Assuming you haven’t been living under a rock for the past three years (no judgement if you have), you’ve probably heard of Snapchat. It’s a social media app that’s become kind of a big deal – remember last year when Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel turned down a $3 billion cash acquisition offer from Facebook?
Snapchat is making headlines for many reasons. What was originally an app that allowed you to send pictures to your friends that would disappear in seconds, Snapchat has released many new features, thus becoming one of the fastest growing social media platforms used by brands. Yes that’s right, brands!
If you need a refresher (or a crash-course) here are the top things to know about Snapchat:
1. There are nearly 200 million active Snapchat users, the majority being age 13-24.
2. You can send pictures and videos to your friends. These are the ones that disappear after a few seconds.
3. You can publish Stories. Introduced to the app in late 2013, a Story is a series of photos/videos that are available for all of your friends to see for 24 hours. (This has become the most popular part of the app, drawing nearly 1 billion views daily). There are three types of stories: Friend Updates, Live, and Discover.
- Live Stories feature exactly that – live stories of different events! They range from “Emmy 2015 Red Carpet” to “Farm Life Worldwide”. They also change based on your location. When I was at U of M for the football game last weekend, I was able to access a Live Story called “Gameday in Ann Arbor”.
- Discover is a feature that bigger companies (think ESPN, Comedy Central, Buzzfeed, Food Network) have been able to use to share media with every user on the platform. Discover reads almost like a magazine, allowing you to swipe through pages, watch videos, and read articles.
Now that you know the basic features, here are a few questions to answer to determine if Snapchat is right for your marketing strategy.
- Are you targeting Millennials (or younger)? It’s never a good idea to market yourself where your audience isn’t going to see it. Those who are in the Millennial or Gen Z age ranges are most likely to be viewing your content on Snapchat.
- Can you update content quickly? If you can’t get content up in a timely manner, don’t bother with Snapchat. It’s a very of-the-moment platform, and if you’re late by even a few hours, your content won’t be effective.
- Do you hold a lot of events? This gives you the resources to create fun and engaging Stories!
- Can you offer a unique viewpoint? People follow brands on Snapchat because it’s a way to get a different experience than you would typically have on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
- Is your brand voice fun, humorous, and authentic? This is a must on Snapchat! People turn to this platform for entertaining and light-hearted content.
What do you think? Is Snapchat for you? Let us know in the comments section.