By Maria Redka

Marketers around the world work on expanding the digital presence of their brands eagerly and unwearyingly. No surprise that if your business is not online in 2019, nobody knows about it. With the era of smartphone shopping standing on the porch of the world economy, social media presence is a brand’s way of staying connected with its audience in the digital world.

Time for Questions

Before choosing any platform (or both), consider the following questions:

  • Is your target audience using Instagram or Snapchat?
  • If the answer to the first question is yes, consider, what marketing content fits your business best. Would video, posts, stories or lives engage your audience more?
  • What fits your business philosophy more: a public profile everyone can interact with or a closed exclusive community where you can nurture the relationships with your loyal followers?
  • What are the demographics of your target audience?

After you answer the questions listed above, the picture should get a bit clearer for you. Now, let’s see what every platform can do for you and what it can’t.

Why Market on Instagram?

It’s fair to say that Instagram runs the social media world now. Its influence reaches far beyond social media. The platform defines the lifestyle, choices, and preferences of millions of young people now. As of the beginning of 2019, there are 25 million brands on Instagram. 80% of Instagrammers follow at least one of them. If you must know, 90 of 100 leading global brands have massive Instagram presence.

Instagram Advantages for Business:

  • User engagement with brands is higher on Instagram than on any other social network.
  • One-third of Instagrammers shop via their smartphone.
  • Instagram is continuously improving its brand-friendliness and rolling out new updates frequently.
  • All of your marketing data is easily accessible in a visual and simple format.
  • Instagram ads have advanced targeting settings that allow you to advertise to the desired audience on a budget.
  • You can create a business profile or convert an existing profile into a business one.
  • The Instagram user base is larger compared to Snapchat. It is older as well.
  • Instagram growth rates are better than those of Snapchat.
  • Instagram is a very dynamic and vibrant social network.

Disadvantages of Instagram for Business:

  • Marketing certain businesses is against Instagram ToS. Check whether you can use it for your business here.
  • Since Facebook bought this network, it inherited one thing from its owner – frequently changing algorithms. You need to keep up with the changes for your business profile to appear on the feed of your followers.
  • Bots cleansing. This is a controversial point that is seen as a negative thing by some and positive by others. From time to time, Instagram deletes inactive accounts and bots. It means that your engagement will grow, but it also means that you can lose tons of followers overnight. But you care about real followers, not numbers, right?

What about Snapchat? Let’s look into its pros and cons for businesses to check whether being active on Instagram anyway is really a must.

Snapchat Advantages for Businesses:

  • Ephemeral nature of Snapchat takes away the pressure of creating a perfect profile with a stylish feed. There’s no feed at all.
  • A great place to reach out to generation Z – according to the official stats of the app, the majority of its audience is under 25.
  • Current Snapchat algorithms do not force businesses to invest in paid advertisements (for now).
  • Perfect for limited time offers.
  • Cost-effective and engaging Snapchat ads (for example, branded filters and lenses).
  • New territory. Snapchat is different from older social media and you can play with it while its rules aren’t very strict.

Snapchat Disadvantages for Business:

  • Currently, data is not as easily accessed as Instagram data.
  • No possibility to create a business profile.
  • Snapchat user base is smaller compared to Instagram. It is younger as well.
  • Snapchat growth rates are not as good as those of Instagram.
  • Most Snapchatters use the platform to interact with each other rather than with any brands.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to marketing your brand on social media, one thing is sure: you should absolutely do it! The choice of a platform should depend on your audience, business model, budget, and resources. You can always start free to see how it goes. Based on the performance of your marketing campaign, you’ll see what channel is a better investment.

Maria Redka is a Technology Writer at MLSDev. It is web and mobile app development company in Ukraine. Our focus area includes a full range of services in mobile and web app development as well as design, consulting and testing.

Social media stock photo by Brilliantist Studio/Shutterstock