They say a change is as good as a rest. And they’re right. Social media trends can change day-to-day and that’s why we love what we do; there’s no time to sit still. Being social media-savvy is about being excited for change, watching what’s evolving, and considering how you can use new toys effectively, rationally and without disrupting your audience. And that’s exactly how we’ve approached Snapchat.

Snapchat’s not just about dick pics anymore

Snapchat was founded in September, 2011 by a group of Stanford University students. At first, it was all dick pics and American college students (put young people and pictures that disappear together and what do you expect?). But now more than 100 million people around the world use it daily. When Snapchat started to grow legs and it was clear that the new image and video sharing mobile app wasn’t going, smart marketers started to think about how they could use it to market their brand. And according to American social media guru Gary Vaynerchuk, it’s where your business should be right now: “It’s so new, brands haven’t ruined it yet.”

Although Snapchat has a widening age demographic, it’s still a millennials-dominated space. It’s the most popular social media platform for teens after Facebook and Instagram (perhaps it’s because teenagers are obsessed with their phones). So if your target audience includes the 15 to 25-year-old demographic, it’s time to get Snap-savvy.

Where to Start?

Snapchat isn’t like any other social networking app because of the time constraint put on the content you share. When a user sends a Snap to a friend, it self-destructs once it’s viewed. But successful brands are using Snapchat is by taking advantage of its Story feature.

With Snapchat Stories, you can combine a series of video clips and images together to create a longer piece of content. Stories can be viewed as many times as a user likes within 24 hours. After that viewing period, the ‘story’ is gone. This time constraint can work in your favour; it gives consumers a sense of urgency and excitement; a behind-the-scenes insight into your brand’s life that they usually get only from close friends.

So, think about how you might use Stories. Do your research. Get familiar with the few brands that are doing it well internationally (Universal Studios Hollywood and Vice are worth checking out).

Playing the Game

Millennials love free stuff, so use Snapchat to run giveaways. It’s a great tool to use for competitions: you’ve got the full attention of the user; people have to actively select your Story to watch it. ASB Bank knows how to do it. The bank runs cohesive, creative giveaway campaigns targeted at students and apprentices. Take a look at what it has done in the past here.

Use the mobile app to build anticipation too. Given it’s founded on short, sharp clips, you can create a series of Snaps to build anticipation for an event or product release that can help spread the word organically. You might utilise brand ambassador take-overs, just like Universal Pictures did for the release of Neighbors 2. You might use it as a ‘live-streaming’ tool for your launch celebration. You might use it to showcase your product’s capabilities. And you might, of course, use it to encourage user-generated content, like New York-based frozen yoghurt company, 16 Handles. Or, you might contact us to see how we think you can use it best.

In Short…

Don’t get left behind. Soon, millennials will run the world and if you’re forward thinking, you’ll be planning how to build brand loyalty within this target demographic. Start Snapchat marketing now – utilise its capabilities and quirky features – and you’ll reap the rewards later.

One comment so far

  1. Medium Well,

    Good piece. But maybe our only concern shouldn’t be if we are using Snapchat (or whatever SM platform) effectively, but also *ethically*. I just wrote a piece about the potential impact Snapchat is having on teens and millennials: Snapchat: Social Crack for Young Consumers, A Call for Ethical Software Design. It speaks to this issue. 🙂

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