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WWPR’s Advanced Snapchat and Instagram Workshop last week provided an in-depth overview of how to use both social media platforms and leverage the best new strategies for executing business goals.

Social Driver’s Sara Tuman, digital strategist, and Lucy Mink, digital content studio lead, kicked off the workshop by explaining the ins and outs of communicating on the platforms and why the initial goals of the platforms remain important for planning strategies

Here were a few key takeaways Tuman and Mink shared during the workshop on each platform for PR and digital strategy professionals who want to be in-the-know:

Snapchat

According to the duo, Snapchat’s main function has always been as a user-to-user messaging app, even though it has evolved into a key platform for businesses targeting the younger generations.

Snapchat’s main claim-to-fame is creating messages that disappear, with an emphasis on fun with the ability to add stickers, write, and draw on photos sent. Snapchat also added features including filters and lenses that increased the ability to customize photos, and later ‘Memories’ to save past snaps and photos from your camera roll.

While there are multiple ways to use Snapchat for promotional purposes, Tuman and Mink gave a few examples of how geotargeted filters and lenses can be a great way to increase brand awareness, expand your reach, and promote a large multimedia campaign.

Instagram

Instagram, on the other hand, is a rapidly changing social app with an original goal of connecting people through photo sharing. While Instagram began as more of a static collection of filtered photos, it has expanded to include more dynamic types of visual storytelling.

The platform now includes Stories and live real-time videos that are similar to Snapchat’s snaps in that they disappear after 24 hours. These Instagram Stories live in the top bar of your Instagram feed, and do not appear organically in the feed. This can increase engagement with followers who regularly choose to engage with your content, as they have to select to watch your Instagram story.

While Instagram doesn’t host its own advertising platform, brands can create ads for Instagram through Facebook’s Ad Manager. Tuman and Mink pinpointed link clicks, awareness, and engagements as some of the most effective goals when advertising on Instagram. Stories can also be a good way to organically generate conversation around a time-sensitive offering or special, or promote an event by sharing more content than you would normally share on the platform.

Despite the platforms’ different approaches, Snapchat and Instagram both rely on visual storytelling to drive key messages, and can be a great way to engage younger demographics and connect existing campaigns in an integrated way.

bBrittany-floyd-sara-tuman-lucy-mink

During the Q&A portion of the workshop, Brittany Floyd, senior associate, digital strategy at Burson-Marsteller and WWPR’s digital strategy board member, moderated an even more in-depth conversation between the presenters and the audience to cover topics. The discussion focused on actionable tips ranging from the balance between paid and organic content, how to measure effectiveness without analytics, and how to build up a following on each platform.

Here are a few DO’s and DON’Ts that apply to Instagram and Snapchat from the panel discussion:

  • DO apply prior content knowledge on what works and what doesn’t for your brand to your new platforms
  • DON’T post content your audience won’t care about
  • DO pay attention to where your audience is and how they can be best reached
  • DON’T engage with trolls – trust us.
  • DO keep track of your posting cadence by figuring out what works based on your followers/engagement levels
  • DON’T “be a creep” by sharing user content without introducing yourself or building the relationship first
  • DO promote your new Instagram and Snapchat pages on your other social media channels
  • And, as always, DON’T act fake or use an inauthentic voice – your followers will know

As changes to Instagram and Snapchat happen rapidly, it’s more important for digital professionals to keep up with the platforms. If you missed last week’s workshop, be sure to check out Social Driver’s live video of the Advanced Snapchat and Instagram Workshop and stay tuned for the next workshop on digital strategies offered by WWPR.

 

Article by Melinda Tolliver, a digital communications specialist who has worked in a variety of settings throughout her career. She loves the thrill of stringing together powerful, eloquent messages in under 140 characters, and creating thoughtful visuals to go with it. Her current position is with the Association of American Law Schools as a digitally-focused communications coordinator. Follow her tweets and ‘grams at @mmptolliver.