands. I’m looking at you Stories.

So where does this leave us? If you’ve already been producing Snap Stories, are you supposed to continue on, business as usual and ignore Instagram Stories? Does it make sense to duplicate Snap content across Instagram (hint: duplicating content is typically never the right choice)? Or are you now going to have to double up and create unique content for both platforms? There is no one size fits all answer.

Adjusting strategy will come down to a few important factors like budget (can you afford to tap into both platforms?) and audience (where does your fan base already exist?). If you find the bulk of your followers exist on Snap, there is no need to reinvent the wheel here. Keep producing content they love on a platform they’re already using. If you’ve been dabbling in Snap, yet have a better established audience on Instagram, it makes more sense to invest the bulk of your time into storytelling on Instagram. Now this isn’t to say you should look at each platform in singularity. The audience demographics are unique for both channels, with Snap skewing a bit younger, so consider who you are trying to reach with each campaign and how that audience wants to digest their social media. Additionally, don’t forget both platforms offer competitive advertising capabilities, which could be used to complement efforts on the opposing channel.

The bottom line is that you will need to decide what the best course of action is on a case by case basis. Be prepared to test content and keep a fluid approach to your overall strategy. After all, social media is ever changing, and so too should be the content that lives on it.

 

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