snapchat and instagram stories for photographers
Snapchat and Instagram Stories… two platforms, similar in style, but completely different in terms of followers and content.  Which should you be using for your photography business?  Well, the answer isn’t as clear as you may think.  But, let’s figure it out together, shall we, Sparkles?!

As most of us know, Snapchat has been the somewhat underground app of choice for the millennial market {and for those of us who love a fancy filter – can I get an amen?!}.  Recently, in their continuing effort to dominate social media, Facebook {which also owns Instagram} tried to acquire Snapchat.  But that, my friends, was a no-go.  Still irritated for losing NFL live-streaming to Twitter, Mr. Zuckerburg decided to do his own fancy thing and subsequently developed Instagram Stories.  You mess with the bull, you get the horns, right?!  LOL!

So here we are.  As entrepreneurs we have a new dilemma of our own – Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories. What’s best and who is doing what? Assemble, Sparkles, because I’m about to tell all!


Let’s talk about the difference – Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories.

What are Instagram Stories, anyways?  If you’ve been in total denial that there’s really another new social app that you’ve gotta learn, let me fill you in.  IG Stories are fabulous little streams of quick photos and video clips; accumulating for your brand over a 24 hour period – essentially the highlight reel of your day.  While I’m not going to go into all the specifics now, if you want to learn more check out this little announcement directly from IG and this tutorial from one of my coaches, Sue B Zimmerman.  Eerily similar to Snapchat, isn’t it?  That’s no accident.

sparkle society snapcodeNow, I know many of you are straight-up ignoring Snapchat.  I see you.  You can’t pretend it doesn’t exist, because this little social platform is really starting to build momentum for businesses.  So no matter your reasoning, you’ve at least gotta know what the heck it is!  What is snapchat?  A fun video and photo platform, where photos and videos disappear after viewing.  Let’s be honest, Snapchat originally had a bad rap for less-than-desirable online behaviors {and rightfully, so}.  But this social media youngster has turned it’s behavior around and is starting to change the game.  Click here to get the full scoop directly from Snapchat or screenshot this Snapcode to see how I’m using it for my own business!


Why Snapchat and Instagram Stories both Rock for Business:

  • Using these snippet-like platforms, you can post more frequently.

    These little peeks into your life become the story of your day and viewers get to enjoy your day with you. You can also feel free to post more often without losing subscribers.  Because let’s be honest, if you’re posting more than one or two photos from the same event on Insta… I’m gonna unsubscribe {and so does everyone else}!

  • It completes the picture.

    Think of it as insider-access/backstage passes into your business and your life. We all know when people know, like, and trust you, it’s a great way to get more sales.

  • It shows the personal side of our lives, and business.

    My rule is, you can post personal snippets and stories as long as it makes sense to showcase to alongside your brand. Think of it this way – if you’re at your son’s football game, you can post a photo/video {but not because your son’s team is awesome – post about the use of light; your lens; your settings; your new camera bag that made it so easy to tote gear onto the field}. You have to come full-circle, with your posts; if you don’t, subscribers will drop-off. They are following you for a reason. If that reason leaves, so do your subscribers and so does your engagement.

Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories – what should we know?

  • immerse workshops social media for photographersSnapchat is typically a younger crowd – think teenagers and millenials. It’s a fun and playful platform {have you seen the dog filter? How about the scary Halloween ones?} Snapchatters are typically logging on to chit-chat and have fun… they’re not really there to make business decisions.
  • Instagram is more of a younger crowd, but not as young as Snapchat. Teenagers are hiking over to Snapchat {or some place their parents aren’t}. It’s a perfect platform for photographers because it showcases photos and videos. People on IG follow you because they want to make a business decision. SO, with that in mind, stay focused! As I mentioned above, you can include some personal information, but you need to keep it infrequent; relative to your business in some way; and streamlined.
  • Instagram business accounts provide you with tons of insights about your followers and engagement.  With Snapchat, you don’t have as many insights unless you’re being very strategic and it’s harder to follow your overall effectiveness in the long-run.
  • A word of caution for those of you who are sensitive to unfollows: if you use Instagram Stories, you should expect a substantial drop in your numbers. But, before you deactivate, let me tell you why you should stay on-board. People who have followed you on a whim {who probably stopped engaging months ago and haven’t seen your posts in forever} will suddenly be seeing you frequently at the top of their Instagram Stories.  They may have forgotten who you are {it sucks, but it’s the truth}, wonder why the heck they’re seeing you in their Stories feed and may choose to unfollow. Howevah…you WANT quality subscribers who are actively engaged. So, while we may have a teensy heartbreak at the sign of un-follows, you have to keep in mind that those who leave probably weren’t invested in the first place. Stay on track, be consistent and know that those who are most likely to invest are going to stick around!

Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories: How do we decide what’s right for us?

So all this is great, right?  But how the heck do we actually make a decision about which platform to use?!  With so many options, you’ve got to be wise with your time and make an informed decision.  The answer will vary from photographer to photographer and business to business, but if you answer these questions, you’ll make the right choice:

  • Who is your audience?

    If you’re serving high schoolers and millenials – Snapchat is your game! If you’re serving families and brides – hop over to Instagram Stories more often.

  • What does your audience want?

    Do they want to know your every move? Do they want to see the shoes your picked out for the wedding you’re shooting next weekend? Highlights from your last photo session? Your favorite client work? Or, do they just want to see those fab finished photos? You, my sweet sparkle, need to evaluate, and decide.

  • What are your intentions?

    Are you trying to reach and grow your fan base as a senior photog (Snapchat!)? Are you trying to teach and educate (Instagram Stories!)?

  • What do your numbers say?

    Watch your own numbers; know what your clients are doing; rely on trial and error to make your own best-yes decision when it comes to Snapchat vs. Instagram Stories and what will be best for your business.


Make an informed decision and decide if Snapchat or Instagram Stories is better for you and your clients!

instagram stories for photographersIn the end, it’s all about what you need and what your clients need. For me personally, I use Snapchat for Immerse Photography. For Immerse Workshops, it’s all Insta-stories {join me here}. But you have to make the best decision for you.  You have to know your business; know your clients; and proceed accordingly to keep up with the social media game we all know and love.

Did you find this helpful???  Did it help you make a choice, or feel confident in the choice you’ve already made?  If so, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!  And, if you’re a photographer looking for more education and encouragement, I’d love to have you join Sparkle Society. This is a free space on the interwebs, designed to empower and encourage photographers just like your #hawt sparkly self.

I want you to join us where you’ll be loved and valued as a member forevermore… plus I’ll send you a free mini-workshop all about social media!!!  So that’s kinda fun too {I’ll teach you about engagement, Instagram bios & money-saving Facebook tricks}!  You don’t need to go this journey alone, will you join us?!

immerse workshops cyrissa



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