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5 Reasons Why Marketers Prefer Instagram Over Snapchat

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instagram-vs-snapchat

Instagram or Snapchat — which one should you choose?

 

Both platforms are similar. They each have a huge audience base and are suited for visual marketing. So, it’s not an easy choice. But most marketers are picking Instagram over Snapchat.

 

Instagram has over a billion monthly active users while Snapchat has about 218 million daily active users, worldwide. But that’s not the only reason why marketers prefer Instagram for promotional campaigns. 

 

After all, 39.9% of social media users in the USA used Snapchat in 2018, making it a powerful marketing platform. However, the same study revealed that this share is projected to fall and reach to 35.3% in 2023.

 

It’s a tell-all sign that Snapchat is losing its sheen. 

 

So, where is Snapchat falling short?

 

Let’s get into the crux of the matter. Here are five reasons why marketers prefer Instagram over Snapchat to increase their overall online sales:

1. Instagram Does Stories Better

Snapchat was the first social media platform to come up with the concept of Stories. This feature allowed its users to share photos and videos of daily activities. Stories were exciting as you could add text, graphics, and more to them.

 

The Stories feature opened up a world of opportunities for marketers. Using it, they could tell more vivid stories, run contests, and make announcements. 

Soon enough, Instagram pounced on the opportunity to roll out their version of Stories. With another platform bringing in the same feature, the uniqueness of the idea was gone. 

 

Interestingly, Instagram kept most of the things the same, including the name and the basic features. Today over 500 million people use the Stories feature on the platform daily. 

 

So, what’s the difference between Stories on Instagram and Snapchat? 

Let’s take a look.

Instagram

Instagram is a marketer’s delight because the Stories are prominently placed. As soon as the users open the app, Stories are the first thing they see at the top of the screen. This makes it easy for them to capture their audience’s attention.

 

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Additionally, the Stories keep playing one after the other in a sequence. Even if a user clicks on just one Story, the chances are that they will end up seeing a few more. 

 

What’s more, the platform offers plenty of tools such as stickers, augmented reality (AR) filters, and drawing tools to help you build a super interactive experience for viewers. 

 

Through Stories, you can also drive traffic to your landing pages. This can help you with lead generation and sales. However, for this, you must ensure that your landing pages are top-notch. To build such landing pages, you can use landing page builders. 

Snapchat

When it comes to Stories, Snapchat is more user-centric in its approach. For example, Stories did autoplay in the past on Snapchat, but they have removed this feature. 

 

This gives the power in the hands of the users. They get to decide which Stories they want to view. That’s a great feature for the users. But for marketers and influencers, it’s a dealbreaker. This cuts down the overall reach of their Stories and reduces the chances of users engaging with them. 

2. Organized User Interface

Consistent look and feel is a key aspect of brand building. This is why the ability to brand the Story with a visual layout that is consistent with the overall branding effort is a plus point for marketers. 

 

Let’s look at how both the social media apps stack up against each other in terms of ease of organizing the visual layout. 

Instagram

The organized layout seems like a priority for Instagram. From the visual layout of Stories at the top and everything in relation to navigation at the bottom, the interface is user-friendly and organized. Instagram focuses on maintaining aesthetics and order on the platform. 

 

But it also gives enough liberty to marketers and influencers to manipulate photos and order their placement. This allows marketers and brands to showcase the best versions of themselves. 

Snapchat

The focus is on the users, so when the user opens the app, they are instantly plunged into the camera app. They are nudged into creating something right away, regardless of whether they wanted that or not. This is good for people who have always something to say. 

3. Features to Put Your Best Foot Forward

The more features there are on the social media platform, the better it is for marketers and brands. A social media platform that brings more tools and features to the table that make content creation easy, will score. 

Instagram

Instagram offers a range of tools and features to help you create impactful content. For example, you can share your Stories with filters that can make your photographs look even better. 

 

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You can seamlessly add flair to your images and videos by editing them in the app.

 

Additionally, you can use various tools to schedule and share them on multiple platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. This way, your posts can get greater reach as well. 

Snapchat

Snapchat also offers an array of tools and features to create great content. However, it had a rough time identifying its real purpose since its origin as a private messaging platform with disappearing messages. 

 

Some of its new features have led to a backlash as well. Over 1 million users signed a petition in 2018 to restore the previous version as well.

 

4. Ease of Use for Influencers and Brands

We live in a busy world and everyone is hustling to tick off items from their checklists. If a platform is overcomplicated, it is going to be a definite turn off for influencer marketing. It has to be easy and rewarding for influencers and brands to take it seriously. 

Instagram

Instagram makes it extremely easy for marketers to create posts or Stories and publish them on the platform. When you are building a brand, it’s more about building an experience for your target audience. Since so much goes into building a brand, the easier a platform is, the better.

 

Instagram seems to understand this very well. Therefore, it has simplified things at various levels. For example, you can easily find people to follow, remain updated with the latest topics, and also engage with others easily.  Additionally, Instagram allows you to save some of your Stories as Highlights to make them available permanently.

 

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It’s also easy to partner with influencers on the platform. However, it can be challenging for brands to find reliable influencers, manage the campaign, and track the results. In such a situation, you can always partner with agencies that handle social media campaigns for brands.

Snapchat

It seems Snapchat has missed out in this area. If you want to follow someone with the help of their username, you will need to go through multiple screens to make that happen. 

 

The posts at Snapchat also have a limited lifespan and it lacks a Highlights section like Instagram. Thus, you can not find any old posts on Snapchat, which isn’t ideal.

5. Numbers Speak Volumes

In the end, everything boils down to numbers. The ideal platform for marketers is the one that enables them to reach and engage more people with the least amount of effort. 

Instagram

Instagram has 1 billion monthly active users, but with features that allow you to share your posts on other platforms, you have an even bigger market. Additionally, it gives you the option to create a public profile.

 

This increases your discoverability among potential followers. As a result, brands have a greater chance of reaching potential followers on the platform. These stats show that Instagram is a powerful platform for marketers and influencers.

Snapchat

Snapchat has about 314 million monthly active users. But since the platform is more focused on the users, you might find the majority of them busy sending photos back and forth among themselves.

 

This can make it difficult for marketers to reach users on the platform. Additionally, the profiles on Snapchat can only be viewed by the people who have added the influencer’s or the brand’s profile. This can drastically reduce your reach. 

Conclusion

Instagram is the clear winner when it comes to the preferred platform for marketers and influencers. Snapchat has fewer active users on the platform than Instagram, but the numbers are still significant. So it cannot be ignored if you are looking to build a brand presence on all the platforms where you have your target audience. 

 

Which platform do you prefer? Let us know in the comments.

 

Dawn Bowman is the Managing Editor for Shane Barker Consulting. She was previously the Managing Editor at KillerStartups, and Startups.com. In her spare time, she writes short stories and song lyrics.

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Losing Instagram Followers for no reason? Here are 8 Reasons why

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One fine morning in the sweltering summer heat of May, I noticed something odd on Instagram. I had lost 45 Followers, dropping my total following to a measly 356. It’s true, I was randomly losing followers for the last couple of weeks. But with this large drop, all my hopes of an aspiring career as an Instagram influencer came to a halt.

To be fair, I posted on Instagram once a month and most of my followers were friends and acquaintances. So this isn’t a huge loss. But unlike me,  you might be a content creator who depends on Instagram for business. In which case, it is fair to worry about why you’re losing Instagram followers.

For most Instagrammers their first instinct might be to recall on the great purge of 2014 and ask:

Is Instagram deleting my followers?

It is not unheard of for Instagram to delete your followers. In fact, back in 2014, Justin Bieber lost more than 3.5 million of his 23 million followers. Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian lost 1.3 million of her 23 million followers and Beyoncé lost more than 800,000.

In all fairness, the 2014 algorithm update resulted in a deletion of paid followers only.

Instagram has warned users that it will be cracking down on inauthentic followers. This includes bots, inactive accounts, and third-party apps.

But good news, is that unless you’ve been using shady tactics, your account is safe.

Here are some examples of black-hat practices to avoid.

  1. Buying Followers

Buying followers are the quickest way of losing Instagram followers. If the purge is any sign, Instagram dislikes third-party apps and paying for followers.

But could you be paying for followers without knowing about it?

The answer is yes. Do you have a marketing agency managing your account? Could it be possible that they’ve used black-hat tactics like buying followers?

Steer away from shady companies who promise to get you, 10,000 followers for $10. If the offer sounds too good to be true it most certainly is.

  1. Using Bots and Third-party apps

As I write this, I understand that I could be putting in all the wrong ideas in your head. But I guarantee you these shady tactics will get you banned.

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Instagram has banned chatbots that reach out to people and encourage follow-backs. In recent years, several third-party bots/apps have had to close their operations.

So here’s a brain teaser – Did everyone who loses Instagram followers pay for their followers? Well, I didn’t. I never paid for an app or hired a firm to manage my account but I still lost followers. The hard truth is that sometimes you might be doing everything by the books and still lose followers.

Here are 8 reasons why you might be losing Instagram followers

1. Your follower’s preferences have changed.

Its been almost 10 years since Instagram launched and the platform is anything but new. In the 10 years we’ve been on Instagram, people have graduated from school, got married, and had kids. We’ve all done a lot of growing and it’s safe to say that we’re not the same person we were 10 years ago. 

The downside of being on Instagram for a long time is that your followers have changed. And as they grow as individuals they’re also growing out of old habits.

As an influencer or business owner, you too should grow in how you create content. If you’re interested in keeping followers, find out what they currently like, and cater to their needs. At the same time, you should also realize that some of these followers are never coming back. It would be better to find a new base of followers who are more relevant to the type of content you create.

2. You’ve changed too and some people don’t like that.

Growth is not exclusive to your followers. As a content creator, you too have grown and your tastes have changed as well. But even though growth is a good thing, it’s worth examining if the new you agree with your followers.

Often, as we get older and more experienced, we tend to be more cautious. It’s not uncommon for brands to be rebellious in their early days and dial it down later down the line. Most brands that follow this path alienate their core fan base and lose them in the process. 

3. Your followers haven’t heard from you in a long time.

We know that post frequency matters. But could posting less actually influence people to unfollow?

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The answer is a definite yes. Most users on the platform are conscious about who they follow. As a brand, if you’re not creating new content, your users don’t have a reason to keep following you.

3. You are posting content too frequently.

Posting too much can be as big a crime as posting too little. As a victim of brands and influences who constantly bombard me with their content – I can say that it can be overwhelming and invasive. 

When we post too often, we deprive them of novelty that comes with consuming content from different creators. Naturally, when your followers realize that their feed is being bombarded by one creator, they’ll remove them to make room for others.

4. Your content is not differentiated.

As human beings, we are wired to seek out novelty. Our brain is designed to flood our neural networks with dopamine, a hormone responsible for giving us the sensation of happiness and satisfaction when we enjoy a snack, get good grades or hear good news.

But, the brain’s dopamine delivery system is severely flawed. As we rely on the same stimulation to provide us with a hit, our neural networks demand more stimulation to get the same amount of dopamine.

That is why we never feel the same satisfaction when eating our twelfth slice of pizza as much as we received while biting into the first one.

Content is no different. We get satisfaction and fulfilment from the content we choose to consume. But when content creators keep creating the same content as everyone else, our thirst for novelty remains unquenched. This is why many people stop following creators. Instead, they look for other creators who can offer something different.

5. Your content is too spammy, too pushy, and too sales oriented.

In other words, your content is self-serving and adds little value to your followers. 

Back in the day, commercials came in the way of consuming content on TV. This resulted in Youtube democratizing content and bringing interruption free content to people. When Youtube started spamming people with Ads. They moved over to Netflix.

When creators focus too much on ads and too little on value-added content, followers also exercise their power. They move on to content creators who can balance between self-service and fan-service.

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6. You might be losing inauthentic followers.

Not everyone who follows you does so because they love your content. Following other people in hopes of getting a  follow back is a common practice. Once their strategy succeeds, these people don’t stick around for long.

Additionally, your account might also consist of spam, bots, and fake accounts. These accounts are periodically purged by Instagram and can result in a sudden drop in followers. 

There is no sure-fire way of knowing if you’re losing fake followers. but if you see a sudden drop, especially after an algorithm update, then chances are you’re just seeing Instagram cleaning out the trash.

8. You’re not gaining new followers.

Maintaining your follower count is difficult. You’ll win some of these battles and lose others. It is important to understand that you must always focus on reaching out to new followers as well. Without new followers to replace the ones you lose, your follower count will drop with time.

 

Instagram insights display daily net gains. Keep track of your followers by checking insights on a weekly basis. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few parting words

Instagram is changing, so is social media. New algorithm updates are burying organic reach in favor of paid ads. At the same time, competition is looming large for Instagram and its counterparts. For example, video-sharing platform Tiktok has already overtaken Instagram as the most downloaded app. Which will inevitably lead to people spending lesser time on Instagram.

 As creators, this could mean challenging times lie ahead. It’s entirely possible, we’ll never get some followers back. Some of us will see engagement and reach drop.  

we should be ready for the worse and explore all avenues that connect us to our followers.

Before I finish this article, I will leave you with one last piece of borrowed wisdom:

Accept the things you can’t change, change the things you can, and know the difference between the two.

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Instagram E-commerce Strategies That Will Boost Your Sales

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Social media has long been a favored tool for promoting and growing businesses. And with the recent appearance of Instagram Shops on the radar, the eCommerce world is taking their game to the next level. Regardless of which of the platforms was used to build your online store, Shopify, BigCommerce, or Magento, there are many ways you can gain from Instagram sales.

On this page, we introduce you to Instagram Shopping and its importance to the eCommerce sphere, give tips on where to begin, and share the best practices of running the account.

Instagram Shops: An Introduction

As stated previously, Instagram is yet one more way for you to reach out to your prospects, speak about your brand, and sell more. One of the greatest things about Instagram Shopping is that it not only boosts the visual side of your digital storefront but also helps potential customers to check out the things that you have on offer without leaving their favorite application.

How do Instagram Shops look?

That said, just by posting and making Instagram Stories, you may display images with your products and place tags/product stickers on them. Those viewing the content can then tap on the picture to see a short overview of the item (or items) as well as their prices. And when clicking on “View Products”, the product page leading to your online store will be shown. On the images below you can see how Forever21 uses Instagram Shopping on their official account.

So how does all of this work?

Instagram Shops can be set up only if your business Instagram account is linked to your Facebook Shops. In this case, your Facebook catalog plays the role of a mediator, connecting your online store with your Instagram Shop. If you’re not sure about how to handle the integration, it’s wise to turn to the professionals for assistance; as such, Magento consulting services will provide you with expert help to integrate your Magento store with the catalog on Facebook, and have your Instagram channel running in no time.

Moreover, it is important to note that Instagram Shopping isn’t available from the desktop, it only works from the downloaded application on mobile devices.

Is Instagram Shopping available worldwide?

What’s for the global scale of Instagram Shopping, already more than 60 countries all around the world can use it. As such, it’s available if the account was registered in the USA, Canada, Australia, Brazil, the UK, or in one of the countries on the list. Mentioning the checkout functionality, currently, it can be used in the USA and for some shortlisted businesses.

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→ Importantly, in case the account registration is handled from a country that’s not among the list or in case you’ve decided to work around the rules and opt for proxy or VPN to take advantage of this functionality, this may lead to you losing your opportunity for product tagging whatsoever. Therefore, it’s best to play by the rules.

Which business types are Instagram Shops suitable for?

Predominantly this solution is a great fit for those companies that have physical goods on sale. Thus, eCommerce and Instagram Shops are “meant to be”.

Getting Started with Instagram Shops

Some of the things you’ll need to get started with Instagram Shops include:

  • a Facebook account to which your store’s catalog is connected to (i.e. a functioning Facebook catalog);
  • the latest version of the Instagram application;
  • an account on Instagram that is switched to “Business” and is tied to your store’s Facebook account.

In order to get the features of “Instagram Shopping”, your account needs to get reviewed and approved. When you’ve made certain to follow the requirements, go to your Instagram account: Profile → Settings → Account → Switch to Business Account, and wait for the approval. Generally, expect it to be reviewed within several working days.

Tips on Filling Your Instagram Profile

1. Begin with the bio & don’t forget about “highlights” circles

One of the things to not overlook is the bio of your account. Make sure to state all of the key information about your business in this area of the page. Make use of all the capabilities it offers to the most. To be specific:

  • don’t overdo it with too much text, keep the phrases about who you are short;
  • make sure there’s a link to your official website;
  • optionally, you can add a link to your location, use hashtags, and CTAs.

What is more, after you’ll have enough Stories in your archive, make sure to break them down into categories and add them to your “Highlights” section (displayed in circles). It’s wise to create special-made Instagram highlight covers, often these are icons or single-style images.

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Take a look at the bios and Highlights sections on the official Instagram pages of Shiseido and Hermes.

2. Choose what to post about & Post on a schedule

Selecting the products to be featured is a matter to be considered seriously. Apart from the photos, their quality, and touch-ups, it is also important to think ahead. That said, planning the sequence of your posts, which texts to use, and when to post them is important. Here are some tips:

  • Have a content plan and make use of layout tools that are handy to visualize how your pictures and videos will look like together on your grid. As such, the official Instagram preview App can be a good choice.
  • Making posts on a regular basis is also important. Consistency counts and your followers will be happy to see your products and new arrivals via Instagram.
  • But don’t post too often, overcrowding the newsfeed of people following you can lead to irritation, and they’ll unfollow you. Once per day is more than enough for posts, and up to 5 Stories per day is okay.
  • Plus, it makes sense to use tools for scheduling your posts and even automating the postings. This can save you time, some tool examples can be Hopper HQ.
  • Speaking of time, research the top “prime-time” frames when it is best to make posts based on your eCommerce field and customer location for better results and engagement.

3. Stick to a style & tag your products

Another great trend revolves around the style of your account. Having separate post images connect into one appealing piece is something to consider. It may not be easy to do, of course, but the results are often very nice!

Also, don’t forget to tag your products on the pictures. After all, that is the point of doing this, right?

An outstanding example of what “sticking to a style” means is the official Instagram account of Pandora:

4. Hashtags, location & alternative texts

Use hashtags wisely. Too many hashtags won’t do you good. Likewise, combine them in a smart way, i.e. use:

  • hashtags that are specifically relevant to your product or brand;
  • those that are considered popular or target your audience.

Keep location in mind. This is especially relevant if you have one or several physical shops. Alternatively, you can attach different locations based on the areas to which you deliver your products. In any case, by adding a geotag, you can tell your customers that you’re near and available.

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Fill out alternative texts. After you’ve posted, press the three dots in the top right corner of the post to edit it. On the image, there’ll be an opportunity to add an alternative text, keep it short and narrow it down to a keyword or phrase. It is good to have such alt tags in terms of SEO and it will help you to reach out to a broader audience.

5. Make use of Stories & IGTV

As mentioned a couple of times already, Stories are one more powerful Instagram move. You may also tag products in Stories, inform about new posts, and share a lot of what’s hot and happening. Take a look at how Chanel uses Stories on their official Instagram account:

Similarly, if you have large videos to share, why not use the IGTV channel? You can upload videos, shoots, and ads there, the latest news. Well, basically, any video content that’s relevant to your business.

What else can be done?

Another way you can get “the best of both worlds” is by getting your hands on user-generated content. By running contests and giveaways, you may both attract new users and engage the audience that you have. Brainstorming helps, so don’t be intimidated by experimenting.

Repost various content that you like. Team up with your partners for cross-linking. Put together combos with the client feedback and comments of your customers on your products. There’s so much you can do!

Analyze the behavior of your followers. What kind of content do they like? Which items have they bought more from your Instagram Shop? Do your analytic homework and work out your own best practices that are effective for your target audience and buyers.

In conclusion, the opportunities of using Instagram for uplifting your business are very broad and are constantly growing. There are many ways you can sell more of your goods and get more clients if you’re running your Instagram account properly. And this is twice as true for eCommerce!

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