Marketing to Generation Z


Knowing your target audience is important to effectively market your business. For example, audience members for an interior design business are typically going to look, and act, a lot differently than audience members for a company selling beef jerky. Defining your audience is key in getting your business’ message in front of people who are ready to engage and convert.

Just when you think you’ve mastered marketing to Millennials, a new generation comes running through the doors full speed ahead. Allow us to introduce you to Gen Z.

Who is Gen Z?

Gen Z is the generation born between 1996 and 2012. There are over 23 million people in the U.S. alone who identify as members of Gen Z and it is considered America’s most diverse, multicultural generation to date.

Unlike Millennials, Gen Z is characterized by their initiative and entrepreneurial skills. They grew up during tough times (post 9/11, the recession) and over half of the generation is already actively saving for retirement, in fear that they will never have social security to claim.

Celebrity endorsements really resonated with a Millennial audience and this remains true when talking to members of Gen Z as well. But, Gen Z puts importance on transparency so if celebrities are in the ads they’re seeing, they prefer the endorser discloses that they’re getting paid to talk about a brand or product. Authenticity is (major) key! 

What social platforms do they prefer?

While Gen Z spends most of their time on YouTube, they do still utilize other social platforms – but for different reasons.

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Source: Defy Media Acumen Survey (March 2017)

They’re most likely to keep in touch with friends on Snapchat, while Facebook is where they keep tabs on Grandma. YouTube comes out on top for where Gen Z is interested in getting shopping recommendations (product reviews) and how-to videos (tutorials).

Gen Z loves technology – and as they should. They grew up with accessibility to technology and don’t know a world without the internet, cell phones or Mark Zuckerberg. Gen Z’s dependency on tech has already impacted the way businesses are marketing their products and services. They consume information online – with YouTube leading the charge. YouTube is how members of Gen Z learn how to change a tire, bake a cake, learn an instrument, and more! In fact, 95% of Gen Z uses YouTube regularly and 50% believe they can’t live without it.

With so much focus on digital, traditional media (TV) has taken a back seat. But don’t get it confused, video consumption continues to grow – it’s just on more non-traditional platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and ConnectedTV. In fact, these platforms are instrumental in getting video messages across to members of Gen Z.

How do I reach Gen Z?

Gen Z is really in-tune with brands that are being genuine and authentic in their marketing, more so than any other generation. They identify and focus on meaningful brand interactions and are most likely to dismiss marketing efforts that come across as insincere. Because Gen Z prioritizes transparency, social channels, like Instagram, give consumers the opportunity to

learn and interact with businesses more organically. Gen Z prefers unobtrusive brand messaging, which is evident in the rise, and success, of influencer marketing.

Your business can also reach members of Gen Z by creating a YouTube channel and uploading engaging and informative content. Or, if you’re looking for paid advertising opportunities, YouTube TrueView and/or Bumper Ads will deliver your messages on platforms Gen Z is already using in a cost-effective manner.

To put together a comprehensive marketing approach for Gen Z, talk with the TAG Team. We build brands that matter.

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Digital Tactics


Often, the biggest hurdle for advertisers is making sure that the right message is seen by the right people at the right time. And over the years, advertisers and marketers have developed and implemented creepy, but cool, ways to make that happen through the use of different digital tactics.

Digital targeting takes on many different forms and can be executed multiple ways – it really just depends on what’s best for your message and your target audience. Below are five digital tactics that the TAG team has found extremely effective.

1. Mobile Targeting

Advertisers have the ability to target their intended audience through their mobile devices. Targeting ads on a mobile device are cool because you can capture, or target, people who have visited your competitors – online or in-store – with your messaging. Mobile targeting also allows you to vary your messages by time of day, what they’ve searched for online, or what’s happening with the weather!

2. YouTube

Bumper ads are the 6-second, non-skippable ads that play before a user’s video on YouTube. Because of their length, bumper ads are great for building brand awareness and they act as a nice reinforcement for other digital strategies. Another digital tactic we love is YouTube TrueView which are longer in length and more educational than a bumper ad. TrueView ads are connected to Google, meaning you can get extremely granular with your targeting because it knows your audience’s search history and patterns. Just be careful your messages don’t become too targeted because you may miss someone in the upper funnel.

3. Native Advertising

Native ads are great because they take on the form of whatever website a user is visiting, making your advertisement come across as less intrusive and more conversational. Click-through-rates for native ads can perform up to 10x higher than other display ads, just make sure that your ad doesn’t come off as click-bait.

4. ConnectedTV

Connected TV is defined as a television set that is connected to the internet via built-in capabilities, a media streaming device, gaming console, or Blu-ray player, and facilitates the delivery of streaming video content. As of right now, there are three different ways to advertise on ConnectedTV: in-stream video, interactive pre-roll and home screen placements.

Creepy but cool, right?! What’s even crazier is that’s only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to digital advertising tactics! If you’re wanting to take your digital strategy to the next level, drop the TAG team a line and let’s talk.

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Croken Joins TAG as Senior Vice President of Business Development

Ken Croken_v2Effective February 5, 2018, Ken Croken is the Senior Vice President of Business Development at TAG. He joins the agency after serving as the Chief Marketing Officer at Genesis Health System for 15 years.

“I’m incredibly excited to begin working with TAG,” Croken said. “This agency is growing its capabilities and innovative strategies every day and I am looking forward to creating new business opportunities for such a talented team.”

Croken will be responsible for business development in the region and beyond, bringing more than 25 years of strategic communication and marketing experience in the consumer technology, entertainment, legal, professional services, and political arenas to the TAG team.

“Ken’s addition to TAG will prove invaluable in our efforts to better serve current and new clients,” said Mike Vondran, TAG CEO.

During his time at Genesis, Croken was instrumental in the health system’s branding efforts including its logo signage. He is also credited for implementing new employee engagement programs.

Online Reputation Management


Over the years, the digital sphere has evolved into a soapbox for people’s opinions and experiences with brands and businesses. And now, more than ever, those same opinions and experiences are directly impacting whether potential customers and/or clients do business with you. In fact, 90% of consumers read online reviews before even visiting a business.

Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, people are talking about you online, and while you can’t control what people say, you can control your response while maintaining your values with effective online reputation management.

Be the first to know what your customers and clients think.

Between Yelp!, Google My Business, Facebook, Twitter, etc. there are countless online spaces for your audience to speak about you, be it positive or negative. And while you can’t necessarily control what they post, you can control when you see it and how you react. Be the first to see when someone is talking about your business online by setting up Google alerts, checking in on hashtags and tags on social media and monitoring reviews at least twice per day. That way, you’ll be able to respond in a timely, professional manner to squash any untruths, or praise any wins!

You can’t control what people say, but you can control how you react.

We’ve all heard of internet trolls – people with negative dispositions who rapidly type away inflammatory and ficticious claims against people, news and businesses. Or, there’s the emotionally fueled review of a one-time experience. How do you distinguish between the two? By treating both claims as important and valid.

You know the old saying, “Never wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty and the pig enjoys it?” Remember this before you sit down to address negative comments or reviews. It’s important to respond to all comments the same – in a professional, respectful and timely manner. Wink® Frozen Desserts does a great job at responding to negative comments about their brand.

Know what you’re posting.

Educate yourself daily on trending hashtags and newsworthy stories. A post from your business could come off as insensitive or offensive, even without that being the intent. Be sure the content that you share goes through an internal, or even external, approval process to make sure nothing slips through the cracks.

Train your staff.

This means your whole staff. Every one of your employees is a direct reflection of your company so the experience someone has inside of your building should also mirror the experience they have with your brand online. Make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to your customer service expectactions to ensure a seamless experience, no matter the place!

Need some help? TAG’s team is ready to help you with your online reputation management. Our phones are buzzing around the clock with emails, messages, comments, reviews, and more and we’re committed to providing professional, timely responses. Learn more about how TAG can help with your online reputation management below!

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Changes to the Facebook Algorithm: What it Means for Your Business

Changes to the Facebook Algorithm: What it Means for Your Business

The news is everywhere: Mark Zuckerberg made an announcement last Thursday that Facebook users would begin to see more posts from friends and family, and fewer posts from brands, celebrities and news outlets.

The changes are intended to maximize the amount of content with “meaningful interaction” that people consume on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, said in an interview.

But, what does this mean for your business’s Facebook presence?

In the simplest terms, it means that your page’s organic reach will once again be declining and fewer fans will automatically see your content displayed in their feeds. Although these changes may seem daunting, there are several ways to continue to use Facebook to keep your brand in front of your target audience.

 

  1. Tell a Story
    There is nothing more personal than telling a story, and personal stories of staff, customers and your community will continue to be content that engages, resonates and creates a positive feeling amongst your audience. Find creative ways to portray your messages via stories that inspire, engage and incite emotion.
  2. User-Generated Content
    “The importance of user-generated content, which has already been proven to be the No. 1 driver of social influence on purchase decisions, is greater than ever if posts from friends and family are going to be prioritized above all else,” said Katherine Hays, CEO, Vivoom.
  1. Engage!
    Likes, comments and shares will continue to be a way to push your content into your audiences’ feeds. The more likes, comments and shares, the more relevant the content. The fewer the engagements, the less likely it is for your audience to see your posts.
  2. Video Features
    While Facebook may diminish the amount of views on some video content, like publishers who just overlay text on stock video, thoughtful and engaging video content will continue to thrive on the platform. In order to stand out, utilize features such as native video and live video to differentiate your message in an engaging format.
  3. Effective Advertising
    Get the right message in front of your target audience through Facebook Advertising. But don’t just boost a post to a generic audience, find the right type of Ad and narrow your audience to ensure your message resonates.Visit our blog for our Five Rules of Facebook Advertising for more details.

 

 

At TAG, we take social media very seriously, and it’s our job to stay on top of changes that affect businesses and brands across all platforms.  If you have questions about what this new algorithm means for your business, let’s talk. Our team of social media strategists will help you put a plan in place to make sure your content hits the mark!

 

 

Advertising On Connected TV

If you ask any Millennial or Gen Z’er what it is that they do for fun, a healthy majority will list off curling up on a couch and binge-watching their favorite tv show.

More and more people are turning away from traditional TV and are tuning in via Connected TV (Netflix, Hulu, Sling, YouTube, HBO GO, etc.).

What is Connected TV?

According to Centro, Connected TV is defined as a television set that is connected to the internet via built-in capabilities, a media streaming device, gaming console, or Blu-ray player, and facilitates the delivery of streaming video content.

Right now, 69% of households have a Connected TV, with that number projected to increase year-over-year. Similar to traditional TV’s audience, Connected TV users are using the platforms to watch full episodes of their favorite shows and to tune-in to live events like The World Series and The Emmys.

While the audience that consumes traditional TV is skewed older, Connected TV’s audience is younger and more affluent with a median age of 31. So, if your advertising tactics are strictly focused on traditional TV, you’re missing out on reaching an important audience.

Right now, there are three different ways to reach your audience using Connected TV advertising: in-stream video, interactive pre-roll and home screen placements.

In-Stream Video

In-stream video ads are :15s or :30s non-skippable ads that play either before the user’s program or during breaks. This kind of advertisement is a really great way to repurpose spots created for TV to earn impressions and reach other demographics.

Interactive Pre-Roll

Just like in-stream video, interactive pre-roll ads play before and during the user’s show, but it gives the user the option to interact with the ad. In the example below, Snickers made a game out of their interactive pre-roll ad for YouTube which ends up not feeling like an ad at all, but rather a fun and memorable interaction with a brand.

Home Screen Placements

This option is the least intrusive ad type on Connected TV. These ads are placed on the home screen of a Connected TV app and have the capabilities to feature interactive calls-to-action like, “Click to Learn More.”

Let’s Get Connected

So where do you start? First, define your audiences. Are your clients or consumers viewing more traditional or Connected TV?

Then, figure out the goal of your messaging. Do you want to send your audience members to a landing page and collect leads or are you more interested in earning impressions?

Next, take a look at your options for Connected TV platforms. For example, Netflix is still an advertising-free platform whereas Hulu and YouTube are not.

Finally, it’s time to put together a creative and memorable ad to serve to your audience. That’s where TAG comes in. Let’s talk about your digital strategy and figure out a campaign to deliver measurable results.

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Recipe: Easy & Basic Caramel Apple Pecan Bars

Bundle up and head to your nearest apple orchard, because we’re in the mood for baking!

To continue with the basic theme, Anne and I decided to treat you to one of our favorite Pinterest recipes that will have even your harshest critics coming back for seconds.

We present: Caramel Apple Pecan Bars, a recipe courtesy of The Gunny Sack!

To get started, you’ll need:

  • 1 Spice Cake mix
  • 1 Stick butter, softened
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 Granny Smith (green) apples
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 Teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

Extras:

  • Ice cream
  • Caramel sauce (we used Smucker’s Simple Delight Salted Caramel Topping)
  • Chopped pecans

Get Cooking:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F
  2. Combine cake mix, egg and butter and mix well in a medium bowl
  3. Line a 9 x 13″ pan with parchment paper and grease
  4. Pat the cake mixture into the pan
  5. Peel and chop the apples
  6. Combine apples, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg together in medium bowl and mix well
  7. Distribute coated apples evenly over the top of the cake mixture in pan
  8. Top with chopped pecans
  9. Drizzle whole can of sweetened condensed milk
  10. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes
  11. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream, caramel sauce and chopped pecans

…and voila! Just like that, you’ve mastered the art of baking!

Can’t get enough basic? Master these four digital elements to give your strategy the face-lift it needs this fall!

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Get To Know Latricia Jones

The face behind accounting at TAG.

 

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We sat down with our very own, Latricia Jones to get know what makes Latricia…well, Latricia.

 

We’re so glad you’re here, Latricia! Rumor has it you’re a Davenport native?

I am! I’ve lived in Davenport since ‘91, but moved away for a few years. Now I’m back!

We’re sure happy you decided to return. What’s one thing you missed while you were gone?

The farmer’s market and being able to go down by the riverfront anytime I want! I also love that there’s always something going on. From fairs to festivals, you can always find something to do.

We agree! What is the best thing to happen to you in the past month?

I found out I got this job! I was so excited to return to Davenport. I had a matter of days to pack and move here, but was so thrilled!

We may be a little biased, but we think TAG is a pretty great place to work. Why do you like working right in the heart of Davenport?

I like to walk down to the River Center and sit and eat lunch. Because TAG is located right downtown you always get the scoop on what’s going on.

 And your favorite part about working at TAG so far?

TAG gave me the opportunity to come back home!

…and what are you most excited for?

I am looking forward to seeing how TAG will help me grow professionally. I would love to see different aspects of the company and become well-rounded.

When the clock strikes 5 o’clock, where can we find you?

Half-way down the street. I always have a million things to do and a life that needs me. I might have to run to the store, clean, mow, cook dinner for my daughter…

 You’re making me hungry! What’s on the menu for tonight?

Italian parmesan crusted pork chops, some green beans, potatoes and rice…

And for dessert?

Peach cobbler!

Have room for one more? If you could cook a meal for anyone in the world who would it be?

I’d cook for my grandmother, to say thank you. I would make her a beef wellington, because it requires a lot of love and detail – it’s not cheap either! It’s not a meal you can just throw into the oven, you really have to take your time and put effort into it. I’d throw in her favorite sides, too!

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

It’s not really advice, but the best thing I’ve been told is “I knew you could do it, I never doubted you.” To me that was very encouraging because it reaffirmed the fact that I have cheerleaders right behind me cheering me on.

That’s such great advice. What’s one thing you’re most proud of accomplishing?

Going back to college. At the time I had to balance caring for a young daughter as a single parent and working three jobs to pay for school all while taking full-time classes. I don’t think anyone ever has an excuse not to go back to school, you can, it’s just not going to be easy.

Did you always know you wanted to get into accounting?

I have been good at math ever since I could count. My mom always told me I would do something with numbers. I’m pretty good with words too! My mom used to call me her “little dictionary.”

It sounds like you’re pretty close with your family. What’s your favorite family tradition?

Vacationing! We love to take big family vacations every couple of years.

Where’s next on the list of destinations?

We don’t have any plans right now, but I’ll go wherever they want to go. I’d really like to go to Fiji, but I’m saving for a house, so that comes first!

You’ve probably caught on by now, but here at TAG we love a good donut. So, we’re dying to know, are you a donut person?

I do like donuts! My favorite are glazed and cake!

 

We are so thrilled to welcome Latricia to the TAG family and know she will be such a great addition to our accounting team. Keep your eye peeled for more TAG employee highlights to come and while you’re waiting, check out our website to learn more about the talented individuals that make up TAG!

4 Basic Things Your Brand Needs to Excel at Digital

The fall season is the perfect time to embrace your inner basic. “Do you want whip cream with that pumpkin spice latte?” You bet your sweet Aunt Sally I do! Even when it comes to your digital strategy, think basic.

At TAG, when we talk about a digital strategy, we’re not simply talking about your website. It’s all of your digital components and how those components work together to deliver results.

Those components include social media, websites, analytics, digital ads, AdWords, etc. -  you get the picture. It’s a lot to think about and monitor, so start slow. Below is what the TAG team believes are the four basic elements your brand needs to master.

1 | Mobile Responsive Website

A mobile responsive website means that your website will be just as clear and easy to navigate on a computer, as it is on a smart phone or tablet. Mobile responsive sites aim to minimize resizing, panning and scrolling so that your consumer can have a seamless interaction with your site and its content.

According to Adobe, nearly 8 out of 10 consumers would stop engaging with a piece of content if it’s not displaying well on their device. And, with roughly 60% of all internet access attributed to mobile traffic (which will continue to grow), can your brand afford to not be mobile responsive?

Think of your own habits. We’re all busy and when you’re looking for information fast, you don’t want to find yourself accessing a website on your phone and constantly having to zoom in to look at the text. It’s a hassle, and consumers and clients alike will find themselves seeking a mobile experience elsewhere.

2 | Social Media

Curious as to another digital tactic where most traffic comes from mobile? Ding, ding, ding! Social media. If you’re a brand, it’s imperative for you to have a focused social strategy. This doesn’t just mean throwing up pictures to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day (although, we do have a tactic for using National Days…), it means being in touch with your audience and knowing what kind of content they’re  looking for on your social media accounts.

Advertising on social media platforms has blown up over the past couple of years, and it will only continue to grow. Create a goal and then create a social media ad campaign that will deliver those results. For example: If you want people to visit your website, create a Facebook Ad campaign that will send traffic to your site. Or, if you’re wanting some exposure for your brand and your audience is relatively young, consider creating a Snapchat filter for a local event you’re sponsoring or that aligns with your brand.

3 | SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

When a potential customer is searching for your product or services online, what would they type into the search bar? Write them down, and then incorporate those words throughout your website because that’s how search engines pull results.

For example, when I type in “home improvement store davenport,” Lowe’s Home Improvement in Davenport is one of the first things to appear. Why? For one, they have home improvement in their name (genius) and it’s also sprinkled throughout their website. If you go to their Company Information page, their description says, “…Lowe’s has been Improving Home Improvement.”

So, if you’re currently dependent upon organic search traffic but aren’t getting the results you want, it’s time to do a word overhaul on your website.

4 | Analytics

Once your website is mobile responsive, your social media tactics and campaigns are running and your search engine optimization is as optimized as it gets, the next step is reviewing the analytics.

If you have a website, make sure it’s set up with a basic Google Analytics tracking code. That way, you’ll be able to see who’s visiting your site, when they’re visiting your site, how long they’re staying, what pages are most viewed, etc. in order to see what’s working with your audience and what’s not.

Social Media sites also have analytics in order for you to see which posts or ads are performing the best. Facebook to Snapchat and everything in between will offer you metrics such as impressions, reach, engagements, click through rates, etc. so that you can see the results, analyze them and then put your money where it makes most sense.

Whether you need help with the basics or if you’re looking to take your digital strategy to new heights, contact the TAG team of social media, web and analytic experts to help you reach your goals.

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Which is Better for Your Brand: Snapchat or Instagram?

59% of 18-29 year-olds use Instagram (via SproutSocial) while Snapchat reaches 41% of 18-34 year olds in the U.S. every day (via Smart Insights). Needless to say, if you’re not on at least one of these platforms, you’re missing out on marketing to a large, and important, audience.

While Instagram and Snapchat are similar, the two cater to different audiences, with different content that can be interacted with in different ways, so we’re breaking it down to help you figure out which platform is best for your business.

 Similarities

Instagram was released in October 2010, just shy of a year before Snapchat’s launch in September 2011. Instagram and Snapchat allow their users to share their experiences through images, and both platforms eventually expanded to incorporate video.

Snapchat originated the “stories” concept early into its existence. A “story” gives you the option to share one or more photos and/or videos for up to 24 hours with your friends. Instagram implemented its “stories” feature in August of 2016 and, for many, blurred the lines between the two platforms. As you’ll learn below, Snapchat and Instagram are still very different when it comes to audiences and content.

Audiences

Instagram caters to an older audience when compared to Snapchat. 59% of its audience is made up of 18-29 year olds, with 30-49 year-olds making up 33% of its audience.

Instagram’s audience base is also more educated than audiences on other social platforms. 37% of adults with some college experience use Instagram and college graduates make up 33% of its users.

Instagram’s income demographic reinforces the fact that its users are college educated, as 37% of adults who make more than $75,000 are on the platform.

Source: SproutSocial

Snapchat is the most-used social platform for people aged 12-24. In fact, 13-24 year-olds account for 60% of Snapchat’s total audience. According to MediaKix, 60% of college students would purchase from a brand if they were sent a coupon on Snapchat and 77% of college students use the platform daily, averaging 25-30 minutes.

Source: Smart Insights

Content

(Fun fact: Kylie Jenner revealed in her E! series Life of Kylie that she pays nothing for advertising. The 20-year-old CEO of Kylie Cosmetics says that the only advertising she does is on her personal Instagram and Snapchat accounts.)

Snapchat and Instagram both offer a platform for people to share photos and videos, but the content being shared differs.

Content on Instagram is often edited and refined. Brands are easily found on the platform, and the content shared is accessible by anyone, as long as your account is not set as “private.” Posts on Instagram also have a longer life-span, as once they are “posted,” they’re available for people to look at and interact with forever (or until the person who posted it, deletes it).

Unlike Instagram, most of the content that’s shared on Snapchat is typically between two “private” accounts and isn’t open to the public. However, there are public profiles (brands, celebrities, public figures, etc.) and the content that’s posted from those accounts is raw and unrefined. This kind of authentic content really resonates with Gen Z, as they feel that the brands that share raw and real content are more trustworthy.

A lot of brands find success using Snapchat geofilters, which can be designed on Snapchat’s website with their pre-made templates, or personally designed and uploaded (Geofilters are photo and video overlays that are accessed within a set location). For example, if your business is putting on an event where you know a lot of its audience members will be on Snapchat (concerts, fairs, etc.), then a geofilter would be an easy, effective and cost-efficient way for that audience to interact with your brand.

Interactions

The content is different on each platform, so the way it’s interacted with is different, too.

Content on Instagram can feature custom hashtags, users may tag other businesses or people, and there’s the ability to “like,” “comment,” “share,” “save,” and “send” photos and videos. In fact, 7 out of 10 hashtags on Instagram are branded, according to SproutSocial. Much like posts on Facebook, when you’re posting to Instagram, you also have the ability to select a location to associate your post with, giving that piece of content yet another way to be found.

When Snapchats are played, users have the ability to privately respond either via text or by snapping back a photo or video. Recently, Snapchat gave its users the ability to attach a link to their posts when users swipe up, giving brands the ability to track traffic from Snapchat more easily. On Snapchat, users can also see who has viewed their posts, who has replayed a snap and which users have taken a screen shot of the post.

What’s best for your brand?

Now that you know the differences between Snapchat and Instagram you could go frolic in a field and throw paper hearts in the air in celebration (thanks for the transition, Chris Pratt), OR you could get serious about your social strategy and call TAG! Let’s talk about which platform is best for your brand.

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