Just when brands were finally getting comfortable with the latest blockbuster social networks like Instagram and Pinterest, new players are coming on the scene. Much of the recent evolution in the social media space has focused on video and image-centric content. Today, we’re going to take a closer look at Snapchat. Snapchat is a mobile messaging application that’s highly popular with millennials and younger demographics. While its main uses have historically been peer to peer, brands are coming to understand that leveraging the network can help them connect with specific audiences.
Understand how Snapchat works
Snapchat allows users to share photographs and videos that exist for 10 seconds before they’re deleted…forever. Content self-destructs ten seconds after a user accesses their account and looks at your updates. 26 million users send approximately 400 million snaps a day. Largely, the network is used by a casual audience for basic interactions. They take pictures of daily activities, travels or entertaining content to share with friends and family. Most people aren’t documenting their professional activities there. Yet there’s a window of opportunity for marketers that understand both the right tone and the type of content that users on the network are looking for.
Know your audience
Snapchat is most popular with a younger demographic; in fact, one study estimated that 77% of college students use Snapchat daily. Leveraging the platform makes the most sense if you’re marketing products to teens, college students, or users in their early 20s. Snapchat is likely to comprise one channel of your social – mobile efforts. However, it has the potential to be a high conversion option if you’re directing your efforts toward the right users. The same study revealed that 73% of users would open a Snapchat from a brand they know; 45% would open ones from brands they didn’t. Even more encouragingly, 58% percent would be more likely to purchase a product if they received a coupon via Snapchat.
Get the tone and form right
Thinking about how the Snapchat ecosystem has evolved gives insight into how to tackle tone. Brand messages on Snapchat should be relaxed, fun, hip, and enjoyable. It’s also important to think in terms of “snapshots.” However, snapshots aren’t without meaning. They just need to encapsulate that meaning into smaller bytes. Features such as Snapchat Stories allow you to tackle more ambitious content. The function lets users create and then release a series of 10 second clips over a 24 hour period that create a cohesive narrative experience for users. While this is definitely an advanced approach to Snapchat, it can provide brands that are ready to launch a bigger brand campaign on the platform a framework for doing so.
Experiment with content
It’s early days for brands using Snapchat to effectively engage with consumers. This means that while there’s less data available on what’s working, it’s one platform that’s not completely saturated with the competition. Some ideas that are gaining traction:
- Use the platform to release short greetings via video or something related to your mission or best wishes on holidays, for example.
- Issue customized coupons that customers have to open when they’re onsite or ready to make a purchase, since they self-destruct after 10 seconds.
- Release pictures or videos that let people get to know your staff or offer a behind the scenes view of your offices and events.
- Create Snapchat promotions that reward users who send a video or picture of them with your products or branded materials.
- Offer an exclusive sneak peak or advanced preview of your products, services, or upcoming initiatives.
Snapchat represents one of the next frontiers in social media marketing for specific brands. Ultimately, it’s helpful to understand how these ultra-short, ultra-focused programs are evolving as they may indicated an important direction within digital marketing innovation in the years ahead. If you’re a company that needs help with navigating today’s complex social media environment, contact us today to arrange for a personalized consultation.