Snap to It, Already: How Brands are Using Snapchat as a Marketing Tool

, Jan 22, 2016

CATEGORIES: Social Media
TAGS: , ,

36285205_sNot only do we have to keep up with Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter these days, but Snapchat is rapidly making its way to the top in the race for social media users.

As a 20-something, I fall right into the 18-32 year old age range that makes up 32 percent of the platform’s users, according to a survey done back in August. Snapchat offers the ability to send photos and videos – but, unlike similar apps, it also includes a unique feature where content disappears within seconds of being sent. As the sender, you choose how many seconds the content stays active for before vanishing.

Like many others, I often find myself sending the occasional “snap” to my friends (usually a shameless selfie) or posting something I find interesting to “My Story,” a feature that allows content to be replayed for up to 24 hours. We all have that one friend that always has the 120-second snap story. Snapchat has made it very easy and enjoyable to share a story with others, through your own custom combination of text, geotags, emojis and filters.

With 100 million active users, and growing daily, Snapchat also offers a promising marketing platform for businesses. With other social media channels, you would have to update, tweet or post at strategic times in order to give your content the maximum possible impact with your audience. But, with Snapchat, your content can be seen at the convenience of the viewer.

How are businesses using Snapchat? For one, they can use the platform to help put a familiar face on the company that their audience can identify. Take BuzzFeed, for example. You can follow them on Snapchat to see the faces of the employees behind these stories or just to see shirtless pictures of Zac Efron.

Other brands give followers behind-the-scenes access to foster a deeper connection. Like many Snapchat users, I love to follow celebrities, and some are willing to provide glimpses of their private lives. Did anyone else feel like they were celebrating Kylie Jenner’s 18th birthday with her while watching her snap story?!

Other businesses simply use the platform as a promotional tool. For example, for Kobe Bryant’s final road game against the rival Boston Celtics, the NBA used Snapchat to let fans follow his progress throughout the day. Fans could watch as Bryant arrived at TD Garden and conducted pre-game interviews. The NBA even sent snaps throughout the game, literally giving fans a courtside seat to history.

More than likely your favorite publications, brands or celebrities are already on Snapchat – since its release in 2011, the platform has grown tremendously, with more than 400 million snaps sent a day. All the while, Snapchat has evolved beyond its basic features to include stories, chat, video messaging and Discovery, which allows viewers to check out recent news from publications like CNN, Cosmopolitan, ESPN and others.

Ultimately, Snapchat’s growing popularity and potential to improve customer interactions is forcing many brands to re-think their social media strategy. If it’s not already, Snapchat may soon be an important part of every business’s social media regimen.

Read More:

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