Those of you in the Social media and Marketing sectors may be more familiar with Snapchat, but to the general public it is still a relative unknown. In my case, as a fashion lover and an egobloggers follower, I heard about it and felt months ago that Snapchat was beginning to make waves in the fashion world. One day, I downloaded the app and delved into this brave new world. Reading about the platform and following the coolest brands, I began to appreciate it and truly see how strong it can be for brands and companies who want to make a difference in their Social Media strategy.
It was easy to check how companies are making the most of this free photo messaging application to connect with customers and fans. With over 100 million active monthly users, it’s easy to see why the app piques the interests of marketers and brands alike. But, like any visually driven platform, it’s important to figure out if Snapchat is right for your business.
What Is Snapchat?
If Facebook is where your parents live, and Instagram and Twitter are where millennials hang, Snapchat is the turf of the new kids on the block. The app, which made its debut in 2011, initially attracted teens who wanted their own place to exchange picture messages, knowing they would be automatically purged within seconds. This means Snapchat users can control how long a picture message may be viewed, after which it will disappear forever. The platform isn’t the easiest one to learn (I have to admit that I still trying to understand it). Which makes it cool—like a secret club—for only those “in the know” to understand.
Want to share your Snap with everyone? The Snapchat Stories feature allows you to curate shared content that can be viewed an unlimited number of times within a 24-hour time frame.
Recently, the app announced their Discover feature, designed to promote news and stories from big-name sources like CNN, National Geographic and Cosmopolitan. The new feature is Snapchat’s first foray into branded digital content, giving brands the chance to reach the app’s unique and growing audience. So, in this regard, can your brand benefit from the addition of Snapchat?
According to Business Insider, 77% of college kids use Snapchat daily and only 1% of marketers use the app (as reported in Mashable), so it is clear that there is a huge potential market for a number of companies which target that audience.
OK, so what can Snapchat offer my company?
With Snapchat, businesses have a free platform to broadcast information directly to consumers. Snapchat works well for sending out time-sensitive messages to fans. And with relevance and engagement becoming top priorities, the app can help your marketing campaign reach new audiences (the teenage demographic mentioned above being a case in point).
Promotional deals and coupons, sending out exclusive news to followers, contests and giveaways are some of the ways Snapchat can benefit your brand. Consider the case study of Audi’s Snapchat campaign. During the US’ Super Bowl Sunday (the biggest day of the year for advertising in the US), Audi decided Snapchat was the key to getting heard. Teaming up with The Onion (an American satirical newspaper) to produce `all the news that isn’t football’, Audi created a number of humorous snaps. The whole idea is explained in more detail in this video. If you want to read more about this, don´t miss this article about “five seriously creative Snapchat campaigns and their results”.
Last but not least, Snapchat will give you transparency. Brands can create a more intimate relationship with fans by opening a window into the company’s culture. This unique approach brings fans closer to their favorite brand in a way other media channels can’t provide.
Should we jump on the Snapchat train?
It’s important to identify your marketing goals and consumer demographic before jumping onto Snapchat. For example, if you’re a B2B or new to the game, adding Snapchat to your social media agenda probably isn’t the best idea right now. If you do decide to adopt this unorthodox marketing channel, be aware that the app does not offer native performance analytics. This means there is no way to measure your ROI. If you decide to make the jump, in this case, you could create a unique hashtag for Snapchat followers, allowing you to track performance through other social media outlets. Or if you’re offering a discount, be sure to use a promotional code exclusively for Snapchat followers to measure your reach.
In the Spanish market, with 81% smartphone penetration and 27,7 million active app users, according to the recent report The App Date, we have the perfect breeding ground for brands to lose their fear and decide to do something disruptive with Snapchat as part of their Social Media strategies in the future. Read the full 6th report on the state of apps in Spain in 2015. Get on Snapchat, and get your brand engaged with the Youth Nation!