Why Instagram stories are a big deal for brands

Brand Storytelling, Branding, Instagram, Media, Snapchat, Social Media
August 9, 2016
by Conor Hawkins

Anyone who uses Instagram will have noticed its new ‘stories’ feature, which is exactly like Snapchat’s. 

While some users are still unsure about this new development, believing it is ripping snapchat off or that this isn’t what Instagram is for, brands are absolutely loving it. 

There’s a few reasons for this. Most of them are quite simple. The main one is that Instagram is bigger.

For example, Nike had over 800,000 views in 24 hours on an Instagram Story that it posted on the first day the feature was up. They used their Michael Jordan brand Jumpman23 account to reveal a new Michigan football jersey.

In comparison to this, Nike’s most successful video on Snapchat received 66,000 views, according to its social media agency Laundry Service.

Another reason is that it saves brands from ‘overposting’. Users may find a string of posts on their Instagram feeds from the same company worthy of an unfollowing, but stories are the solution to this. Instagram’s site says “Instead, you can share as much as you want throughout the day—with as much creativity as you want.”

Instagram is also far more interactive. On Instagram people can show their love, disapproval, tag their friends and share thoughts. Snapchat has no heart icons for people to express their approval and no comments section.

Instagram is also more user friendly. On Snapchat it’s harder to follow accounts because you have to know exact names to find them. Instagram makes searching easier. Instagram lets brands buy ads that directly link to their accounts, allowing people to easily find them and follow them.

Dan Grossman, vice president of platform partnerships at VaynerMedia summed up the difference between the two well when he said that “Instagram is a follower platform where Snapchat is more of a best friend platform… Snapchat hasn’t encouraged brands to build up huge followings.”

Some of the world’s leading brands have jumped into the Instagram Stories opportunity along with Nike, such as GE, Red Bull and NFL teams. 

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