Innovative business owners are beginning to discover that Snapchat can be very effective when used as part of their social media marketing campaign.
Snapchat is currently one of the fastest-growing social media networks. It is fast attaining a vital role in global social media marketing strategies.
Never heard of it? Or you have heard of it but don’t know how to work it for your business? Here’s the low-down:
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a social media photo and video messaging app, which is unique in that content shared on it is time sensitive. Launched in 2011, it was created by three Stanford University students. Application users, who download the app for free, can record videos, take photos and add drawings and text, then share these with a selected group of recipients. The user sets a time limit for how long each piece of content is viewable, ranging between one and 10 seconds. After this time, the content is deleted from the Snapchat servers. Users can pay a nominal fee to have access to limited replays. Content can, however, also be saved by screen-capping during the time it is being viewed.
It is estimated that, as of May 2014, more than 700 million photos and videos were being shared via Snapchat every day. Its use is quite simple:
- The sender snaps a photo with their smartphone and nominates the time for which it will be visible.
- The photo is then sent to the chosen recipients.
- The recipient receives the snap in a similar way to a text message; they simply tap their device to view the snap.
- The content disappears after the nominated time.
Additional features include a drawing tool to add drawn content to photos, as well as a one-to-one chat feature – users can chat privately and the message disappears once both parties have exited the chat. There is also a capacity for video chat and even Snapcash, whereby users can transfer money via the chat function (currently Snapcash is available only in the United States).
Snapchat is an extremely popular social media app, particularly among teens; the current demographic is predominantly users between the ages of 13-23. It is, however, being more widely embraced among other demographics, with those over 40 joining the app since October 2012. While studies on content shared via Snapchat illustrate that more than 14 per cent of users have shared sexual content, the majority of content shared falls into the comedic category – for example “silly faces”.
In the past, Snapchat may have experienced some infamy as an app where teens share questionable content (sexting, for example), but it has now evolved to a point where adults are using it more and many businesses are discovering that Snapchat marketing can be a valuable tool to grow and enhance their business enterprise.
How can a snapchat marketing strategy work?
The marketing potential of Snapchat was formally identified in September, 2013, with companies including Taco Bell adopting the application to set up network profiles and to add users who can then opt-in to the brand’s content messages.
Social media users, no matter which platform they chose, are highly committed to checking content on a frequent basis. With Snapchat users being among those checking so often (numerous times a day for most), it makes sense that savvy businesses should adopt a Snapchat marketing strategy.
There is a vast array of ways in which the power of Snapchat can be harnessed to enhance and build a business and to keep a step ahead of the competition.
More than a 1 billion views a day
The Snapchat Discover tool allows brands to use the app on a formal basis. Daily stories can be produced by businesses to engage and even excite their target audience; with more than a billion views of stories on the platform every single day, it is a powerful resource for brands that can no longer be ignored. By adding text, geo-filters, emojis, music and other tools from within the Snapchat platform, content can be fun and appealing.
8 tips for using Snapchat marketing for your business
- Share offers and promotions
Most companies showcase promotions and offers via emails and these translate to so much content filling our inboxes, we are inclined to simply ignore or hit the delete button. With Snapchat, however, snaps of appealing offers are fast and can be screenshot captured for later use in-store or online. It’s easy for a business owner to assess the success of the campaign, by measuring use of codes and the number of screenshots a snap encourages.
- Provide teasers
A great branding strategy is to give users a behind-the-scenes peek – at what’s new, what’s coming soon, and to create a buzz about the brand prior to a launch. Snapchat is perfect for this purpose.
- Provide direct access to live events
Real-time social media marketing such as Snapchat gives access to the audience directly to live events such as product launches, one-off events, and trade shows.
- Tell a story
Storytelling is critical to a successful marketing strategy but the nature of social media creates some challenges with this. It’s easy to overcome and with Snapchat there is a tool garnered for the very purpose. “My Story” allows sharing of snaps and videos that are visible for up to 24 hours; this offers the opportunity for maximised engagement, and a business owner can create a series of videos to be viewed in succession to tell a story. This story is a unique way to convey the message your brand wants to share.
- Be memorable
No other social media platform has such a short window to grab the attention of followers, to deliver a message and encourage engagement. Content you share as a business owner needs to be appealing, valuable, easily understood and engaged with, and memorable.
- Identify as being exciting and fun
A fun brand is appealing – and since Snapchat is all about fun, users expect content to be fun and even exciting. Any brand that successfully uses this app to convey their message will be perceived by users as being on the pulse and youthful.
- Partner with influencers and like-minded counterparts
By partnering with influencers on Snapchat, you can spread awareness of your brand and maximise your reach, cementing the voice and personality of your brand.
- Interact with your consumer base
Social media is at its core social. It is all about interaction and two-way conversation. Invite your followers or audience to interact – by sending in photos that somehow are compatible with your brand or product, for example.
The ongoing and growing popularity of Snapchat hinges on the fact that it is an app that is fun to use. One hundred million users (and counting) can’t be wrong. For any business or brand whose target consumer is the young millennial or those with a youthful mindset up to middle age, there are many reasons to include Snapchat marketing in your social media marketing strategy. Just remember as a marketer to make the most of every second you have with your snaps; understand your audience on this platform and create unique content accordingly.
All content is not created equal
That which you share on other platforms will not work on Snapchat. By its very nature, this is a casual platform, so finally:
- Maintain a professional but light-hearted voice and tone.
- Use language that is simple to understand
- Appear approachable.
- Embrace the time limit and use it to your advantage – keep your audience wanting more.
Want some extra reading? Here are 9 ways to make social media work for your business
If you would like nail your social media campaigns, take a look around our blog. There’s plenty of information on all social media platforms.
Here are 3 blogs we recommend you read:
- LINKEDIN: 16 tips How to build your business with LinkedIn
- BLOGGING: The importance of blogging for your brand
- INSTAGRAM: 9 steps to build your brand with Instagram
Of course, Snapchat is awesome, but if LinkedIn is your preferred social media channel, we’ve got a free LinkedIn eCourse to help you get the most out of the platform for your business.