Snapchat 101: Does your brand need it?
The Story-sharing app is marketed to the younger Gen-Z set and has gone through many changes within the past year.
Can’t wrap your head around it? Don’t worry. The app was designed for users under the age of twenty-six, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t useful for brands and influencers with older audiences.
In the UAE, 60% of internet users now use Snapchat (rising from 38% in 2014). And Saudi users make up 9% of the Story-sharing app’s entire userbase.
The app is so popular that Facebook offered them $3 billion dollars for it… and they were turned down. That’s how much faith they have in the platform, and is a good sign that you should too.
Regardless of all of that, as an influencer and brand, you need to go where the people are, and if the people you are looking to appeal to are within the age range of 18-34, possibly slapping on dog ear filters, then this is no doubt the app for you.
The two main ‘perceived’ drawbacks for the traditional marketer being…
• There is no discover feature. Meaning your content is only shown to you fans, or in this case friends, and won’t reach random members on the platform, like with Facebook (organic reach), and Instagram (hashtag search)
• The lifespan is exceptionally low, with snaps only being viewable once and lasting for 10 seconds after seen, and Stories being available for 24 hours.
Snapchat allows a more personal and authentic connection to be formed. What do we mean by that? Like Facebook profiles (not pages), Snapchat only allows you to only communicate with ‘friends’ and personal connections, a relationship that is a little different from the usual brand-follower dynamic. Not to mention the nature of the content, ideally light-hearted, real and raw, which lends itself to that.
And with regards to the shelf life, a lot of marketers may feel like it’s a waste of content, but those are just people who are accustomed to crafting carefully planned and perfected videos; which are great for platforms like YouTube, but not so much for Snapchat where users are looking for authenticity.
The bottom line is, all of your fans still do get to see what you want them to see, the view is pretty much guaranteed, and the possibility of your content being bogged down on a newsfeed isn’t a problem here. And in general, with the exception of Pinterest, content on most mainstream platforms have a very small shelf life.
The average lifespan of a tweet, for instance, is only 18 minutes, which may extend depending on how much engagement it gets.
Bonus Tip: Interact with your fans the way you would your friends, and they’ll be supporting your channel just the way one would.
When Should You Post?
Considering the nature of the platform, and the fact that there is no organic reach or way for your audience to stumble onto your content, this platform is best suited for once you’ve already gained some recognition.
This doesn’t mean your fan count should be in the hundred’s of thousands before you get started, a couple hundred’s of a highly engaged audience should do just fine. Snapchat thrives, but more importantly relies a lot on word of mouth to succeed.
If we were to define roles, I guess you could say Facebook, Instagram and Twitter would be used to expand reach, introduce your brand and initiate relationships, and then Snapchat would be used to take it to the next level by pulling back the curtain and sharing more raw and real moments.
What Should You Post?
Let’s start with how to succeed on the platform…
1. Cross Promote your content on other channels
Share your snaps and stories on to all your other channels leveraged, and bring fans over. If the content is appealing and your audience is engaged, we're sure they’ll come around.
If you don’t have other channels built, and you’re just starting out, as mentioned above, while you can still use Snapchat to show some love to your few followers, solely because of reach restriction, it would make more sense to invest your energy elsewhere for the time being.
2. Make Use of Snapchat Stories.
There are two main types of posts on Snapchat. The first being a regular snap, a picture or video that only lasts for 10 seconds and then you have the stories, which live on your profile for 24 hours and people can view them as many times as they want.
You can assign multiple snaps to a single story, the best way to use it as you can imagine, is to have a string of snaps narrating a fun and engaging storyline throughout the day. These can be really fun and engaging, and the possibilities are endless. Look around and get some inspiration.
3. Use Snapcodes
Every profile has its very own unique code, to access it, click on that cute little ghost icon on the top of your screen, this will take you to your profile page where you can see your Snapcode.
Take these Snapcode and regularly promote the same on your other channels. No need to sound needy, do it through teasing promotions and other great content your fans would otherwise miss out on.
Tip: If you’d like to use these to add friends, all you need to do is take a picture of their snapcode, go to the ‘Add Friends’ section, and click on ‘Add by Snapcode’.
4. Go Out and Hustle!
One of the best ways to improve you following on Snapchat or any platform for that matter is to make personal connections. Where would you meet them? Try industry events, trade shows, exhibitions, etc.
There are a couple ways you could do this (without looking like a complete newbie). One is using Snapcodes we talked about, and the other is to add them via username.
5. Tease Competitions and Giveaways
Tease attractive (and relevant prizes), you’ll be giving away, and encourage your friends/followers to share the same as well.
Make sure to mention dates so your followers know when to be on the lookout. And don’t set the dates the dates too far in advance, as much as you want to prolong the great benefits of providing a comp, the objective here is to build a sense of urgency.
Lastly, you only want to run these after you have a sizeable audience, otherwise, you’ll just be giving prizes away for practically nothing.
A couple ideas, you could do a caption contest where you upload a really funny picture of yourself or something, and ask your fans to add a caption, best one wins. Or you could ask fans to send in videos of them doing something relevant to your channels. If you’re into makeup, maybe you ask them to replicate a look, or if into fitness, maybe you give them a challenge.
There are so many different places you could take it. Stories last for 24 hours, so that would be the timeframe
Click here to find out how to set-up and take your first snap...
What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.