When Snapchat first took the mobile world by storm, most people assumed it was just another teenage fad. Six years and a $16 billion valuation later, one of the most talked-about IPOs to date has since made it clear that Snapchat’s influence goes far beyond silly pictures.
According to Snap Inc.’s recently updated Form S-1 SEC registration statement, the app boasts 158 million active users each day, and those users spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes on the app each day. Clearly, Snapchat has ingrained itself as the king of a social media niche that Facebook and Twitter never knew existed.
For businesses that use social media to interact with consumers, Snapchat presents opportunities no other platforms can replicate. Whether your company's goal is recruiting new talent, engaging current employees or marketing to the masses, Snapchat has something for everyone.
The many faces of Snapchat
Snapchat users become princesses, cowboys, aliens and puppies all the time. Why shouldn’t the app be just as versatile for business?
Direct consumer marketing is the obvious first step, but Snapchat works for internal communications and recruitment, as well. Certainly, a 10-second snap isn’t the best way to notify employees that their bonuses have been delayed. But, for small recognitions, company events, birth announcements, new hires and goals achieved, Snapchat provides bite-sized slices of company life that employees will actually look at A Snapchat channel of employee posts, such as the one Cisco uses, can also be a great tool to show potential candidates what life at the company is really like!
Cisco, for example, allows its employees to post on the channel themselves, giving viewers a live look into the company’s different roles, office locations and special events. The channel has been a great success: Cisco found that 70 percent of its viewers had watched its stories all the way through, and more than five million minutes of its content had been consumed.
What's more, the oversaturation issue doesn't apply here: Just because everyone else uses Snapchat for direct marketing doesn’t mean it isn’t worth looking into, yourself.
10 seconds to better business
With a platform as versatile as Snapchat, most businesses have trouble figuring out where to begin. The following five strategies will help businesses get the most from their Snapchat experience.
1.Keep your content candid. Creating custom-designed snaps is expensive and inefficient. Users of Snapchat want to see slices of real life, not heavily designed ads. So, let your employees post directly to a feed, or put a personable social media expert in charge of capturing moments to share. With brands now posting an average 13 stories per month and 11 snaps per story.
2. Bring in well-known guests. Social media influencers and niche celebrities provide excellent brand exposure. Let someone else take over the Snapchat story for a while, and see what develops. Not only will brand loyalists appreciate the shakeup, but fans of the talent that was previously unaffiliated with the brand might become new customers themselves.
3. Call users to action. Attention is great, but action is better. According to Sumpto, 67 percent of college age students want to receive more discounts and promotions from brands on Snapchat. Encourage followers to visit a website or share on other social media platforms. Incentivize engagement with special Snapchat filters or contests for prizes.
4. Build a following through consistency. Twitter followers may rally around hashtags, but how can brands create a following on an app that relies on transience? Simple -- by making Snapchat a bigger part of the branding outside the app.
5. Track snap data. Even though Snapchat lacks the more advanced analytic tools other platforms use, it still provides some interesting insights. Total views are useful, but story completion (how many people watched all the way through) and screenshots (how many thought it was worthy of sharing) pinpoint the most engaged users.
Don’t be fooled by its often-silly exterior -- when it comes to marketing, Snapchat is the real deal. Follow these strategies to start building better stories and engaging with more users.
FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC
Roy has over 30 years experience in the broadcasting and marketing fields. He carries strong credentials in mass media, social media, advertising, marketing, public relations, and video production. Mr. Garton is also a professional actor and voice-over talent.
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