If you’ve been keeping an ear to the ground – and an eye on your social media apps – you may have noticed that Facebook and Instagram are both making moves into the space dominated by Snapchat. Facebook now delivers short-lived content (photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours) and both Facebook and Instagram offer you stickers and filters to spruce up your content. All these updates beg the question: If all social media sites are starting to offer the same content, which one is best for my client or business?
The Pros and Cons for Social Media Sites: Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram
Social Media Analysis: Snapchat
Generation Z lives on Snapchat, and if your goal is to reach a younger audience, this is the channel that can pay off. Consider becoming a publisher and curate messages that can translate to the medium, which means getting creative.
Millennial audiences are shrinking on Snapchat (though the 45-to-54 share is growing), indicative of a shift of these viewers to other channels. With Millennials growing as a share of homeowners and buyers as well as decision-making parents, Snapchat may not be the best way to reach them.
Social Media Analysis: Instagram
Instagram Stories Pro
With its tie-in to Facebook and the addition of Snapchat-like features to the Stories, Instagram is primed to take over. Instagram has already surpassed Snapchat’s share of Millennials, according to The Next Web (200 million daily users on Instagram Stories versus 158 million on Snapchat).
Instagram Stories Con
The younger the user, the less utility they see in Instagram and its stories. Disappearing posts on Instagram are seen as a poor substitute for Snapchat, and Generation Z and some Millennials are loyal to the original. An Adweek survey asked 511 Instagram and Snapchat users between 13–34 how they felt about the two channels; 64 percent said that Snapchat was the “cooler” app.
Social Media Analysis: Facebook
Facebook Stories Pro
Facebook is a behemoth when it comes to the sheer number of users (1.23 billion worldwide monthly annual users as of December 2016), which translates to great potential reach and exposure for advertisers and publishers. For Facebook users who are not on Instagram or Snapchat, the Facebook Stories provide a fun feature that extends the amount of time that users are on the platform, a key measurement of usage.
Facebook Stories Con
As evidenced by the feedback from Snapchat users on Instagram Stories, imitation may not win over Generation Z and Millennial users who are loyal to the originator(s) of the 24-hour limit on content. While your Uncle Joe may love the ability to turn himself into a Power Ranger with facial overlays, his 12-year-old niece is likely to see it as an invasion of her Facebook timeline.
When deciding if Stories are of use to you personally, your business brand or your client, take into consideration the following:
- Personality of your business, brand or client
- Resources to interact with others on platforms
- Ability to be consistent
Do you have experience with Snapchat, Instagram Stories, or Facebook Stories? Please share in the comments below!