With the growing number of social platforms, businesses have numerous ways to communicate with their customers. Today we are taking a look at the mobile app ‘Snapchat’, that allows for its users to send images that automatically delete themselves a few seconds after being viewed.
It seems like Snapchat has gotten a lot of attention in the tech world lately. Around 200,000 private Snapchat images were hacked which, of course, raises the question of user security. Furthermore the social network’s Chief Executive, Evan Spiegel, announced last week that the service will no longer be ad-free. Nevertheless, Snapchat, with a core audience of 13-25 year old kids, makes it easy to reach the youth who may or may not use Snapchat as an escape from the maturity that has invaded Facebook.
Snapchat as a marketing tool?
If Snapchat deals properly with the hacking scandal, the platform has extensive potential. Since its first launch in 2011 and rebranding in 2012, Snapchat has grown rapidly. More than 100 million users worldwide share over 400 million snaps a day (outpacing the photo-sharing activity on both Facebook and Instagram!). This makes Snapchat a creative marketing tool hard to ignore. The creative possibilities of Snapchat enables a brand to communicate personal visual messages to its consumers (no need to mention the importance of visual storytelling, right?) on a one-to-one basis.
Best practice for brand communication on Snapchat
• Promote your brand: Use your other social platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) to promote your Snapchat profile. People have to actively add you as a friend -which of course limits the number of followers- but also secures that nobody gets annoyed with snaps they haven’t asked for.
• Get creative: If you use the drawing function, it will make your brand seem more personal and easy-going. You don’t want to send out glossy advertisements, but messages showing a person behind the brand. Also, you can use the video function to show behind the scenes footage or to introduce team-members. Letting different employees participate in creating the Snapchat content can add some new perspectives. And don’t forget the ‘Stories’ function that enables you to add an image or video to your profile. The ‘Story’ lasts for 24 hours and allows for a longer message with potentially more impact.
• Let the users create the content: Encourage the users to participate in campaigns by sending images or videos of them using the product. Thank them with coupons, more contests or whatever makes sense to your brand.
• Embrace the time limit: Send out teasers for products that are about to be launched. Reveal what is behind the scenes with sneak peeks from the office or the production. The briefness of a Snap makes it easier to consume for the user and that’s a great advantage for the advertiser, who is trying to break through to young consumers with a limited attention span.
As you can see, the brand communication of Snapchat should be based on the same rules as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc: choose the right timing, get to know your users and align with your brand. Understanding both your target group and their context is crucial in order to create a dynamic dialogue. Now only time will show how many brands decide to join the Snapchat journey and the willingness of users to participate.