Snapchat leaves a lot of people bewildered with exactly what it’s purpose is, but apart from your kid’s obsession with it, is there an opportunity to leverage it for your business?
First let’s cover off some basics.
What is it?
Snapchat is a photo and video (mobile only) app that allows you to share your image/video with your connected friends, only to have it ‘disappear’ within seconds of viewing.
That’s the quick summary. It’s actually a little more than that. You can post to your storyline and it will stay there for 24 hours and then disappear. If you post to your friends then it never gets ‘buried’ but stays there forever until it is viewed. Only then will it ‘dissolve into the digital blackhole’.
Images can be doctored with drawing and text tools built into the app. I think of it as the modern day note passing between desks, quickly read then swallowed before the Teach can get it … but with so much more!
The hidden benefit of a Snapchat is, if you get the content strategy right, because each snap has such a short life span, you have your viewers undivided attention!
For a better view of how it's used, this entertaining 5 minute video says it all https://youtu.be/kKSr6h5-fCU
There are also other features within the app such as chat, a powerful feature as it can be done while sending live video. It has been predicted that this may well become a future servicing platform, given it’s ‘here and now’ nature, and easy and ubiquitous use of the app with the millennials. Of course time will only tell if Snapchat endures as this set of users mature into the workforce and start to build careers.
Another feature which could be easily turned to more commercial use is the ability to send money over the app using Square. Mostly it’s used for giving friends money, but payment of things such as tickets and events is another current use.
According to Adweek, Snapchat is the fastest growing social network but is one of the least used by digital marketers. This offers a new opportunity for eager small business owners to get some cut through without the noise that is now Facebook and Twitter.
It has 100 million active users per day, and is aimed at both teenagers and adults, but primarily has been adopted by the teens (30% of millennials use it daily). 65% of users contribute content daily. Note these are based on US users but apparently Ireland has the most users in the world.
But it’s not all millennials, 45% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18-24.
Source: Business Insider Australia
Snapchat’s popularity with the under 18’s has now caught the marketers eye as this age bracket has been notoriously hard to capture via any of the other media /advertising channels available.
How’s it being used by business?
There are the expected content and media publishing funsters of the internet on the app such as Buzzfeed, MTV and Vice. National Geographic have also taken up residency along with a lot of American football teams using the channel using it effectively to engage with younger fans particularly.
Businesses whose target audience is in the younger <25 demographic have used the following types of content strategy to engage on Snapchat:
posting/reposting pictures and videos of people using their product
behind the scenes of production or little known piece around their product
product tutorials and how to’s
featuring industry leaders or influencers related to their product/service.
The key with all content on Snapchat should be fun and light hearted.
Events and sports have been a natural fit. In the US both Fashion week and NBA used the channel to great success, giving real time snaps and video on their storyline as their event unfolds in real time.
If someone sends you a clip or similar with your product then follow them back or message them with a thanks. Here’s a list of the do’s and don’ts. To build your following, simply start following others.
The challenge of the Call to Action
Because snaps disappear and there are no links, you are reliant on building your call to action into the snap itself. The action might be to get them to post to another social channel or give them a voucher that they can redeem, and by getting them to take a screenshot, then they can save the details. This means you need to make 'take a screen shot' part of the call to action as well.
There’s no doubt this is a channel that’s very specific to it’s audience and intent. If you’re target audience is a good fit, it’s a good time for small business to give it a go.