Wicked! So Instagram recently released view count for videos. This has finally enabled us at Wicked Society to compare the engagement rate between Instagram and Snapchat for brands – how many of your followers actually watch your content?
Wicked Society’s Key findings:
- More than 4x higher engagement rate on Snapchat
- Number of followers is irrelevant when estimating reach
- A brand can have the same reach with 100 000 followers on Snapchat as with 2 million on Instagram
Instagram has revealed that they will roll out some new cool features for video. According to the company’s blog post, the amount of time people spend watching videos on Instagram has jumped up 40 percent. “We are seeing wildly creative and engaging first-person narratives come to life on Instagram.” Up first is view count for videos that might encourage users to share more video content when knowing how many actually sees it. Instagram benefits from it by increasing video content on the platform which makes the users accustomed to seeing it in their feed. This in turn opens up for a video-hungry audience that will be more open to consume video ads. Snapchat on the other hand is already displaying your unique views for every Snap being posted in your Story.
What counts as a view?
On Instagram a view is defined as a video being played for at least 3 seconds, identical to Facebooks approach. On Snapchat a unique view is generated the first time a user actively starts watching a Snap.
Why Snapchat is often overlooked
For a long time Wicked Society has been pushing the power of a view on Snapchat. Because you have not been able to see how many actually watches your content on Instagram, the unique number of views on Snapchat is far to often being compared to the number of followers on Instagram when estimating reach. We have always emphasized the importance of focusing on the engagement rate among the followers so we love Instagrams strategic move of releasing view count. Often brands and influencers Snapchat accounts are being overlooked when doing a marketing campaign due to not having nearly as many unique views for their snaps as they have followers on Instagram. Instagram accounts – both brands and influencers – may have many followers but how many actually sees your content? Now we know for video which allows us to investigate the engagement rate between the number of followers and how many actually watches your video content on Snapchat and Instagram. Here are Wicked Society’s findings.
100% more activity on Snapchat
We found that engagement is higher on Snapchat than on Instagram. A lot higher! By using our partner Snaplytic’s marketing platform for Snapchat we compared the highest view count on a video on Snapchat versus that on Instagram for the last two months. We analyzed 21 brands of all sizes (national brands to Fortune 500 companies) from industries such as retail, lifestyle, automotive and sports. The goal was for Wicked Society to determine the engagement rate – how many percent of your followers who actually watch your content. We compared the brands highest view count on an Instagram video for the last two month to the number of followers. We did the same on Snapchat by comparing the highest view count on a snap to the number of followers. We found that the average engagement rate for the brands most watched videos on Instagram was 27% compared to an average engagement rate of 61% on Snapchat.
4x higher engagement rate on Snapchat
For five of the brands analyzed we had enough information to see their average view count for their last 5 videos on each platform. This enabled Wicked Society to make sure that the overall comparison is reliable. The average engagement rate was the same for Snapchat (61%) but dropped on Instagram (13%).
One could argue that you follow less brands on Snapchat and therefore are more loyal and interested in their content, on the other hand you do not need to follow a brand on Instagram to see their content (unless they have private settings turned on). Only one brand in the report had a higher view count on their best performing video on Instagram than it had followers.
That fewer followers often lead to a higher engagement rate is true to some extent but even when comparing brands who have similar audience sizes on both Instagram (59 032 followers) and Snapchat (63 510 followers) we can see a significant higher engagement rate on Snapchat (74%) vs Instagram (23%).
Does 100 000 Snapchatters equal 2 million Insta followers?
The true power of Snapchat is revealed when we see that the number of followers is irrelevant when estimating reach. One of the brands we analyzed has roughly the same view count on Snapchat (47 176) as on Instagram (65 815). This becomes very interesting when we know that they have 100 000 followers on Snapchat and 2 million followers on Instagram. Their engagement rate is 45% on Snapchat and only 3% on Instagram. You would say that their Snapchat is tiny compared to their Instagram but the truth is that they almost have the same reach even though the audience size is 20x larger on Instagram. One could say that 1 Snapchat follower equal as much as 20 Instagram followers when we look at reach. We have found a lot more similar cases during our research such as one brands Snapchat with 7 000 followers has a similar reach to its Instagram account with 186 000 followers.
Focus on the engagement rate
We want to prove that you should not rely on followers when estimating reach. It is an impressing number on a piece of paper but not more than that. Throw a three pointer with it from your desk into the bin and start to focus on the engagement rate. Snapchat is more useful than most believe so use the advantage of being an early adapter to the platform and build your presence today. The high engagement rate proves that their is a lot of interest to interact with brands on the platform.
How about influencers?
We can see the same pattern for private accounts where the engagement rate is higher on Snapchat as well. We help a lot of our clients partnering with influencers and you can do a lot of cost-effective collaborations by using their Snapchat accounts. Let’s take a quick look on one of the lifestyle influencers we analyzed just to give you an idea. She has 400 000 followers on Instagram but only an average of 27 500 views on her videos. Compare this to her 12 000 views on Snapchat where she only has a fraction of the followers.
Video content is the hottest trend within social media right now and it is no surprise that Instagram is adapting to the trend. Now users on Snapchat view 10 billion videos a day and with the high engagement rate they are challenging the other players for real.