Snapchat is a social network that not many have paid much attention to. It is one of the newer social networking platforms, but it comes with a decent user base, filled with young people. On Snapchat, you can reach out to over 150 million users of all ages and communicate using Snaps – photos and videos that last for 10 seconds only.
Snapchat is highly visual in nature, a lot like Instagram, with a massive focus on lenses and filters. Snapchat exploded in the last few years, and now, 11% of the digitally connected Americans use Snapchat. Over 500 million stores are uploaded each day. The number of monthly active users hover around 2000 million. Moreover, over three-quarters of Snapchat users are frequent buyers. This makes it an ideal place to promote your brand. However, there are a few things that you need to know before you dive in.
Is Snapchat right for your business?
If you want to promote your brand to younger people when Snapchat is the ideal platform. Two-thirds of the user base is under the age of 35. Both the genders are almost equally present on the network. However, it is slightly more skewed towards females. Around 30% of the millennials in the US are using Snapchat.
So, if your brand is not aimed at millennials or youngsters, then you should not invest in marketing on Snapchat. Moreover, if you or your social media team is not skilled at managing a social network that is filled with children and teens, then also it is a good idea to avoid Snapchat. However, getting on Snapchat can be the best move if you are targeting younger demographics. Here is how the social network works.
If you have been on Instagram, then Snapchat will look and feel quite familiar. It is much like services that focus on sharing selfies and short video clips. However, the main reason for Snapchat’s success is that the entire social network is ephemeral. That is, none of the content you post is permanent. After 24 hours, whatever you have posted will be gone forever.
For individual messages or snaps that are sent out to others, the lifespan is measured in seconds. For example, when someone sees a snap, it is visible for 10 seconds and can never be seen again. Even chat messages are deleted after they are seen. There is no way to get back what has been lost. The only way one can make a local copy is to use the screenshot feature of the device.
This makes Snapchat a great place to experiment and be creative. If things go south, it will all be forgotten in a day or two. In the case of an embarrassing snap, the risk is far less.
In simpler terms, it’s difficult to create a bad reputation for the brand on Snapchat. Alternatively, one can easily boost their brand there.
When you want to get started with Snapchat, you need to know the primary features that it offers. Here’s a short look at all the things that are included:
Snaps: A Snap is a short video clip or a photo that is visible for a small duration. You can choose how long you want the snap to be visible to a user. However, the range is quite limited: 1 to 10 seconds only. Snaps also work with filters, which are similar to Photoshop or Instagram.
Stories: Stories are similar to that of Instagram. Rather, it is Instagram who borrowed stories from Snapchat. Stories allow you to keep the content visible for 24 hours. You can have a slideshow of several photos and videos too. Users can comment on individual content too.
Chat: The chat functionality is similar to other social networks. Here, the messages are ephemeral. The chats are deleted once they are viewed.
Lenses: Lenses use augmented reality to add live video effects. They can add complicated visual elements into the scene. Lenses are one of the most popular features of Snapchat.
Geofilters: Geofilters are user-contributed filters that are applied on certain snaps when they are made from specific locations. You can also have your own on-demand geo filter for a particular location for which you will have to pay Snapchat. These are much more reasonably priced that sponsored lenses.
Discover: This feature allows Snapchat to aggregate content from popular profiles and brands in a Snapchat friendly format.
Things you can do on Snapchat
Snapchat has been left unexplored by social media marketers and right now, what you can do there is only limited by your imagination. You need to take advantage of Snapchat’s ephemeral nature and make your posts accordingly. Here are some ideas.
Time-limited sales: You can use Snapchat to distribute coupons or to account flash sales. The coupons can be saved using the screenshot function. Moreover, it also gives you a form of exclusivity while running the promotions.
Local Geofilters: Paid local geo filters are a great way to promote businesses. Restaurants can use such filters to let people know about the specials of that day. A movie theatre can embed show times in the filters. Geofilters allows you to combine text and images to convey information to a highly targeted group of people.
Cross promotions: All by itself, Snapchat is not a great social media marketing tool. What you can do is use Snapchat to promote posts made on other social network platforms such as Instagram or Facebook. You can even use the stories to alert people about upcoming posts about promotions or offers on other platforms.
Behind the scenes: Since content on Snapchat is ephemeral, you can use Snapchat to give a glimpse into how your business operates. You can show the manufacturing processes or the daily routine of the employees and more. This allows users to relate more closely to the brand.
Snapchat is the ideal tool to get in touch with a younger audience. The Snapchat userbase will appreciate innovative ideas, they are spontaneous and fun and much less formal than Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.