A few months ago I wrote The Untapped Potential of Snapchat, a short piece outlining why I thought the platform was important and a few potential ways that businesses could use it. Fast-forward one quarter and Snapchat has been heralded as "The next big thing," "the future of social," and plenty of other annoying cliches.
This is not to say that I don't believe Snapchat is going to be all of those things, I certainly do. My pain point here is that many of the publications writing about the platform and discussing its importance are simply hopping on the bandwagon and don't actually have anything of substance to add to the discussion. I have seen far too many "experts" writing about Snapchat saying things like "just be funny and use emojis" or "be creative." Wow, thank you for such sage advice! The overall lack of informative literature on the platform has made me want to revisit the topic and give you 10 reasons why you should be on Snapchat:
1. It's all about the demographics
It might sound like hyperbole, but the next statement is completely factual: never has there been a more narrowly defined demographic than what we currently see on Snapchat. The platform is in a very similar position to where Facebook was circa 10 years ago. It's cool, but not widely understood among a very large portion of the population. Just take a look at the below data via comScore.
A full 76% of Snappers are age 34 or younger. No other platform comes close to the demographic breakdown that Snapchat has and if you are trying to reach a younger audience, this is the arena to do just that.
2. Talk about engagement
75%. No, that's not what I scored on my accounting final. That's what we regularly average in engagement for the Likeable Local Snapchat account. Could you imagine if your engagement or even organic reach was 75% for your other social media accounts? The social marketing playing field would be completely different if every platform showed results in the way that Snapchat does. How can you take advantage of these engagement rates before everyone else does?
3. Completely opt-in
More so than any other social platform, Snapchat is strictly opt-in with respect to impressions. Users first have to opt in to follow your account, and must subsequently opt in to view content on your story. This double opt in process makes it so that users have to deliberately seek out your snaps (story autoplay notwithstanding) versus other platforms where followers may see your content without necessarily wanting to. What does this mean for you? Viewers of your content will likely be much more engaged and interested in what you have to say!
4. Most companies on Snapchat are still clueless
Either your competition is still ignoring Snapchat or they probably are not that interesting with their snap content. This presents a huge opportunity for your company to have a first mover advantage. If your brand is able to figure out how to deftly incorporate snaps into your social strategy, you could differentiate yourselves from others in your industry in a simple, yet quirky way. If you get started now, you're only going to get better moving forward. Some companies to look to for inspiration are:
- Burberry – They turn simple video clips into compelling short films via simple, but creative camera work.
- Taco Bell – The fast food chain knows they primarily appeal to a younger audience and adjust their content accordingly.
- Audi – The car maker stole the Super Bowl XLVIII social media show with their clever use of snaps during the big game.
5. Time sensitive offers
Don't think it's possible to derive tangible ROI from a casual platform such as Snapchat? It might seem that way at first because there are very limited metrics you can extract from the platform. However, implementing exclusive, time-sensitive offers can drive users right from their phones to your physical locations. Think "Screenshot this snap by the end of the day & show to the cashier for 10% off your next purchase." This strategy can be an easy win for businesses of any size.
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6. Snapchat is always evolving
Some folks might not say this would be a reason to join the platform, but I appreciate the challenge of keeping up with the transient nature of Snapchat. More important for you, the sooner you join the party, the easier it'll be to keep up with the adaptations in the future. Snapchat's UI is notoriously counter intuitive to navigate, but the fun new features that are constantly released level the playing field somewhat as everyone has to learn them with little formal instruction.
7. Sponsored Geofilters
Snapchat's Geofilters are nothing new, but they were previously kept under lock and key from the average user. In one of my favorite new Snap updates, now everyone can drive brand awareness at launch events, conferences, and really anywhere else with a sponsored Geofilter. Even if you don't Snap frequently, these sponsored filters can be a great way to raise awareness of your business/personal brand off the platform. Click here for a helpful guide to Geofilters.
As more and more businesses begin to adopt Snapchat, we'll likely see more creative uses for the app. One of the most surprising uses for the platform we've seen thus far involves using Snapchat in the recruiting of employees. So far we've seen two effective approaches for this:
- For any businesses looking to hire recent graduates: A slick way to stay top of mind with prospective employees would be to place one of the aforementioned Geofilters on a college campus with a CTA encouraging them to check out your company.
- On your careers page you could also include a note encouraging applicants to Snap you why they think they'd be a good fit for your business. In fact, we're hiring right now, Snap us and tell us why you think you're #Likeable!
9. 1 to 1 Interactions
We're still a little while off from businesses using Snapchat as an all-inclusive customer service platform, but it's not too hard to imagine. While content can be posted on your story for all users to see, you can also communicate 1 to 1 with individual users. Especially, with the new update that allows full voice and video calls (!) within the app, I expect savvy businesses to begin using Snapchat as a real-time customer service platform similar to how some use Twitter.
10. It's fun!
Snapchat is one of the most casual social apps and it really allows you to flex your creative muscles. Creating a compelling story out of disappearing 10 second video clips almost makes you feel like a movie director. There's not really another way to say it other than; it's damn fun! So, get out there, have some fun, and add a human touch to your business on Snapchat.
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