Showdown: Twitter vs. Instagram

Oct 03, 2012 admin

They say a picture is worth more than a thousand words – or in this case, 140 characters. This August, for the first time U.S. smartphone owners visited Instagram from their smartphones more frequently and for longer periods of time than they visited Twitter. Data from comScore’s mobile measurement report claimed that Instagram had an average of 7.3 million daily active users (DAUs) while Twitter had 6.9 million DAUs during the same time period. In overall visitor numbers, Twitter still wins (29 million unique U.S. smartphone-based visitors in August, versus Instagram’s 22 million.) But as Mike Isaac at AllThingsD reports, these numbers indicate that “Instagram’s users appear to be returning to the site on a more frequent basis, and spending longer on the site each time they return.”

There have been a number of articles on the implications of these numbers in terms of Facebook’s mobile monetization strategy, but what about the implications for your company’s social strategy? As Instagram continues to gain traction, it makes more and more sense as a channel to build your brand and engage your target audiences. Instagram is a natural fit for consumer brands and organizations, but there are plenty of ways that B2B and smaller enterprises can leverage the hipsterrific images – and my co-worker Jen DeAngelis has written an excellent guide on this! Here let’s dive into the differences between the two channels and some ideas on how B2B companies can use them both for success.



Your View on the World: Twitter is excellent for sharing links to interesting news articles and offering your point of view on stories, trends and conversations in your industry. It’s a quick way to directly insert your point of view on the world in front of the audiences you care about. A View Into Your World: One of the most appealing aspects of Instagram is the sense of intimacy it provides. Everyone loves the feeling that they are catching a glimpse of something they wouldn’t usually have access to– a moment, a thought process, even a backroom. Whether it’s a whiteboard brainstorming session, product components in development or a behind-the-scenes area (think factory, server room, CEO’s desk drawer…), think of Instagram as a window into the inner workings of your company’s world.
Snippets:You’re busy, and your target audience is too. People love quick bites of information, how-to tips, inspirational quotes, jokes – you name it. And that’s exactly what Twitter is perfect for. This type of use has become commonplace, but don’t forget to think a bit outside the box. What about quotes “overheard” from around your office, or maybe tid-bits from a particularly compelling speech or presentation. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of the textual nature of Twitter – witty titles, clever wordplay and hashtags can go a long way in enlivening your content and encouraging engagement. Snapshots: It’s pretty self-explanatory how Instagram fits with consumer facing brands, especially in visual-heavy industries like fashion, food and retail. But even bits and bytes can be beautiful – especially with the help from the nifty and quick photo editing tools of Instagram. Making this work is about understanding who you are trying to reach, and what they will find compelling.
Creating a Unique Voice: The tone of your tweets “says” a lot about your company, brand and understanding of your audience. For example, AMC’s lighthearted tweeting struck just the right chord with their followers. True, you only have a140 characters to work with. But that gives you plenty of space to create a brand voice with personality – is it serious? Sassy? Bold? Conservative? Uber-techy, eco-friendly, reliable, off-beat? Our client [x+1] even created a Twitter “personality” for their technology! Putting a Face to the Name: Does your UI engineer wear band t-shirts every day? Maybe folks in your customer service department have some personal desk knick-knacks. Introducing your team – especially through unexpected visuals that show a bit of personality – lets your users and prospects engage with the people that make your company so special.


Topics: Instagram, Twitter, Social Media

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