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8,796: the number of photos shared every second—every second—on Snapchat. Six billion daily Snapchat video views. 400 million Snapchat snaps per day. Snapchat now boasts 100 million active users each day, worldwide—71% of those are Millennials, who are embracing Snapchat in record numbers, drawn by its creative capabilities, sense of intimacy, and the way it fosters individual communication.
Initially, people were drawn to Snapchat because they could send images—snaps—to a friend, which self-destructed the moment it was viewed. Snapchat has grown into so much more. Snapchat is now a multi-use platform: people share videos, message with friends, and video chat, among other cool functions. Now with Snapchat Story, users can build a series of snaps that become a “story” that sticks around for as long as 24 hours.
2016 is Snapchat’s Year
“In 2016 Snapchat will emerge as the hottest social network in brand marketing,” says Phil Saifer, President of California-based Vertical Marketing Network. “The wise brand professionals should be diving into Snapchat right now.” He adds: “Thanks to coming-soon features such as streamlined group chats, incorporating music into snaps, and Live Stories—which organizes user-generated videos into categories created by the Snapper—humanizing a brand will have no better home in social media marketing than Snapchat.”
This year Snapchat will also begin producing videos aimed at more regional audiences, like surfing videos from individual towns, by using computer analysis to group content.
How to Capitalize on Snapchat
So what is the best way for brand professionals to make the most of Snapchat in 2016? Vertical Marketing Network shares the key ways to make Snapchat an effective component of your brand’s marketing mix:
Due to its “live” (or nearly so) nature, 10-second snaps are perfect for providing the audience with direct access to exclusive events.
Is your team working on a cool new project? Give your audience a 10 second exclusive preview.
Give your followers a sneak peak. Make them feel like they’re a part of things by letting them backstage and view work in process long before the final work is completed.
Many companies are using coupons in conjunction with other social media outreach efforts. One New York yogurt shop sent out coupons via Snapchat. But since snaps—including coupons—max out at 10 seconds, the user had to take their phone to the yogurt shop and redeem it once they got to the register. Woe to those who opened their coupon ahead of time—after the allotted space of time it would “explode” and the user was out of luck. This created a sense of excitement and urgency—would the user be able to get the coupon scanned before it blew to smithereens??
Snapchat stories allow users to build chains of shared content that can be viewed an unlimited number of times over a 24-hour period. Brands need to be intentional when creating a story: it’s not just throwing a bunch of random images up there and calling it good. Brands need to develop their message ahead of time, and select images and videos that support their message while also being authentic and brand-specific.
Snapchat stories are also a good option if a brand wants to share a snap for longer than 10 seconds. Snapchat stories provide endless opportunities for creativity in brand messaging—the secret is in the creative execution. This Snapchat tutorial gives great tips on creating a strong story:
Help Followers Find You
As a brand, getting the attention of 100 million daily Snapchat users can be a huge challenge because users must manually add the people (or brands) they want to follow, not the other way around. Another challenge: unlike other social media platforms, there are no “like” or “share” buttons. Plus, Snapchat is an active interface—meaning, users have to go to the effort of opening a snap if they want to see it, rather than sitting by passively while content scrolls down.
One of the simplest ways to drive people to your brand is to create your Snapchat QR code and post it on your other social media sites. A QR code is a customizable icon. When someone hovers over it with their mouse, it will take them to your Snapchat account directly so they can see what your brand is up to.
You can also post a snippet of your Snapchat content on your other social media platforms or website as an example of what users may look forward to when they follow you on Snapchat.
There is also the tried-and-true marketing tactic of offering something of value in exchange for followers. The time limited nature of a Snap will create a sense of urgency–there is nothing worse than missing out on an opportunity.
One of the most creative ways to drive users to your Snapchat account is to partner with a well-known social influencer. The teen retailer Wet Seal gained 9,000 new followers when they gave a popular 16-year-old beauty vlogger control of their account for two days–a huge improvement over Wet Seal’s original following of just 2,000.
An In-the-Moment Snapshot
Snapchat is changing the way we communicate with each other. The platform creates an “in the moment” feel that perfectly expresses modern day society—especially for the millennials who use it daily. Brands are beginning to embrace the moment, too. Will your brand be on the outside looking in this year?
What needs to take place to include Snapchat in your brand’s arsenal of social media marketing platforms? Please share your thoughts and questions in the comments section.
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