Is Snapchat Right For Your Business?
Assisted by Ingrid Hoff
Your business tweets terrifically, is on fire with Facebook and ingenious on Instagram but when it comes to Snapchat, you're in the dark. So what is Snapchat and should you be jumping on board?
Snapchat is a social media platform that allows users to send temporary*, seconds-long images to other users. Unlike other social media platforms, Snapchat interactions are predominantly one-on-one.
Like Instagram, the app is mobile-based so you will need a smartphone handy on a regular basis if your business will be using it for marketing.
The following are ways that brands can gain traction on Snapshat:
The stories feature enables brands to target a much wider audience. They expire 24-hours after being uploaded to the platform so it pays to do your homework and upload at a time when your target demographic is most active.
A snap ad is a 10-second ad used as a filler between stories. Used as teasers, the ads aim to entice users to swipe to view more in-depth content such as a longer video, article or website.
Geofilters are small graphics that are placed over a Snap. For example, say you own a coffee shop and want people to engage more than how long it takes them to buy their beverage of choice. When users at your coffee shop take a Snap, they can select your custom geofilter to explain where, when, and why they took the Snap. Prices for geofilters start from as little as a cup of a coffee.
Lenses are predominantly what Snapchat is known for. If you're already a Snapchatter or you've seen photos of people online masquerading as dogs and deer, you'll know exactly what I mean:
Image credit: ADWEEK.
Users select the lens of their choice and hold it up to their face to activate. Animated lenses which are triggered by movement (opening and closing your mouth to make an animated tongue stick in and out for instance) are particularly popular.
Is it right for your business?
Snapchat, like other social media platforms, has its share of branding winners and losers. Despite hundreds of millions of users, it tends to be less favoured by businesses as a marketing tool although major brands such as Amazon and Gatorade have used the platform successfully (at a cost!).
Things to consider before heading down the Snapchat path include how well it may complement your existing communication strategy, whether your target demographic uses Snapchat, and if you have the resources and knowledge to produce regular content that shows your brand at its best.
From a risk management perspective, it is always better to tread carefully and work out a return on investment (time and money), develop your approach and then implement a new platform. At the end of the day, a platform that is managed badly can say a lot about your business - none of it good.
*Also important to note - although Snapchat is supposed to be temporary, like everything else online there is a risk with that any mistakes you make will go viral, courtesy of screenshots.
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