Snapchat is quickly making its mark on the marketing industry as a whole. What started out as a photo and video sharing app has turned into a phenomenon that can not be ignored any longer. The limitations for the app are abundantly clear (i.e. the time and character limits, disappearing after a few seconds, etc) and can sometimes be problematic from a marketer’s perspective, but isn’t that the fun of being a marketer: figuring out the latest trends to keep your brand on top?
One initial response might be that you feel Snapchat is only used by the millennials. While that may be true, it was also true with Facebook and Twitter during their infancy, now look at where they are and how many different demographics use them. With 10 billion daily video views, it’s no longer acceptable to ignore its effectiveness.
Who can benefit the most from Snapchat?
At its core, it is still a very casual app. For the most part, people still use it as a way of quickly communicating through pictures and short videos. Honestly, Snapchat may not be right for your specific marketing strategy, but it’s better to come to that conclusion through research rather than just disregarding it.
Several organizations have already made good use of the social media app by being creative. Surprisingly, GrubHub has implemented a very unique approach to Snapchat. They launched #SnapMadness which offered a $30 prize to 10 people daily who responded to the March Madness themed challenge. The results brought more hits through the engagement of the audience.
To be honest, if your organization has people (which I’m willing to bet it does), then you can benefit from Snapchat. It’s all about creating an atmosphere around your brand. Millennials have made a shift to Snapchat because it’s simple and they want to see real people doing real tasks. They’re tired of seeing advertisements and products commonly found on other social media outlets.
How To Do It Right
As with most other social media platforms, they’re based around a community of real people. Portray yourself as an actual person and viewers will take notice. That being said, be sure to know who you want to target.
Showcase your people, not your products. Viewers like to know that they have access to content that not many other people can see. Own a restaurant? Take a 5 second video of your chef while they are creating a dish, then culminate it with a picture of the final product. Viewers like to see the behind-the-scenes aspect of any simple task and will appreciate the final product even more.
Own a bike shop? While attending a local bike race, take videos of your surroundings and offer a finders-keepers promotion: “If you find where I’ve hidden this new bike, you can keep it.” Interact with people, make them feel like they’re getting access to content no one else is.
Showcase Live Events
Product launches are becoming increasingly popular on social media because they can reach so many people with ease. Take advantage of Snapchat’s ease of use! Often times companies will have huge ceremonies for new products: flashing lights, delicious food, bumping tunes, celebrity appearances, and so much more. Make your product seem irresistible and valuable to the general public and create an atmosphere that enhances it.
The NBA is another great example of how to utilize Snapchat during live events. They allowed instant access to the draft picks, all-star game, finals, and even the slam dunk contest. Viewers loved the fact that they could see behind the curtain and get a glimpse of the players they’ve idolized for years.
Tell a Story
Everybody likes a good story, Snapchat offers a platform to do just that. The first thing that comes to mind is famous YouTuber, Casey Neistat. He has posted a daily vlog of his life for over a year now. Casey can turn a simple trip to Bed, Bath, and Beyond with his daughter and wife engaging, compelling, and just fun. While he isn’t known for his Snapchatting, his same YouTube principles can be applied to Snapchat: be a real person, listen to the viewers, give them what they want, and create a story that people would want to engage with.
Because of the app’s “Story” function, it makes a perfect fit for any person who is willing to put in the effort. With quick videos or pictures that will be removed after 24 hours, it can turn any event into a story people will notice if done correctly. The exclusivity of any story makes it all the more intriguing
There are certainly right and wrong ways to utilize Snapchat, so it’s in you and your organization’s best interest to research your market and see what interests them. Snapchat has the potential to be as widely used as Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms, but there is still a long way to go. Certain things in life are only special to those who witnessed them at that moment. There is now a possibility for many more people to view special events because of Snapchat. A big aspect of social media is creating a community, Snapchat is bringing this to a whole new level.