Chapter 7: Search Engine Journal’s Snapchat Strategy
Strategy adapted from Kelsey’s ebook, The Ultimate Guide to Snapchat Marketing
Snapchat is one of the most popular social media apps on the market today. Snapchat now has over 350 million photos shared daily, an increase of 150 million from June 2013. Like Instagram and Vine in their initial stages, users can only utilize the app directly from their phone, and no web-based version exists.
Even though the popularity of Snapchat is mainly still among teenagers and young adults, the app’s widespread growth has led to a wider range of demographics and daily users of all ages. Snapchat appeal lies in the fact that all messages are temporary and cannot be found by other users (or, in teenagers’ case, parents). Marketers can harness this hidden and secretive attraction to create innovative communication channels for their target market.
Forums such as Facebook and Twitter do provide a plethora of marketing prospects, but one thing that they lack is the ability to form a long-lasting and personal connection with followers. By using Snapchat’s single message format, marketers can reach users in a more personal way without seeming intrusive, since the message is viewable on the recipient’s terms. When it comes down to it, Snapchat is all about moments: goofy moments between friends and loyal moments between brands and customers.
- Time your picture according to its subject: You have the option of selecting the amount of time your picture will be up for the recipient to view. Since you have a range of one to ten seconds, use it wisely. If you want your customers to be deeply intrigued and just catch a glance of the picture you are snapping, then a couple seconds may be good enough.
- Use the text caption bar: The addition of texts on pictures can ensure a well-delivered and effective message, but must be used wisely. At times, cryptic messages may just erupt in a frenzy of excitement, but may not be understood by your followers if they are not utilized properly. In the example below, you can’t understand the written text; a caption would have been much better instead.
- Use the marker/paint tool to your advantage: Just like the text option, you can also enhance your snaps with the paint tool (which was attempted in the above example).“Snapchat Artist” could be the next trending job title when it comes to social media. For example, Michael Platco regularly sends out Snapchat art that delights his friends and Tumblr followers. Here is a selection of his best Harry Potter snaps, used with his permission:
- Give your followers up to 24 hours to respond before engaging again: Not everyone opens snaps at work, especially since they do not know what they are going to see. You don’t want to be too pushy.
- Reply to Snapchats you receive from your followers: Individualized snaps can be a great way to make your users feel special, if your resources allow.
- Polished and filtered pictures as snaps belong to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: Snapchat is all about living in the moment, so share the raw version. It may also develop a sense of intimacy and personalization for your followers.
- Be fun and creative: That is what the younger demographic reigning on Snapchat wants. Be what they want and you will go far.
How Can Businesses and Organizations Use Snapchat For Marketing?
As mentioned previously, due to the thrill teenagers get with exposing their deepest, darkest, and at times ugliest secrets, Snapchat is perceived as one of the most popular social media networks for younger demographics. This in itself is a huge advantage for marketers, as specific brands and businesses can use this platform to intrigue this already curious age group and create potential benefits for their businesses.
Marketers really need to be on the forefront of marketing and digital advertising trends. Strategy needs to be based around pop culture and what is trending visually now, while still looking natural. Snapchat’s main market (teens to young adults) is a savvy audience who knows when they are being lied to or manipulated. They appreciate genuine communication with brands that understand what they are interested in.
Ways to Use Snapchat as a Business
- Coupons: Send your customers a discount code, coupon, or keyword they can then use in order to save money while making purchases. Making your coupons secretive has an air of exclusivity, which feeds into the overall Snapchat feel.
- Competitions: Hold contests for the best snaps or have a QuickSnap contest, where the first person(s) to respond with a snap back wins the prize.
- Engagement and Community Building: This is covered in strategy, but depending on your popularity, sending responsive snaps back to users who send ones to you can help them feel like they are being heard; a huge benefit in the fight to get consumers’ attention.
Why Should Businesses Utilize Snapchat?
The true essence of a professional marketer lies in his or her innovativeness and the way he or she combines those ideas with the marketing tools available. There are a plethora of ideas just waiting to be launched through Snapchat that other businesses have not done yet. Doing Snapchat marketing now will help you build up a following through the medium while others are still wondering where to start.
Snapchat can help your business in the following ways (besides the coupons, competitions, and engagement mentioned above):
- Humanizing your business will increase brand brownie points: Take snaps of office events and happenings to make your users feel more engaged with what is going on at your company during its day-to-day, which will cultivate a feeling of closeness users will remember long after the billboards and tweets have faded away. This will also result in brand loyalty, a feat not accomplished easily.
- Every business has core mission and values. Let the customers know what your business is all about and what it stands for, and they will respond in kind with messages of what is important to them. Just be sure to listen when they do.
It all comes down to just one thing: your followers Think about your marketing strategy, your target audience, and the trends that could make your Snapchat embraced by users. In the end, a brand needs to see what the best marketing strategy for their business is, and with a growing list of social media tools available, marketers have a lot to choose from.
Snapchat is one of those tools that allows marketers to be creative and reach their consumers in a new and fun way.
So, there you have it: the entire SEJ social media strategy on every major platform. Are there other platforms you think we should have included? What strategies have you seen work well on social media?