Snapchat for Business…Yay or Nay?

08.24.16

Snapchat is here to stay. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it’people love it. Since it was started by two fresh Stanford grads in 2011, the messaging and multimedia app has strengthened its position as one of the most powerful social media platforms out there, competing with the likes of Facebook and Instagram. Naturally, marketers have flocked to Snapchat like they have to every other social media platform in hopes of being able to reach target demographics that may be using the app.

One smart phone user signs up for Snapchat, a popular mobile messaging app that allows you to send short videos, photos, and texts free of charge.
One smart phone user signs up for Snapchat, a popular mobile messaging app that allows you to send short videos, photos, and texts free of charge.

 

In May of 2015, Snapchat estimated that it had 100 million daily active users worldwide. Since then, the platform has introduced more filters, stickers, and facial recognition software. Given this, the number of daily users has more than likely increased. For example, on Cinco de Mayo, Taco Bell sponsored a filter that transformed users’ heads into tacos. With the lens being viewed on the app more than 224 million times in just that 24 hour period, the campaign was the most successful in Snapchat’s history.

Snapchat and Your Brand

Given all this success and Snapchat’s massive reach with varying demographics, it’s easy to see why marketers are trying to get their share of the pie. But businesses should think twice before following the herd and spending time and money on this social media platform without the potential for increased engagement with target audiences. Without knowing Snapchat’s demographics and your business’s demographics, you could just be shouting into the void with your content. If your target market is made up of people over 35, we would suggest using different means of communication apart from Snapchat.

Like the use of any other communications channel, strategy needs to play a central role in the message being put out there. This means setting parameters for what you want to get out of your social media presence, like an increased following, better brand recognition, etc. What’s more important arguably is the decision to get Snapchat for your business in the first place. If you feel the platform has the potential to reinforce and distribute your brand personality and it fits in with your strategy, go for it.

But tread lightly, because advertising on Snapchat can be incredibly expensive, because this is the easiest way to reach the most people while they are utilizing the Snapchat interface. Because of this, it is best to gain an organic following by posting content people want to see. This is your business’s opportunity to shine through a great story.

Buying geofilters for special events can be high dollar’this is dependent on the length of the campaign, the place and the number of possible impressions the filter could make. Smaller campaigns of course cost less; some people even get custom geofilters for their wedding day. So if you’re a local business in an area where a lot of people use Snapchat, a fun, custom filter promoting your brand could be beneficial for a small length of time without breaking the bank.

Instagram is trying to steal Snapchat’s thunder, though. It could be another platform that your business can utilize. With Instagram’s new update users are able to construct ‘stories’, multimedia messages that are posted in succession by a user and are visible for 24 hours.

Temporarily viewable messages are Snapchat’s bread and butter, but Instagram has improved upon this platform by allowing users to not only have a profile with a gallery of photos and videos that can be used anytime, but to also allow for daily updates and random moments from users via the story feature. Instagram doesn’t have the direct multimedia messaging that Snapchat is known for, however.

It’s much easier to find people and brands you enjoy on Instagram than on Snapchat, where you need to know the user’s exact username. At the moment though, Snapchat remains king of millennial social media. The competition that Instagram is presenting will push Snapchat to innovate, making is more attractive to current and potential future users.

Inserting your brand/business identity into the ecosystem of social media can present difficulties, but there is plenty of support out there to help you navigate these waters. Don’t hesitate to contact a professional. Your business will thank you for it.