If you talked to me a couple of months ago, I would have told you that Snapchat was going to be the next big thing—a crucial platform for entrepreneurs to leverage for their businesses. I was so convinced, in fact, that we started building an entire course to teach creatives how to use the platform at the Rising Tide Society. We brought in experts, started creating content, and made some really handy videos (most of which will never see the light of day).
Then in August, Instagram launched Stories—and the social media world held its breath. In the hopes of appealing to younger users, Instagram incorporated a Snapchat-esque feature into their growing platform and it rapidly gained popularity.
Many people argued that this new feature would allow Instagram to regain the authenticity that the platform had in its infancy—you know, back before content was curated and scheduled like a magazine editorial… back when “insta” actually meant instantaneous and in the moment!
Fast Forward Six Months
The day has come. I am officially deleting Snapchat from my phone. I find myself forgetting it’s there… sometimes for weeks… meanwhile Instagram Stories has become one of the cornerstones of my social media strategy. I guess that goes to show how quickly things change in the realm of social media.
Yeah—SIX MONTHS. That’s all it took for me to pivot completely away from a platform I thought could replace Instagram as the marketing frontrunner for my business. Isn’t that crazy? We, as entrepreneurs and marketers, must make intentional choices about where we allocate our efforts. When a platform no longer aligns with your goals, cut it.
You shouldn’t be afraid to say no to social media platforms that aren’t working for you. You don’t have endless hours in the day.
So tell me already, why is Snapchat dead to you?
The reason was quite simple for me—ROI. After weeks of trying to make Snapchat work for my business, I was receiving between 600-800 views per Snap Story. In comparison, my Instagram stories were resulting in 2-3k views per day in the same time period. I also noted a significantly larger residual response to stories through direct messages and Instagram comments that followed in the hours after posting.
Why such a drastic difference? Put simply: There are more people following me on Instagram than there are on Snapchat. I have spent years slowly building my following and therefore more people have opted-in to seeing that stream of content. My audience knows and loves Instagram, so seeing recent video content alongside my curated feed felt more natural to them.
Well, why don’t you record on Snapchat, save, and repost to Instagram Stories? I really value creating original content on each of my social media channels. Additionally, the amount of time (although minimal) uploading each individual video clip to a secondary platform is simply not scalable. I don’t have a massive social media team to keep every account running so every minute I spend doing one thing on Snapchat is a moment I cannot allocate to an area of my business more likely to make an impact.
Now, before you immediately delete Snapchat from your phone—I want you to take a moment to analyze which platform is the best option for you to effectively reach and communicate with your audience.
Instagram vs. Snapchat: 3 Questions to Ask
Have you already built a strong following on Instagram? If you already have invested months and years into cultivating a following on Instagram, it might be best to continue investing your time into a growing that channel.
Is your ideal client or customer over 25?: Snapchat has a younger body of users. According to the Statistics Portal, 60 percent of Snapchat users are under the age of 25, and nearly a quarter have not graduated from high school. So it’s safe to say: if you are marketing to teens, stick with Snapchat. However, if you are aiming for slightly older audiences, I would personally recommend using Instagram Stories.
Do you enjoy it? It’s important that you find platforms you enjoy using and that your audience truly connects with. If you love a particular platform then you are more likely to consistently incorporate it into your life and that is a win-win for everyone.
The big question we see floating around the interwebs… Is Snapchat dead? Has Instagram officially rendered the platform irrelevant?
The answer is ultimately, no. Snapchat isn’t dead for everyone, perhaps just for a few of us. I can hear my sweet friend Maddie shouting at me from the East Coast—”Natalie, Snapchat for life!” However, I have a feeling that the two platforms will continue to battle it out for market share in the months to come.
I would love to know—Which platform do you prefer? Snapchat or Instagram Stories?