by Angela Almasy

October 21, 2016

Welcome to Week 1 of Fantasy Social, our new blog series where we pit two social media platforms against each other in a weekly fantasy football-style matchup. Our first matchup looks at Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat Stories and how either one might work best for your B2B brand.

(For a refresher on the criteria used in Fantasy Social, check out last week’s post from my fellow analyst Lisa Zone).

Chart Showing Instagram Stories vs Snapchat

  • Fan Base: While both platforms continue to expand their respective fan bases, Instagram has the potential to reach broader audiences. According to Tech Crunch, Instagram has 500 million monthly active users, 100 million of whom use the Stories feature daily. Conversely, Snapchat reports 150 million daily users, including 41 percent who are 18 to 34 years old.Additionally, Instagram Stories allows you to leverage your existing Instagram follower base where you may already have a strong B2B audience, and your stories are more easily discovered. For those not following your brand, finding your profile on Instagram is naturally more intuitive than Snapchat, making it easier to grow your fan base.

Winner: Instagram Stories

  • Social Skills: When it comes to the execution of both platforms, the fundamentals are comparable. The mobile-only platforms are equipped with similar features, including text overlay, filters and drawing tools. Photos and videos are both supported by these platforms and are posted for 24 hours. Ultimately, these platforms allow you to tell your brand’s story in a creative way to your loyal followers.One advantage Snapchat offers is the ability to use Geofilters, which can help build brand awareness based on a geographic location. B2B brands can find value in this feature at a trade show, product launch, etc. Generally speaking, Snapchat offers more robust tools and features to tell your story. While Instagram is better at educating users on how to use Stories, Snapchat’s capabilities outweigh this factor, making it the winner in this category.

Winner: Snapchat Stories

  • Dual Threat: Since these platforms are so similar, it’s no surprise that the ability to repurpose content across other social platforms is the same. Most frequently, brands will use their photo or video creations on other channels like Facebook and Twitter, as well as their traditional Instagram profile.Where Snapchat Stories takes the lead in this category is its paid/sponsored opportunities. Brands are able to elevate their presence on Snapchat through a number of paid features, including sponsored geofilters and sponsored lenses. For Snapchat Stories in particular, the platform offers brands mobile ad opportunities, which employ the same functionality as Stories. Snap Ads include an up-to-10-second full-screen video ad. Users can then swipe up to see more, giving brands the opportunity to provide users additional content.Instagram Stories offers no formal ad features yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time.

Winner: Snapchat Stories

  • Analytics: At the moment, measuring the impact of these platforms is not that robust, but there are a few metrics you can track, including story views and screenshots. For each individual story your brand posts, the apps inform you of how many users have viewed or taken a screenshot of each post. Story completion, or the number of users who viewed your story from start to finish, is another metric that can be used to evaluate your story’s reach and effectiveness. Additionally, using a URL in your post that is unique to Instagram or Snapchat can help track conversions.

Winner: Tie

  • Longevity: While Instagram Stories was only released two months ago, it has the support of the Instagram platform that has been around for six years. Snapchat Stories, on the other hand, is three years old, supported by the four-year-old Snapchat platform. There is little doubt these platforms will both be around for some time, so the real question is how much do you see your B2B brand investing in either platform in the future?

Winner: Tie Instagram Stories and Snapchat Stories both offer opportunities for your B2B brand to reach and interact with your audiences, but in this round of Fantasy Social, Snapchat Stories is taking home the trophy.

Stay tuned next week to see who wins the battle in LinkedIn Publishing vs. Medium.