It usually takes a simple idea to take the world by storm. Conversations in 140 characters, photos and filters that make you famous almost overnight, a social network that is as large as countries put together – we live in a world of ideas whose premise sounds crazy at best, but ideas that end up changing the world nevertheless. And the most recent one on this list is Snapchat, allowing users to send pictures to each other that disappear in 10 seconds.
Today, after opening up to brands and businesses and many new features that make the platform a ‘full-service’ social network, Snapchat is a 19 billion dollar media giant. Clearly, its potential for businesses and brands is immense. In the wealthiest nations of the world including Australia, France, Sweden, US, and UK, Snapchat ranks among the top three on the App Store.
Image credits: www.creativecommons.com
I will be honest – I am a chip off the old block and it took me a little while to warm up to the idea of Snapchat. Looks like I am not alone. Thirteen to 25-year-olds form the largest percentage of Snapchat’s over 150 million daily users. Clearly, reaching young consumers is one of the top USPs that Snapchat has aced and that is exactly what is drawing brands to it. Add to it the raw and scrappy personas of brands; more authentic than their filtered and photo-shopped versions on other platforms, that draws digital natives who connect with brands online just like they do with their peer groups.
If you are a B2C marketer just getting started on Snapchat, here is a quick low down on all that the platform is capable of in its new, improved version that goes well beyond visuals disappearing in ten seconds:
Show your followers where you are
Luxury brand launches or vicarious travel, for many millennial users, brands are a way to be in places they can’t be at physically. Geofilters and event tags on Snapchat are a good way to accomplish that.
Digital natives speak emoji and look like bitmojis. Don’t fear or judge this new age form of expression if you are in the company of those who speak the language. If your followers, especially those in the age group of 13-25, see you not taking yourself seriously, they will connect with you a lot more.
Words are not completely out of fashion
A staggering 85 percent of Facebook videos are seen without sound. Social media communication is definitely moving towards a good balance of words and visuals. Use this liberally to show and tell.
Make the world go round
Personally, I find the Snap Spectacles circular 360 degree videos really engaging. What is more is that the platform also reformats these videos, no matter how you hold or spin your phone around when you record them.
A little fast, a little slow
Just like camera phones, Snapchat lets you do hyperlapse and slow-mo within the app. So you don’t need to bother with tripods the next time you want to do a brilliant dusk or road video for your travel brand or a tempting shot of beer being poured into glasses in your fancy new pub.
Look at the world through ‘Sponsored Lenses’
Perhaps not the best investment for a small business or a startup since Sponsored Lenses can cost millions, but they are a creative way to engage audience and making your presence felt. According to Jerry Daykin, Global Digital Partner at Cadbury's agency Carat, “Lenses drive significant reach of an audience you would struggle to buy on TV. When you get it right, the average time people use [a Lens] can go up to a minute; it's very personal and very energetic,” as stated by Business Insider.
Even if you are a seasoned marketer well beyond the age group of 13 to 25, we strongly recommend that you play around with Snapchat to discover social marketing possibilities beyond viral videos and pictures. There is a reason Snapchat is taking the brand and advertising world by the storm – your younger audience is shaping consumption, marketing, and household purchase decisions. Make friends with them!