It’s easy to dismiss Snapchat as a somewhat frivolous social media site that has not got much to offer businesses. After all, it’s primarily known for funny face filters; photos and video content appear for just ten seconds; and there’s very little in the way of targeting or analytics.
So why are more and more businesses using it? It could have something to do with the fact that Snapchat’s popularity is absolutely soaring. In June, Bloomberg reported that 150 million people now use the app every day worldwide – more than Twitter. In the UK alone, some ten million Brits use Snapchat every day.
The birth of Snapchat
Launched in 2011, Snapchat started life as a prototype called Picaboo — highlighting the now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t nature of content on the app. But it has developed from a simple photo and video-sharing site into an app that offers live text, chat and video calls between contacts.
And, as with most social media trends, where consumers go, businesses soon follow.
Nick Dutch, head of digital at Domino’s, told Campaign magazine: “People naturally fall into the trap of trying to compare things. But Snapchat is hard to compare as it’s unique. Also the thing I love about it is that people often don’t get it – it’s so uniquely used by one set of people, who live and breathe it.”
That set is predominantly young people; and the opportunity to engage almost exclusively with young consumers (unlike the more diverse audiences on Twitter and Facebook) is attracting brands to Snapchat in ever increasing numbers.
What’s next for Snapchat?
Snapchat offers some advertising opportunities to businesses although it has some way to go before it becomes as popular for business advertising as Facebook, for instance.
Domino’s Nick Dutch told Campaign that Snapchat needs “more reporting insight … so that brands can have greater accountability.” And, he said, “it needs a more pragmatic approach to [advertising] pricing. For instance, Facebook is just as easy for a local plumber to use as it is for P&G. No matter what your budget is, you should be able to advertise.”
That said, like most social media, businesses can dip their toe into Snapchat’s waters without investing too much time and money. In fact, many brands seem to prefer Snapchat (compared to Facebook and Twitter) because they don’t need to be constantly on the site; instead, they can use it more strategically as and when they have something to say to the Snapchat audience.
Eight ways to get the most out of Snapchat
- Connect with millennials: Snapchat users are young – typically they range from teens to thirty-somethings. If this is a key audience for you then Snapchat is essential.
- Share your content. If you already produce visual content on a regular basis, you’re already halfway there. Sharing it on Snapchat is easy.
- Create buzz. Got a new product or a special event coming up? Snapchat is a great vehicle for teaser campaigns and big reveals.
- Entertain people. Snapchat content is about making people smile. It’s also about telling stories. Snapchat stories are a string of snaps (lasting 24 hours) that create a video narrative.
- Keep it real. Snapchat is great for small businesses that want to promote their authenticity and show the people behind the brand.
- Offer incentives. Discounts, promo codes and giveaways are very popular with Snapchat audiences.
- Play with the tools. Snapchat allows you to add filters, geofilters, text, emojis and music.
- Offer exclusive content. Build your reputation and following by providing exclusive offers or special content that you can only get on Snapchat.
More content on social media:
- How to use Snapchat to promote your business
- Get started with Instagram in your business
- Eight reasons to use Twitter’s Like feature
Written by Rachel Miller, editor of the fabulous Marketing Donut. To find out how you can get your own Resource Centre, with a mixture of our content and yours, please contact Emma.Jones@atomcontentmarketing.co.uk.