Today, brands dominate social media. It is almost impossible to find a company without a Facebook or Twitter account. Even newer platforms like Instagram and Vine are being taken over, but there is one social network that has yet to be fully explored—Snapchat.
Snapchat is a mobile app that allows one to share pictures and videos. The special component of this network is that the captioned picture is deleted after 10 seconds; this is much different from the “out for the world to see” social media we are used to.
The majority of Snapchat users are between the ages of 13-25. This age, as James Twitchell reminds us in his book Lead Us Into Temptation, is the “number one focus of almost every marketer”. Why? Younger demographics are still choosing what brands to align themselves with. A survey sent out by Sumpto, a marketing group that works to gather information about the “most difficult to reach demographic”, found that 77% of college students use Snapchat once per day. Their findings also concluded that 70% of respondents wouldn’t mind adding a brand as a friend on Snapchat if they already followed them on another social network.
So, why haven’t brands jumped onto this platform? Unlike other social media Snapchat is more intimate and personal— like a text message instead of a public wall. This very direct connection leaves brands with a problem. What type of content could they send via snap? Would people be interested in interacting with them this way?
DoSomething.org, HBO’s TV show Girls and the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) have all been using Snapchat in a variety of ways. DoSomething.org described in an interview with Mashable that their strategy is to make interactive Snapchat stories that are ridiculous and fun. They see Snapchat as a tool for “opening up more options for brands”. The Girls Snapchat account has been used to remind fans of the upcoming season premiere date and give exclusive insider looks. ASP says Snapchat is a way to “bring fans closer to the athletes and events”. They also point out there is “lots of room for experimentation and innovation”. Click on the image below to learn more about how Snapchat is being used by companies.
Patrick deHahn from CNN Money stated that Snapchat “has more funding and a higher valuation than Instagram and YouTube when they were at Snapchat’s stage in their startup lifespan”. So it seems Snapchat itself is a viable platform and with a growing 350 million snaps per day, brands should consider its possible benefits.
Would you follow brands on Snapchat? Do you think Snapchat is a worthy social media investment? How do you think brands will begin to use Snapchat?