Unless you’ve been secluded from the internet the past eight months, you know that Instagram has cloned Snapchat with their very own Instagram Stories. It’s like they say, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”

And now, ‘beat them’ is exactly what Instagram appears to be doing. In fact, since Stories release last year, Snapchat’s growth has slowed by 82 percent. While there’s no evidence Instagram Stories was the cause, there is high correlation between the popularity of Stories and the slowdown of Snapchat. Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, recently released that 200 million people use Stories daily – that’s more than Snapchat’s combined audience!

So, what does this mean for brands? Should you stop using one for the other? Only your resources and marketing plan can you tell that – BUT we’ve found Instagram Stories to be better for some things like event social, and here’s why.

Hey wait, aren’t Instagram Stories and Snapchat basically the same thing?

I know what you’re thinking, “They have identical features, why is this better?” Stories actually have a few key features that Snapchat lacks, and it makes all the difference.

Location tags

Once you take a photo, video, or Boomerang, you have the option to swipe up and add a location tag. In your story people can click on the tag and it will take them to a map, and show content that was tagged at that same location.

Why does this come in handy?
Someone watching your story can find out exactly where your event is taking place, and find others who attended to give them a serious case of FOMO.


Just like you can tag people in a post, you can tag them in your story. Simply hit the @ symbol and start typing their Instagram handle. Your followers can then click on the handle and it will take them to that specific account.

Why does this come in handy?
This helps foster a culture of inclusion, rather than the sort of secrecy Snapchat provides. For example, if you have a presenter at your event you can easily mention them in your story, allowing users to go directly to their page without having to find it on their own. The same goes with mentioning products/brands – users can easily be directed to the Instagram account.

Have an exclusive product you want to launch at your event or a blog post you want to promote? You can now add links to your story. After taking your photo or video, tap the link icon in the upper right and insert the desired URL. If a link is added to a story, you will see text at the bottom that says, “see more.” All you have to do is swipe up, and you’ll be directed to the website in-app. However, it’s important to note that links are currently being tested and only available to verified accounts.

Why does this come in handy?
If you’re one of the chosen few who can use this feature right now, it’s amazing. You can easily direct people to your website for product launches, blog posts, and more, all within the app. It removes so many steps for users, allowing the possibility for web conversions to increase.

Links Blog from Social Media Beast on Vimeo.


If you have a public Instagram account, users can find your story by searching your handle. If you have a popular or trending story, it will show up at the top of the explore page – allowing people to find you. The order in which you show up at the top of someone’s feed is determined by an algorithm that takes into consideration your level of interaction with the user, among other factors.

Why does this come in handy?
If I see my friend post a picture at your event, I can easily search your handle and click on your story to see the party for myself. No need to figure out your snapchat name, then add you, then scroll through to find you in my Snapchat feed. Less steps = higher engagement.

Searchability Blog from Social Media Beast on Vimeo.

I’m listening, tell me more…

Simply knowing the differences between Instagram Stories and Snapchat is not enough to develop engagement, awareness, and interest in your brand – you’ve gotta be social savvy. Here are a few ways to increase engagement through Stories for your next event:


Let everyone know you’re going to have an awesome event coming up with a cute photo or video, and tell your followers to watch your story on the big day to get in on all the action.

BTS content

Snag photos and videos from behind the scenes throughout the event, and only post them on your story to give your followers an exclusive backstage pass.
Keynote Introductions
Allow keynote speakers to access your story to give a short video introduction of themselves before the event. This allows your potential audience to receive a little background and insight. Make sure to mention them in the video!

Guest Contest

Get attendees to post to their stories by creating a contest. The guest with the cutest or most compelling story can win by using the event hashtag and mentioning the host within their posts. This generates more awareness for your event by not only showing to your followers, but their followers as well.

Mini Q&A

Have people submit a question by using the message feature on one of your photos in your story. Respond in a quick video format by announcing the person’s Instagram handle, and answering the question.

At the end of the day, just remember to have fun and get creative with your Instagram Stories! As a new feature, the format is constantly changing and improving. If all of this sounds like too much work for you, let the Social Media Beasts take over.