Snapchat claims to be “the best way to reach 13-34 year-olds.” A bold statement, but if this stands true, this means Snapchat could be one of the most impactful avenues for brands to reach the coveted teen and Millennial audiences. Especially as more Millennial-oriented platforms come onto the scene, like YouNow and CNN’s Great Big Story, the question arises: how can brands best benefit from these different apps? I recently attended PR News’ webinar How to Use Snapchat to Enhance Your Brand’s Messaging and thought I’d share the key insights I took away on how brands can use Snapchat to their advantage.
When considering using Snapchat for your brand, it is important to keep in mind the audience and the platform’s unique capabilities. According to Snapchat, more than 60 percent of 13-34 year olds with a smartphone use the app, with 37 percent of users being 18-24 years old (and only 2 percent being 55+). Also, just FYI, posts in Snapchat cannot be pre-loaded, they must be live which calls for time and resources. So if your brand is targeting an older generation, it may not be worth the effort to invest in Snapchat.
Aside from being one of “the best” ways to reach Millennials and teens, why is Snapchat worth it for brands?
- Constant content: You can push content out constantly to your Story without worrying about overloading feeds. Users select when to view your content, so they aren’t involuntarily inundated. And all of your content is found when someone clicks on your cover image (until they disappear 24 hours later!).
- Live feeds: Since it is a purely live-based platform, Snapchat is especially effective for events, news and anything else your brand wants to communicate at that moment. For example, multiple publishers like Mashable and Buzzfeed used Snapchat to “live blog” this fall’s Apple event – immediately breaking news and creating a full feed in one spot that covered highlights from the whole event.
- Creativity: Snapchat has a lot of unique features like doodling and geofilters (overlays that are only available in certain locations) that make it fun to show the personality and behind-the-scenes of a brand. And if you really want to, you can even take a selfie that shows you barfing rainbows (if, you know, that aligns with your brand’s messaging and all).
So maybe I’ve convinced you why your brand should consider jumping on the Snapchat bandwagon, but it’s also important to know that engagement is a whole different beast on Snapchat, especially since it is completely app-based. Here are some tactics to help drive engagement:
- Cross promotion: To add users on Snapchat, you have to search directly in the app. This means you can’t link directly to your name in the way we are familiar with for other social media. By making your Twitter or Facebook avatars your Snapchat QR code (aka your name on Snapchat), this tells your followers how to find you.
- Follow back: Adding some of your key followers back can make them more inclined to view your Stories and stay loyal to your brand.
- Post close together, but not too often: Posting to your Story a couple times of week, rather than every day, can actually drive more opens. However, when you are creating a Story, try to post all your snaps in the same hour so your followers are able to watch the story unfold at once.
- Storytelling: Snapchat may be a whole new world, but it still calls for a beginning, middle and end to your Story. A strong Story will drive followers to continue to engage with your brand.
Snapchat is a young platform, literally and audience-wise, and is still new territory for many brands. It has a lot to offer, ranging from its live Stories to its news section Discover. If you have a youthful audience, Snapchat is worth the effort and can be a fun way to present your brand.