The new “it” social media network might be Snapchat, and it’s not difficult to see why it’s attracting younger generations, but what does it offer brands?
Snapchat debuted in 2011 with its core feature: sending disappearing photos. Even though it is not near catching up to Facebook’s number of subscribers, the stats are impressive:
- Snapchat users view more than 7 billion videos per day on the app
Snapchat claims it has more than 100 million daily active users
- More than 60 percent of 13 to 34 year-old smartphone users in the U.S. are on Snapchat.
Besides having the ability to send disappearing photos and videos to friends, Snapchat users can follow “Live Stories” to view events around the world. For example, Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival was featured in a Live Story this past weekend. Snapchat users who are at the festival submit their own content and the company selects which content is put into the live Coachella story. All of this happens, for the most part, in real time – giving both festival attendees and non-attendees a unique experience.
On Snapchat, users have the ability to follow along with friends, celebrities, influencers and brands as they go about their day in any location. Whether that’s a music festival or your friend’s trip to the mall, Snapchat is offering unfiltered experiences in real time. There is no algorithm. Users choose the content they want to view.
While the value of advertising on Snapchat is still questionable, brands are creating their own accounts. McDonald’s (NST client), Audi and Marriott Hotels all have Snapchat accounts and use it in different ways. McDonald’s takes users with them on the road to big events like the Indy 500, while Marriott shares travel tips from influencers.
There lies big opportunity for brands on Snapchat. For example, brands and influencers engage in “takeovers,” where an influencer will take over a brand’s Snapchat for a day. This builds awareness, reputability and following for the brand (and the influencer). Whether a brand is using Snapchat to promote an event or introduce new products, it’s building a loyal following due to the platform’s unique nature to offer one-on-one experiences.
Before making a commitment to any social media platform, it’s important that marketers and communicators strategize and plan for how they will use that platform to successfully communicate with target audiences.
Brands must evaluate if Snapchat is fitting for it’s audience and goals, but one thing is for sure: millennials and Generation Z are on it and “snapping” (communicating) with one another daily.