Snapchat changed the social media landscape from its founding in 2011 along its meteoric rise to a $3 billion IPO. While it’s still a major channel for social media, for those looking to connect through instant stories and “disappearing” images, Instagram is now the superior channel.

Instagram Stories launched across the platform in August of 2016 and in its first year, the platform has reached more than 250 million daily active users dwarfing that of Snapchat (173 million).

Another benefit is the demographics of users on Instagram Stories as compared to Snapchat. Unless you’re reaching a decidedly younger demographic (Gen Z and young Millennials), Instagram Stories are more likely to reach your target audience with your content. At last report, 33% of Internet users between the ages of 30 and 49 use Instagram, and Instagram is used by 31% of American women and 24% of men.

Coupled with the advertising power and connection to Facebook, the Instagram Stories platform is a much better investment of your time, efforts, and money. All it takes is a little planning and creativity. Here are five quick ideas.

  1. Surveys. Post a short video or a photo of your friends answering a specific question. Then use the poll feature to let viewers vote.
  2. A look behind the scenes. With Instagram Stories, you can take viewers behind the scenes of whatever it is that you do. Pick an aspect of your job or personal life each week and show your followers what you do and how you do it.
  3. Prayer prompts. Use your story to highlight prayer requests or needs. Prompt your followers to pray for others in their church and community.
  4. Event recaps. These recaps can give people a view of what happens at one of your church events or a speaking event you might be featured at. Regardless of the type of event, you can use Instagram Stories to recap the event for those who can’t make it. This can also help you in booking more events or speaking gigs.

Are you an avid user of Instagram Stories? How else have you used it?

Jonathan serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives at LifeWay Christian Resources as well as the host and producer of Rainer on Leadership, Revitalize & Replant, and SBC This Week. Jonathan writes weekly at on topics ranging from social media to websites and church communications.