By Gabrielle Diepenbrock, Account Coordinator/Social Media Manager
Was Instagram being a copycat of Snapchat when it rolled out its new feature, Instagram Stories? Of course.
Should brands still use and be aware of this new feature? Most definitely.
Just like Snapchat Stories, Instagram Stories are available to be seen by all followers of a user once content is posted, and that content only lasts 24 hours before disappearing.
So why should your destination use Instagram Stories when it’s basically the same, exact thing as Snapchat Stories?
While this is a valid question, Instagram’s platform offers benefits for brands that Snapchat does not offer. Here are some reasons your brand should consider using Instagram Stories in your social media strategy:
1. Instagram has a broad user base
According to Ad Age, Instagram has approximately 300 million users compared to Snapchat’s 150 million. And want to reach millennials? According to Statista, 66% of all internet users between the ages of 13 and 24 use Instagram. So by posting Instagram Stories, your brand has a higher potential to reach more people.
2. Instagram is destination-friendly
People don’t have a problem following and engaging with destinations on Instagram. According to a Forrester study, the per-follower engagement rate for top brands on Instagram is 58 times higher than it is on Facebook and 120 times higher than on Twitter!
3. Instagram is a follower platform
People are more likely to follow brands and celebrities they don’t personally know on Instagram rather than Snapchat. Snapchat users tend to follow people they have a close personal connection with. It’s also really hard to find people on Snapchat unless you have their phone number, unique handle name, or if they are nearby. Instagram's search function makes it easier for users to find and connect with brands and destinations.
4. You can customize viewing for Instagram Stories
Unlike Snapchat, destinations and users can customize which followers are able to view the stories they post. So, alcohol brands can restrict users under the age of 21 from seeing their content (see more here).
All this is to say that Snapchat is still a very useful platform, and you should NOT abandon all efforts and switch entirely to Instagram Stories. Both have tremendous benefits, and brands should leverage both to reach their target audience.