Snapchat is the social app that has been around since 2011 and has been growing in popularity, particularly with younger users. For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, Snapchat allows users to share moments or ‘snaps’ with their friends. Photos and messages auto-destruct after between one and ten seconds, depending on how the user has set up the message. The key difference from platforms such as Instagram is that Snapchat messages are targeted at specific friends rather than visible to nearly anyone.
Due to the fleeting nature of the messages, Snapchat has grown a bit of a reputation for ‘sexting’, however be warned, it has been proven that you may still be stuck with those images forever! As a general rule, don’t share anything that you may be embarrassed by if it ended up public or came up again at a later date (just see Snapchat pics that should never have been sent – immortalized here online).
The popularity of Snapchat has been largely attributed to the ability to target selected friends with a message, rather than Facebook or Twitter which can be seen even by non-friends. Facebook recently acknowledged that they are starting to lose the teen market and made a failed bid to purchase Snapchat.
With over 100 million users and more than 350 million ‘snaps’ being sent each day, Snapchat is fast becoming a social platform with promise for marketers, yet it has so far had only a few businesses create marketing campaigns. You can see some of these here.
With a recent (but somewhat controversial) valuation at around $4 billion, the predictions are that Snapchat is here to stay and can only keep growing. This being said, particularly if your brand in any way targets a youth audience, Snapchat may be the next big thing for you to target marketing toward.
The release of Snapchat Stories (see video) gives marketers the opportunity to ask customers to share their stories or interact with them while in their store or destination. While some have questioned how effective the fast nature of the messages can be, marketers may find that it creates a sense of urgency among their audience and they may be more likely to make an impulsive decision. For example, if you operate a clothing store you could ask customers to take a snap of themselves in your clothing and post to their friends in return for a discount at the counter. The same thing could work for virtually any kind of product.
Of course, if you do decide to make Snapchat a part of your marketing strategy, you need to think about how it is going to work for your brand. For example, what if you get replies from Snapchatters? You have a short time-frame to see and respond to these so how will you manage it? Or will your campaign direct users to another platform which you can track more easily? It will be interesting to see how this progresses; could Snapchat for marketers be the next big thing?