So we’ve had a biiggg one. And no, we’re not talking about an earthquake. We’re referring to Instagram’s new update. Earlier this month, Instagram rolled out their stories feature and it looks eerily similar to another, very popular, social media platform.
If we could’ve seen Snapchat’s reaction, we imagine it might look similar to one of their filters (maybe the one where steam comes out of users ears).
Now that the aftershocks have dissipated, and we’ve adjusted to the new platform structures, we thought we’d take a look at just how much the new addition to Instagram has shaken the way brands engage with their social audience.
For starters, the Instagram Stories feature is an excellent tool for brands. While Snapchat is a sensational means for engaging in the ephemeral and fleeting social media trends, it is a very hard place for a brand to plant its roots and thrive.
However, we don’t mean to be negative Nancy’s – greatness can be achieved, as evidenced by Amazon. Starting in 2014, they offered exclusive promo codes through their Snapchat stories to rack up the follower count. They have also been engaging with social influencers – having people like Arielle VandenBerg and Matt Cutshall as guest stars. This helps an audience engage and identify with the brand’s personality.
As a relatively new app to advertising and brands – ads were only expanded earlier this year (read about it here) – gaining a following on Snapchat can be a task in itself. Although Snapchat is starting to scratch the surface, and brands are beginning to bud in this intangible social media space, there is definitely a learning curve when dealing with an entirely new framework.
With Instagram Stories, brands can overcome these obstacles. Firstly, their following is already established on Instagram, so the feature reaches an already-built (and strong) audience – the new feature is like Snapchat without the fuss of audience construction. Brands get to engage in the ephemeral and pulsing nature of social media while still maintaining a structurally sound and traceable brand narrative. This allows them to show a less curated version of their personality on the Stories feature, while also building a strong and identifiable brand awareness through their feed.
Travel + Leisure do an excellent job of this. Their feed maintains a beautifully curated selection of photos, while their stories play games and encourage interaction with their audiences – asking them to guess which city they’re in that day or providing some inspirational travel quotes. You should definitely check them out.
The one thing that’s certain is that we’re in for an interesting few months. How will Snapchat and Instagram adjust to one another, and how will brands utilize each tool in a productive and dynamic way? Instagram Stories launched a mini-earthquake, cracking a few foundations in social media platforms… Booje is keeping an eye on the budding plants (brands) that are taking root in the cracks. We’ll keep you posted!