Instagram vs. Snapchat: The Power of Storytelling

It seems like every time you finally master a social media platform, an update is released or a new network is introduced.

Two of the most popular social media providers, especially among millennials, are Instagram and Snapchat. With 80 million Instagram photos shared per day and more than 8 billion Snapchat video views, both networks’ users are generating content on a daily basis. As active user bases continue to skyrocket, so does the competition for their attention.

It should come as no surprise that Instagram took direct aim at Snapchat with its newest update called Instagram Stories. This new feature allows users to take photos and videos, edit with text and drawing tools, and upload in a slideshow format that disappears after 24 hours. Sound familiar? That’s because it’s a near identical copy of Snapchat’s concept and Stories feature.

While the debate over which platform will reign supreme is yet to be determined, one thing does remain clear – a good story, well told, can captivate the world. Storytelling has always been an effective way for people to communicate, connect, and process information. For event professionals, storytelling can be a powerful tactic for marketing their event and boosting attendee engagement.

Here are three lessons we can all learn from this battle of social media stories:

In the Moment

Both Instagram and Snapchat stories focus on sharing “in the moment” scenes from users’ lives. When marketing your events, utilize these networks to showcase moments from your event planning journey. Go behind the scenes on your venue site visit or create a mini-documentary of how you developed an event agenda. Attendees will be excited and eager to peek into your life of event planning. When thinking about onsite engagement, focus on creating moments that attendees will want to capture. Whether it’s a selfie mirror or an interactive digital display, build moments into your event that attendees can’t help but share on social media.

Informality & Authenticity

With so much online critique, it’s easy to obsess over the idea of a picture-perfect version of our events. This is why both Instagram and Snapchat stories are a great place for even the most amateur social media marketers to jump in! There is a level of informality encouraged with both story features. Whether untangling badge lanyards or working (and re-working) room layouts, take advantage of the casualness of stories to truly showcase every aspect of your event. This will provide attendees an authentic view of everything you do to create an unforgettable event experience.

Personal Messaging

There has been a significant and rapid shift of users from public social media to private messaging apps according to a recent Business Insider report. Both Instagram and Snapchat stories took note of this trend and have incorporated the feature to communicate privately in addition to public broadcasting. By tapping into the existing desire to connect 1-on-1, event marketers can use mobile apps and social media to facilitate communication and increase attendee participation. Meetings are meant to be social experiences, so event marketers should make it easy for attendees to communicate instantly and personally.

Have you tapped into the power of storytelling? Will you be using Snapchat or Instagram stories? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below!


Emily Vera

Written by Emily Vera

Emily is the Social Media Team Lead at Cvent. She helps hospitality, travel, & event professionals adopt social media strategies that enhance the meeting experience and drive engagement. A graduate from the College of William & Mary with a degree in History, Emily is a fluent hashtag speaker and amateur photographer. Connect with her on Twitter @Social_Em or Instagram @Emily__Fritz!