Snapchat and Instagram are just for tech-savvy millennials, right? Wrong. Like the “older” social media platforms, Facebook and Twitter, these two up – and – comers are getting their start with a younger demographic. Having instant popularity with a “college – aged” crowd and younger, Snapchat and Instagram are following the same trends as their predecessors, Facebook and Twitter. Although both platforms focus primarily on images and videos, more updates and options for users are making it easier for marketers to reach the younger demographic in ways they haven’t been able to before. Given the increasing growth of each platform, where should marketers shift their social media concentration?
In order to get a better understanding of each platform and predict what the future holds for advertisers, let’s first focus on where each platform stands today:
Instagram: Born on October 6, 2010
• 500M+ monthly active users
• 300M+ daily active users
• 80%+ users outside the U.S.
• 4.2B likes daily
• 95M+ photos/videos per day
Stats updated 8/22/2016 from Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/press/?hl=en)
From our standpoint, Instagram’s stats look pretty impressive. Since its inception, it has continued to break barriers of image sharing and Instagram and Facebook integration in April of 2012 has helped them stay either ahead of the competition or not far behind it. This relates to Instagram’s most recent update that mimics Snapchat’s story option, which we will dig into a little later. Instagram can be especially beneficial for consumer brands in that it provides a unique way to showcase products. It also is very successful with presenting an inside look at a brand’s identity through high – quality images and interesting video.
Snapchat: Born on September 2011
• 8B+ video views per day
• 100M+ daily active users
• 60%+ of U.S 13 to 34-year-old smartphone users are on Snapchat
Stats updated on 8/22/2016 from Snapchat (https://www.snapchat.com/ads)
Snapchat also harnesses some notable results. Launching almost a full year after Instagram, Snapchat is arguably the most unique of the top social media contenders. Unlike other social platforms, Snapchat’s image/video sharing capabilities don’t have permanence. Shared content erases after 10 seconds or less. This type of interaction is quick and sometimes impulsive, much like the mindsets of younger users. Marketers can benefit from this type of marketing since it creates a sense of urgency for consumers to react. Unfortunately, though, consumers are not able to transparently see engagement on Snapchat like they can on Instagram.
With recent updates, including Instagram stories, which mimicked Snapchat, is social media getting away from permanence and heading towards more timely content? What could this mean for marketers? Snapchat has announced they will provide more advertising options for small businesses in the near future through their partnership companies. Hopefully, this will not affect how users are using the platform or encourage the millennial demographic to search out different options for connecting with others. When it comes down to it, if you are trying to reach a younger demographic, especially those between 18 and 24, Instagram and Snapchat provide the greatest opportunity in the current battle for attention of these tech-savvy first innovators.
At the moment, Instagram may be the best route since you can advertise directly through Facebook. Most businesses are already advertising on Facebook, but the magnitude of paid sources has affected reach for business pages. Instagram having only one news feed and also being primarily mobile viewed provides a greater opportunity for consumers to see your ad. Also, quality images are easy to create rather than high-quality videos (which will be required when Snapchat advertising is released to the masses) when a cost – saving production budget comes into play.
There is no doubt competition is growing between these two platforms, especially in the realm of increasing advertising options. Marketers should stay aware of what’s to come and build their organic profiles on both platforms so that when the “timely, Snapchat-like expiring messaging and image sharing” revolution takes over you will be ready.
Elise Braun is KK BOLD’s social media specialist and she is also a millennial which we think makes her the specialEST with the “younger” social media fads.