15 years ago, communication was stationary; now it’s constantly on the move (not only in mobility, but also in shifting appeal). Social media platforms have increasingly been redefined and improved, allowing users to share lasting memories and fleeting moments in multifunctional ways. In the tech age, businesses are also evolving their strategies to leverage social media, engage with consumers, and gain visibility.
Instagram’s Story feature, which allows users to post 24 hours video stories and live sharing, has helped business and marketers manage their brands. In 2017, 70.7% of U.S. businesses are using Instagram.
The story feature positioned it as the most popular social media app with over 700 million total users. Meanwhile, growth shockingly declined by 82% for Snapchat, the inventor of the Story. But what makes Instagram more popular amongst business owners and why is it crucial for brands to implement the feature?
Here are six reasons why Instagram is succeeding and how business can utilise the video sharing tool to their advantage:
1. More Users Means Better Social Sharing
With more than 200 million users per day, the Instagram Story feature is more popular compared to Snapchat’s 160 million daily users. But more users also mean better social sharing. Instagram already has a bigger audience; it’s been around since 2010 and boasts a more diverse demographic user base. In addition, more people, including social media influencers, have built a larger base on Instagram.
Now that Instagram offers the same feature, there’s no reason to transfer so many users over to Snapchat. Snapchat features newer viewership that is great for niche brands or audiences. While it’s still beneficial to use Snapchat with a reach of 300 million users, Instagram has a larger potential audience – and it looks like they may keep a steady pace in the future. According to multiple reports, it’s expected that half of all social media users will use Instagram in 2017.
2. Better Millennial Appeal
According to the United States Census Bureau there are over 83.1 million Millennials making them the largest cohort in the nation, and they’re also are the largest demographic to use Instagram. A 2017 Sprout demographics analysis finds that more than half of US Millennials are active on Instagram. In fact, 59% of Millennials (18-29 year olds) frequent the app. In addition, TechCrunch recently reported that teens prefer Snapchat and Instagram over Facebook, offering a promising future for Instagram if trends stay the same.
Business can grow as they identify key demographics and their mentalities via social media. Companies will find it beneficial that Millennials and the American teenage population are avid Instagram users. As the tech-savvy Millennial generation increasingly enters the job force, more people will rely on IoT, connected devices, and social media tools to help gain insight into products and services. Businesses can analyse social activities to understand Millennial and Gen Z generations who will be the largest demographics buying their products.
3. Better Quality Video
Better video quality may be one reason Instagram may be more popular than Snapchat. Snapchat stories are created with live videos shot entirely on smartphones, meaning the quality is often grainy and shaky. With no tools to edit or stabilise the video, it leaves much to be desired. Instagram influencers prefer the platform because it’s easier to post content. If you have a professionally edited photo you can save it to your phone and edit further on Instagram. Especially for brands or products with a high aesthetic approach, curated content is preferred.
4. Easier To Find & Engage People
It’s easier to search and find people on Instagram. If influencers and businesses want to grow their audiences, why change platforms? Snapchat’s search capabilities aren’t as conducive to find and follow others. The Discover page conveniently allows you to discover news and entertainment stories, but it doesn’t allow businesses or influencers to be found organically. But Instagram, suggests people based on your likes and followers. Their Explore page allows users to find everyone from friends, especially big brands, publishers, and influencers.
On Instagram, studies highlight that business engagement is 10 times higher than Facebook. Over the course of two years, average engagement has grown by 416%. Even if you have a wider reach on Facebook, Instagram has more engagement. Visibility is essential for brands to gain recognition among users and Instagram is a huge factor in brand visibility since 80% of all Instagram users follow at least one business. In addition, 65% of top-performing posts feature products. In fact, 65% of 1,600 surveyed marketers said their preferred advertising platform was Instagram. Less than 40% chose Snapchat.
5. Sharing Links & Tagging People
Branded content relies on interconnected features. Many influencers and businesses dislike that they can’t tag–and sometimes link–their Snapchat accounts to their website, YouTube channel, blog, or store. But Instagram Stories offers users the ability to tag people, places, and directly link to websites. While Snapchat Stories does allow advertisers to link, not all businesses and people can use the capability. Even if Instagram allows only one link, it will be huge for visibility.
Sharing website links and tagging users and influencers is easier to organically build communities. Plus, Instagram Business profiles allow additional contact information including business phone number and address. In March 2017, research showed that over 120 million Instagram users visited a website, received directions, called a business, or directly messaged a business through the app.
Snapchat doesn’t offer ways to rank influencers. While we can see how many people follow celebrities like Kim Kardashian, we can’t see how many people follow them on Snapchat. On Instagram, users know how many followers they gain as the platform displays the number easily. Snapchat’s analytics offer unique views, the number of stories viewed, and how many screenshots are taken. But business advertisers and influencers need more stats. Instagram features the number of website clicks, impressions, engagement, reach, demographics, and more helpful analytics that Snapchat.
Instagram advertising is a critical space to utilise for any business. It’s also an easy platform to run advertising and marketing campaigns. Businesses can determine their audience, track campaigns, and find reach, and the number of conversations. Instagram also uses the same ad manager as Facebook to create and monitor campaigns through reach and engagement.
6. A Picture Frame Of The Future
Instagram offers more flexibility and choice for its business users. It allows businesses to be more transparent, authentic, and offers opportunities for cultural branding. As a major social media player, it is helping to cater to the needs of constantly disruptive technologies and modes of operation. It’s something businesses can afford to utilise and emulate. Instagram will continue to dominate as it stays on top of shifting technologies and user needs. Brands can help shape their products and services by targeting novel ideologies within online communities and crowd cultures. Those brief, fleeting moments; that’s the stuff life is made of and Instagram is definitely trying to change that for both individuals and businesses.