The other social media: Snapchat
With more than 100 million daily users and a growth rate of 57% percent in 2014 Snapchat is one of the most promising social networks. Founded in 2011, the social media platform follows a different approach compared to most others: Unlike Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, Snapchat's contents disappear fairly quickly. If you send your “Snap” to your followers (“friends” in Snapchat terms), it disappears instantly once viewed. In 2013 another feature named “Stories” was added. It enables Snapchat users to post a series of Snaps, which will disappear after 24 hours. Snaps may consist of videos or photos and can be decorated with emojis, fonts and various filters.
But why does only a small percentage of all businesses utilize Snapchat as a social media platform? One of the main reasons might be the demographics of its audience. Originally an infamous “sexting” app, due to the messages' quick disappearing, Snapchat is mainly used by a very young audience.
Almost 50% of all Snapchat users belong to the age group of 18-24. And an astounding 71% of all users are below the age of 34. Users below the age of 18 are not even taken into consideration, which is why in fact the average Snapchat user might be significantly younger.
Listed below are some additional numbers and statistics to take in regard, if you are contemplating using Snapchat for your own business:
Percentage of American social media users using Snapchat: 18%
Percentage of Snapchat users who contribute on a daily basis: 65%
Number of daily video views on Snapchat: 6 billion
Number of snaps per day: 400 million
Percentage of marketers using Snapchat: 1%
Percentage of college students who would likely purchase a product of a brand that sent a Snapchat Coupon: 58%
Why you should be using Snapchat
You might be saying that the audience on Snapchat is too young and doesn’t belong to your target group – but think again. Remember Facebook in 2008? Back then it was mainly used by college kids and high schoolers. Now moms and grandparents mainly use it.
Another argument for Snapchat is the undivided attention your snap gets once it has been opened. As it disappears after being viewed only once, users will most likely focus on the content instead of being distracted easily. Considering that today's social media users are constantly spammed simultaneously by multiple advertisers, having their undivided attention is an invaluable rarity.
Snapchat displays a high engagement rate and a high ratio of people using the app on a daily basis. Additionally, the numbers indicate that local marketing campaigns via Snapchat will have reasonable chances of success. Combined with a very low number of competitors, these are striking arguments for the utilization of Snapchat as marketing tool which is becoming a vital part of global marketing strategies.
How to use Snapchat for your business
Did all these facts convince you to add Snapchat to your social media campaign? Great! We have collected some strategies and explanations of how to use Snapchat for you business.
Speak the right language
Recently, marketers rely on word-heavy posts, lengthy videos and images that have been photoshopped beyond recognition. Despite brevity gaining popularity in marketing, many still showcase their product in every detail manner. But as less is more, you will want to consider using the native language of Snapchat to leave an impression: Relying strongly on visuals – using emojis (a principal part of Snapchat communication), filters and stickers – and adding a hashtag can provide your product with a much more memorable launch than a five-minute-video or wordy post.
Provide exclusive content
Snapchat is an excellent choice if you want to use real time social media. It gives your audience access to places and events they usually are not able to attend and provides them with possible insights which are not easily accessible to the public. This not only gives the audience unique and more authentic viewpoints, but also makes them feel included and part of an exclusive world.
Fashion designers Rebecca Minkoff and Michael Kors used Snapchat to introduce their collections before they even hit the runway.
But not only the fashion world recently discovered Snapchat. The NBA already used the app on several occasions to give fans a peak behind the scenes.
Collaborate with influencers
Digital influencers can play a key figure in raising brand awareness. Candy brand Sour Patch Kids teamed up with Logan Paul (a popular Vine User) who also has a huge Snapchat following base. Together they created a campaign which resulted in 120,000 new followers, raising their Snap impressions to two million in only ONE week.
Reward your followers
People love to be rewarded simply for being active on social media. So why not offer the chance to win a price, a coupon or an online discount for liking and/or sharing your content. Some businesses even increased their foot traffic by offering special discounts to customers who show a special social media message or photo. Try adding a discount code or coupon at the end of your Snapchat story or send them out as snaps and watch your sales increase.
But you do not have to be worried in case you still lack the sufficient amount of followers for starting such promotional actions: 67% of all college students claim that they would like to receive coupons and discounts from brands and an overwhelming 73% would open a snap from a brand they know (45% from a brand they do not know). There is tons of potential in this kind of Snapchat marketing.
Of course you can get a little bit more creative by starting contests or challenges in order to follow the ongoing gamification trend. Victoria’s Secret for example started a fun drawing contest to engage users.
Snapchat is a social network that lives on creativity and authenticity. Despite an evaluation at $15 billion, there is a lot of space for growth and experimentation. Last year interaction of users between the age of 12 and 24 increased by 11%, while Facebook and Twitter reported decreasing activity. Considering its recent performance, clever marketers indeed will want to start taking Snapchat seriously before everyone hops on the band wagon.