What Does Snapchat Mean For Your Brand?

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Written by Sam Freeze

Since its inception in September of 2011, Snapchat has garnered more than 200 million users along with a fair share of criticism and media attention. Starting as a simple picture messaging app, Snapchat has expanded to cash sending capabilities, video chatting, and with the recent addition of “Discover,” the ability to swipe through news, sports, and other content from brands like National Geographic and Vice.

Snapchat is dominated by Millennials.  It is now the third most popular social media platform for millennials behind Facebook and Instagram, and now has roughly 50 percent penetration with the 18-24 demographic of smartphone users. As their parents flood into Facebook and Instagram, millennials have found a safe haven in Snapchat’s more ephemeral content.

Snapchat’s greatest strength lies in its ability to tell stories. It could be a night out with your friends, the kickoff of a big game, or the inevitable snuggling with your dog on the couch; Snapchat is the platform to tell your followers what is happening in your life in real time.

What does this mean for your brand?

Great brand content on Snapchat is organic, engaging, and true to the message and identity of the brand. One path a brand can take is to create its own account and produce its own content. General Electric has had great success on this path, creating content that is both engaging and informative. On multiple occasions, GE has brought in science celebrities to be featured in their snaps.

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A second path available to brands is the use of influencer marketing. Disney has had success working with Snapchat users like Shonduras, having him spend the day posting snaps in Disneyworld and driving users to Disneyland’s Snapchat account.

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The Drawbacks

Content marketing in Snapchat offers challenges not faced with previous social media platforms, including:

  • The content disappears, which is a problem which many brands get around by driving content to other social channels.
  • The nature of the app values organic, on-the-fly content rather than brand-preferred, well polished imaging.
  • Measuring engagement on Snapchat is different and tougher than previous platforms.

Ultimately, where the people go, marketers will follow. Snapchat is undoubtedly on the way up, and as Twitter and Facebook before it changed the way brands interact with their consumers, Snapchat will do the same.

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