I’ll be honest: I didn’t think Instagram Stories would take off. It was too much of an obvious Snapchat clone, Snapchat had a stranglehold on this audience, and people just use the Instagram app differently.
But ever since Instagram launched the Stories feature, every time I log in I have a list of dozens of new disappearing pictures and videos to view. Charlotte’s social media sphere has flocked to Instagram Stories in a big way.
Why? The consensus is that it’s simply easier to build an audience on Instagram, according to five local social media experts I touched base with.
The big takeaway: Snapchat will remain king for messaging your best friends. But for business and marketers, Instagram Stories will be much more valuable.
- Fitness guru Emily Breeze Ross Watson, who has more than 41,000 Instagram followers, said she joined Snapchat somewhat reluctantly initially, but found it a nice way to interact more personally with her followers. But Instagram Stories allows the same kind of feel, but with a much larger following. “Since Instagram launched stories I haven’t posted a single snap,” she said.
- April Smith, who owns Social Ape Marketing, said her clients are already getting four or five times more views on Instagram Stories than they ever were with Snapchat. “Most businesses on Instagram have worked very hard to acquire the followers that they do and now they can use Stories to reach them directly in a way that is approachable and real,” she said. “With Snapchat, it’s more difficult to find new followers or new people to follow.”
- Brad Panovich, chief meteorologist for WCNC, has his biggest followings on Facebook and Twitter (75,000+ and 50,000+). He’s experimented with Snapchat but found that Instagram is easier to incorporate with weather broadcasts. Plus, “You already have a built audience there,” he said.
Here’s more from Charlotte’s best in social media.
If you’re a fast follower, you should keep in mind what they have to say.
People will still use the platforms differently. Instagram already has a reputation as the place where you put your best image forward. Snapchat gained fame as the place where you’re more real, said Rich Tucker, head of social media at Command Partners.
“It looks like Instagram Stories will have an impact on Snapchat use, but I think for the heaviest users of Snapchat this will not effect them because they feel secure sharing silly day to day content on Snapchat and they will be more selective with they share on Instagram Stories,” he said. “For a majority of businesses and marketers, I believe Instagram Stories will be more valuable than Snapchat stories.”
But Snapchat still has a few advantages. Rachel Brown, aka Queen City Chic, said people are still in the habit of regularly checking Snapchat, and are only occasionally remembering to check Instagram Stories as well. But she expects the Instagram Stories audience to continue growing — especially as the app improves.
“Insta is smart and will make it even cooler with an update I’m sure,” she said.