Published: 02/06/2016 | AUTHOR: Tom Hunter
Some are still quick to write-off Snapchat as a trivial, slightly lowbrow messaging app, with an audience that’s too young to warrant serious levels of attention.
But they shouldn’t.
While it might not be right for everyone, the platform can be a powerful channel for brands, if used strategically…
Hang on, what’s Snapchat when it’s at home?!
Founded in 2011, and with 10 million daily UK users, Snapchat is a multimedia app that allows users to create ‘Snaps’ using either a photo or video, which can be edited to include overlays of text, drawings, filters and special effects. Once a Snap has been produced, users are able to share their creations with individuals or groups from their list of followers – which, once shared, can only be viewed for a pre-determined amount of time (10 seconds max.) before being permanently deleted.
Users also have the option to publish their Snaps to a ‘Story’, which collates a user’s Snaps into a rolling content feed, available to view by all followers for a duration of 24-hours.
But how is it relevant to brands?
Snapchat presents brands with a chance to engage with a vast, content-hungry millennial audience who are often less engaged with more traditional channels. Exclusive content, behind-the-scenes footage and competitions are just a few ways brands are using the platform’s functionality to engage.
Notable examples include Audi’s partnership with The Onion for the 2014 SuperBowl, in which joke captions relating to the game were applied to stock photos in a drive to promote the new Audi A3 to first-time luxury buyers. Or Domino’s recent ‘Dough to Door’ Story, featuring a dedicated delivery driver battling his way through a series of obstacles to reach a customer – with the components of a discount code dispersed throughout.
What’s more, Snapchat has just announced a three-year deal with Wimbledon, in which Live Stories of the event will be broadcast exclusively on Snapchat – with advertising spots due to be sold to key sponsors, including Stella Artois and Häagen-Dazs.
The recent release of the ‘Chat 2.0’ update brings with it even greater opportunities, introducing ‘Auto-Advance Stories’ and enriched chat functionality – significantly improving the visibility of content and enabling brands to better communicate with followers on a one-to-one level.
Sounds great – I’m sold!
Hold your horses! Before you start, you’ll need to determine whether it’s appropriate for your brand and right for your audience. While there are no hard and fast rules around who should and who shouldn’t use the platform, it essentially boils down to relevancy. As with any other social platform, you need to ask yourself – “is this going to help me deliver real value to my target audience, and deliver value to my business in return?”
For brands seeking to engage with a more mature audience, or businesses that provide services of a sensitive nature, efforts are perhaps better focused elsewhere. But for those looking to cut through the noise to reach millennials in a fun, interesting and engaging way – Snapchat might just be the answer…
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