Instagram vs Snapchat: The Build Your Brand Guide for 2018

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Instagram Vs Snapchat | Digital Cartel Media

The Instagram vs Snapchat debate rages onward. The two platforms are similar in almost every way, but Snapchat’s diversity of adding functional glasses, or Spectacles, and Instagram with the ease of building a following forces users to prefer one over the other.

For the user, Snapchat provides more flexibility to communicate with friends, family and customers, while Instagram allows users to create a community with ease. This is why you see so many brands

It’s not difficult to use Snapchat to make a community either, but it takes more skill as a marketer. Without being able to easily search for more users to mingle with, you have to dig a little deeper and use more than just the app to find who you seek.

Recently, Snapchat and Instagram/Facebook are both under fire. Snapchat produced a game of ‘would you rather’ slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown. As you can imagine this created a great deal of tension from domestic violence victims all over the nation. Rihanna was outraged by the ‘game’ and created this response…

Instagram vs Snapchat Rihanna

Instagram/Facebook, on the other hand, is no angel either these days. With Cambridge Analytica and the #DeleteFacebook response becoming more popular each day many people say Facebook is already dead. Despite all this, Instagram is thriving in this delicate time for its parent company.

Making the decision of which platform you choose to spend your time is crucial for the community you wish to build. Consider the attention of your target market. It’s essential to understand specifically who you’re targeting to know if your brand matches who you want to reach and where they hang out.

Target Your Audience for Instagram and Snapchat

The question isn’t if you’re age demographics are young. The question is… are they older? Both platforms have a young audience, but only one of them has an older audience. That’s Instagram, and if you’re considering one or the other you should look at these facts.

The main reason people choose Instagram vs Snapchat is the ease of use. Instagram is by far easier to learn for everyone. I know young people that won’t use Snapchat because it’s too complicated for what they do with it. If you’re struggling to figure out Snapchat, don’t feel bad because it’s difficult for everyone.

Including the younger audience is necessary for any business to stay alive in the long-run. If you feel the need to adapt your business to millennials, then you need to know what they want.

Snapchat Brand Guidelines

Instagram vs Snapchat Logo on iPhone

Snapchat gets around 220 million daily active users (DAUs). Those 220 users use the app multiple times during the day and spend on average 30 minutes every day exploring the app.

Snapchat users are much younger on average than any other social media platform. Almost 60% of the users are under the age of 25, so if your brand caters to teens you should spend more time on Snapchat or at least run ads. Who are you planning on targeting with your Snapchat ads?

Fast food companies and ESPN are certainly taking to the customizable options of the ad platform and addictive qualities of Snapchat. You can get bite-size Sportscenter updates all day on your feed. I’ve used it frequently and I love it.

Building a Brand on Snapchat without Ads

Building a brand on Snapchat is not the easiest thing in the world. You really need to push traffic to it from another source, then post all the time to it to keep your audience interested.

These days most of the other social networks have the same functions, like stories and image editing. If you can’t build your brand’s following solely on Snapchat, then what’s the point? The point is that it’s important to be where your target audience is and if they happen to be on Snapchat you should too.

If you’re looking for examples of brands that use Snapchat well, make sure you check out Gary Vaynerchuk and Tai Lopez. Of course, they are big on the other social networks too, but Snapchat is a tool they have mastered and monetized. Follow them and they will show you how to make money on Snapchat without ads.

Snapchat Ad Campaigns

Those statistics are significant especially if you’re considering placing ads on Snapchat. The ad program on Snapchat is much more complex and expensive than it is on Instagram and Facebook.

The first thing you need to do is check out all the different types of Snapchat ads, like lenses, geo-filters, app-install, web view, and long-form filters. How do these types of ads fit in with your brand? Do these ad specs and the ads manager work for you? Look for some good ad examples for you to base your first couple campaigns. If you’re not seeing anything that catches your eye, Snapchat ads might not be for you despite their profitability.

Branded Instagram Content Guidelines

Instagram vs Snapchat Instagram

Instagram has many “brand standards,” which means you need to put a lot of thought into what you post. I know it looks like most of the posts on Instagram are unscripted, but believe me when I say it that the time you put revising your posts and images will make all the difference.

That means the colors you choose for posts, where you put your logo, and the tone of voice you use for your captions and videos needs to be decided before the posts are created. These things might seem miniscule, but they all contribute to your Instagram brand’s rep and affect the traffic you attract.

Instagram has both a young audience and an older audience, but the most attractive part is it has gone from 100 million profiles to 800 million in 5 years. Ignoring that hype surrounding Instagram would be a wasted opportunity for any business.

You might look at the 800 million users and think, Instagram is saturated and not worth getting into, but it’s still young and a fantastic platform to build an audience. It’s easy to build your following and inspire engagement if you create something worth engaging with. Instagram makes it easy to create visually stunning work with all the filters and lens available.

What you need is an Instagram ambassador

An Instagram brand ambassador or influencer should have a great deal of pull with your audience. If you haven’t looked into attracting an influencer for your brand on Instagram, get your phone out and search your product on Instagram and YouTube.

If you’re selling your product, odds are that someone is already using your product or a competitor of yours. This is a great opportunity to let that person try it out and let you know what they think of it. If they love it, they will most likely create a post about it and promote your product.

Many of these Instagram brand ambassadors will charge you for services like these if they have a large enough following, but in many cases, they will do this for free.

Proper use of Instagram hashtags

Also, if you search and target the right #hashtags you’ll pinpoint exactly who gets what you sell. Locate the hashtags that are not saturated, especially when you first start. Look for the ones with 50k to 300k posts. That is a good range to build your reputation and allow your posts to not get buried in an avalanche of heavy hitters.

The ad platform also makes it easy to target users that will love what you produce. Focus on tailoring every piece of content directly to them and you’ll create the community you desire. Click the link to learn more about the very useful tools inside of the Instagram and Facebook’s ad program.

Impulse Buyers are on Instagram

What is your Instagram brand’s strategy for targeting impulsive buyers in your niche?

If you sell physical products then the Instagram vs Snapchat debate is over. You can make every post on Instagram buyable with an Instagram business account.

You can link your products on Snapchat to your website, but Instagram is far better in my opinion.

Go to Instagram and look for the new shopping bag icon. Anytime you see that you can make a purchase using your Paypal account. This is going to set companies with impulse buys on fire, because before now you haven’t been able to advertise, promote, and sell in an easier or more inexpensive way than this.

Companies are just getting on this bandwagon and you should really adopt this if you have a Shopify store or any company with a unique physical product.

How Important Are the Numbers?

Your follower count is very important in the Instagram vs. Snapchat debate. It’s true that follower count is not the most important factor when considering the effectiveness of your profile on either platform. Engagement is the most important success driven factor.

However, on Instagram, the amount of followers you have is openly displayed and on Snapchat it is not. If a new customer finds your store on Instagram, they might have a problem buying from a store that isn’t “proven.” That means if your follower count isn’t high enough for them they might look elsewhere for what you sell.

Who’s to say what is actually a lot of followers these days? It’s in the eye-of-the-beholder to make that determination.

If you’re looking for engagement, it’s a little easier to get more of it on Snapchat. It’s designed to have the users interact with the posts, especially some of the ad features. However, Instagram is not far behind in the engagement category and with the sheer number quadrupling Snapchat you can build your engagement just as easily.

Is Snapchat Even Worth It?

Even after the Chris Brown vs Rhianna “smackdown,” Snapchat is still being used fanatically by users all across the nation.

What makes this app so attractive besides the disappearing content? Users say Snapchat is more casual than any other social network. It allows you to create virtually anything you want and have more intimate conversations with your friends and family and never have to worry about that information getting out. It’s more similar to real life conversations.

You also have the option of making video calls, audio calls, or texting. Switching from one median to another is a great way to get your message across. Sometimes texting doesn’t make the grade, the audio could be better, but videos get to the root of the message.

and The Winner Is…

Instagram vs Snapchat Competition

Instagram is now my clear favorite for any brand over Snapchat. Before the addition of making purchases on the app itself and the battle of Chris and Rhianna, it was a toss-up. Not anymore!

Now you should be mostly on Instagram, I’d say 80/20.

Don’t get me wrong Snapchat still has many important functions and is great for building transparency for any brand. Given the recent negative exposure and the ability to have your own store on Instagram, I think you’d be missing out if you weren’t on Instagram more than Snapchat.

One extra I’d like to add in here is the ability you should be using the Instagram and Snapchat’s story functions. They are essential to building your brand, because of mini-update feature it provides. Use stories daily to fully engage with your followers on both platforms.

Personalization Instagram vs Snapchat Strategies for Your Brand

Instagram vs Snapchat Social

Every year there are new social media platforms to exploit. The real secret to success on those platforms is to be one of the first to do it well. Early Youtube contributors are now celebrities because they believed in the platform so much. This is not the only way to become a success on social media, but it helps. is a new platform in direct response to the #deletefacebook movement, say they don’t have ads, censorship, and they have a clever way to make money. Telegram is another new platform that allows you to create a group on anything! It’s extremely convenient and easy to keep the conversation about your business or industry. BBM allows calls, messages, and the ability to customize Bitmoji stickers.

Strategize Your Next Social Media Campaign Based on the Trends

With all the debate on Instagram vs Snapchat, it’s important to understand and recognize where the social media industry is going. Understanding the trends is a full-time job, but the best strategy is to try all the social media platforms available and see which one suits your audience the best.

Here are couple markers to look for when selecting a newer platform in 2018.

Versatility in the way you communicate is a dominating factor for why people moved to platforms like Snapchat in the first place.

Video content is a must. I’m not saying reading is out, but allowing your users to consume your content in all ways is essential for your brand to reach it’s potential. Just like having a Facebook, Twitter, and blog with only written content is not possible anymore. You need images, videos, written, audio, and long and short form of all of the above.

For more information on creating the best content for your brand, check out this article and learn what’s out there.


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Anthony Catullo