Instagram Stories: Pros & Cons

August 3, 2016

This is not my typical marketing mastermind blog post. It's on my personal blog, it's heavily opinionated & barely educational, yet you may learn something new.

Yesterday, Instagram released Instagram Stories, much like Snapchat, however there are some major differences, and benefits to using Instagram Stories.

Sure, everyone's first-ever Instagram story was a long the lines of:
  • "Bye-bye Snapchat"
  • "I forgot what app I was on"
  • "This seems really familiar"
  • "SnapGram?"
Congratulations, you're all familiar with apps that are similar to other apps. 

Honestly, who cares if snapchat thought of this first? Don't you know how much of a pain in the ass snapchat is to use?

All of my non-marketing friends, are constantly asking me how to use snapchat, how to find a user, how to make the puppy dog appear on their face, and many other features, that only someone like we marketers would know, because we spend so much time on it, and do a lot of trial and error, investigation and research on it, ourselves. 

Off the bat, I noticed my non-marketing, non-social media savvy friends posting Instagram Stories  -- it's THAT easy! After I posted my first story, I received several DMs stating "Thank God, now I don't have to download snapchat." 

I don't see a problem with downloading, being on or using snapchat; my mom is on it. Snapchat had a bad rap when it launched years ago, with the presumption from most that it was basically nudie-chat. Use it for what you want, nudies or marketing, but it's a great and fun tool. 

We're 24 hours into the app, and this is a brief list of my personal thoughts on pros and cons of Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat. Some are educational, some are marketing related, and some, I'm just throwing out there. Some of my pros may be your cons. All of the features below could definitely be divided into different buckets of pros and cons varying from an average-joe, to a celebrity, to a brand. 

  • Easily search & follow brands, friends, celebrities, etc. Good luck doing this on snapchat without googling "celebrity snapchat name," or adding someone that's not in your contacts list.
  • Intuitive & User Friendly You don't have to hope you're swiping the right way to find the main feed, your profile, your story, DMs and etc. With snapchat, hold your breath and hope you're swiping the right way and finding what you want to find. 
  • Prevent individuals from ever seeing your story, but still allow them to follow your posts. You have the ability to control who follows you on snapchat. On Instagram, if you're public, you either don't care who sees your posts (not stories), or you can block them entirely. On Instagram Stories, you can prevent an individual from being able to see your stories, but still see your posts. 
  • You already have an established audience. My favorite people and brands are on snapchat, but I'm never going to see their content, unless I sit down and Google every person and brand I can think of, to follow on snapchat. I'm pleased to see all of the brands that started posting stories yesterday, just as they do on snapchat, but their much larger audience didn't have to hunt them down to see it. This is a huge advantage over snapchat. Encourage your consumers to follow you on Instagram to see both daily posts, and behind the scenes in Instagram Stories. 2 benefits, one app. 
  • Facebook owns Instagram. Remember that, marketers? One word: Ads. 
  • Know who's looking at you. You can do this on snapchat, but half the time you're not going to know who someone is by their username. On Instagram Stories, you can see people who are viewing your story. Maybe they've never liked a photo of yours, but  now you know they are looking at you, and interested. From there, you can select a user who has viewed your story and hide your story from them, view their profile, follow them and etc... 
  • Ability to control who can reply to a story via DM. You can do this on snapchat. Typically, I have my settings set to allow message replies from people I follow, however you can allow them from everyone, or no one. 
  • No emoji, sticker or bitmoji overlay. This may be a CON to you, but I prefer stories from friends that aren't cluttered with unnecessary icons that make photos and videos look messy and busy.
  • Better pens. See below. Instagram Stories offers 3 different brush strokes, and the ability to choose the width. 

  • Can't send stories/moments to individuals. Not a big deal, to me. If there's a silly photo I want to send to my friends, it's usually via text or Facebook messenger. If there's a quick video I want to shoot and send to one person, I use snapchat. I view Instagram as a more sophisticated platform, and tend to use snapchat for funny filters, snarky videos and etc to my friends. 
  • No lenses or geofilters.  Again, not a huge deal, I think Instagram, as a whole, is more clean-cut, crisp and a more mature place to be. Let's keep snapchat, and continue to use the fun filters, lenses, geofilters, and funny videos there. 

I'm looking forward to seeing more content from my friends, and brands that I love, as well as less swiping! Stories are a great way to get to know people, especially ones you've been following for years, and only know them through photos (ex: bloggers). Yes, you can do this on snapchat, but good luck finding their username. 


Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer Recipe

July 22, 2016

I think I've tried every coffee creamer sold in stores. Every time, it seems to be too sweet or the flavors don't blend well with the flavors in coffee. Also, coffee creamers have so much sugar in them.

I've recently hopped on the coconut bandwagon (more in another post), after years of being turned off by it. I created a light coffee creamer with coconut milk, at home, and it's delicious. It's not too sweet, you can still enjoy the flavors in your coffee, with a hint of coconut. 

If you like to add at least something to your coffee, so it's not just black, this is for you. Don't worry, it doesn't have a strong coconut flavor & isn't overbearing. (I still can't drink coconut water). 

Have you made creamer at home? I'd love to see your recipes. 

recipe below

print recipe

Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer Recipe
  • 1 can Coconut Milk
  • 4 tbsp Natural Sweetner
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla or Almond Extract
1. Blend coconut milk, sweetener (I used maple syrup), and extract 2. Pour desired amount into coffee. Store the rest in the refrigerator. 3. Shake well before each use.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 8 oz

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