With 100 million active users and 77% of college students using it daily, Snapchat is a mobile photo-messaging app that allows users to take photos and short videos that remain viewable to recipients for approximately 10 seconds; after that, the ‘snap’ disappears and cannot be retrieved.
Snapchat has a huge audience of potential customers; 58% of college students are likely to purchase a brand’s product or service if they received a coupon via Snapchat. In today’s market, Snapchat is increasingly being used by businesses as part of their marketing strategy.
Snapchat can be an appealing marketing technique for the right type of small business (especially if the business targets young people). We all like to feel connected to a brand, and Snapchat can be used to take you behind the doors of a company you care about. The immersive video experience is more powerful than a simple Tweet or Instagram photo.
Restaurants in particular are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the benefits of Snapchat. ‘Snaps’ of food preparation or daily specials can be shared to customers; this sharing can be timed to coincide with lunch/dinner to entice people to go when they are hungry.
But before using Snapchat as part of your marketing strategy, it is important that you are aware of the potential dangers that the app can have on your brand. Building a relevant and engaged audience on Snapchat is difficult compared to other social media networks and because the content isn’t searchable, you can’t build on it. So far, brands have stayed away from Snapchat due to a lack of analytics and targeting opportunities, but seeing as Snapchat has the highest growth rate of any social media app, I am of the opinion that this will improve at some point in the not too distant future.
However, the one thing that must not be ignored when incorporating Snapchat into your marketing strategy is professionalism. When using Snapchat for business purposes, it is really important to think about whether or not the images being sent to clients/competitors/customers are professional. The tone of the image or video being sent will influence how other people perceive your business; there is a big different between the content you would share with your friends verses content what you would share for businesses purposes, so always be conscious of the messages your content could be promoting.
Pros of using Snapchat for your business
- A huge audience of potential customers
- Beneficial for businesses targeting a young audience
- Can help customers feel connected to a brand
Cons of using Snapchat for your business
- Building a relevant and engaged audience is difficult
- Content shared isn’t searchable so it cannot be built upon
- Content must be closely managed to remain professional