So, by now, you probably know of Snapchat, the app that is the most popular social media outlet for millennials and Gen Z. But what is Snapchat?
You may have heard that Snapchat lets you capture photos or videos in 10 second clips and then they disappear. Well, that’s only partially true, snaps sent directly to another person DO disappear once they’ve been viewed but anything shared to your “story” will remain in the cue for a revolving 24 hour period, making it a great way to stay in the moment and relevant to your followers.
But why Snapchat? Well, you may have noticed, most people don’t have a very long attention span these days. We have so much information flying at us, we are usually on the brink of sensory overload. Snapchat has quick, digestible snippets that don’t take too much of your time and the advantage to having something short and sweet THAT DISAPPEARS is that, you have the viewers undivided attention for those 10 seconds- so long as you are curating valuable content.
So, valuable content. Unlike Instagram, with it’s filtered and perfected photos, which you can alter into oblivion until they are exactly what you want to represent to the world, (guilty as charged. I am referred to by some clients as, “Filter Girl”), Snapchat is what’s happening NOW. It’s raw. You can’t edit it. It’s very “real”, and younger social media consumers are Eating. It . Up. Remember, people are buying YOU as much, if not more, than they are buying your product. They want to know your brand, your beliefs, affiliations, sense of humor, community involvements and your personality. THAT is what they will connect with- not a logo or a name. Check out ChocJohnny. He is posting most of the day, most everyday and he is one of the top guys in the Snapchat game. People watch his story everyday to see him, and his team, make chocolate. Seem, ridiculous? It kinda is, in the best way possible. He’s a silly Australian Willy Wonka who simply walks you through his day. He’s over the top and hilarious- and people love it. SO much so, they often stop into his store just to meet him and they walk away having snapped with ChocJohnny and making a purchase of his delicious, speciality chocolates.
But, it’s not enough to just have fun, flashy content, just like all social media, you have to engage. People love having someone open and view their snaps and people love to be acknowledged; especially when you shout out to them. Snapchat is so great in that, with nearly no time at all, you can snap a quick video of you saying someone’s handle and thanking them. Share it directly to them as well as in your story and you can really make their day.
Play games with them! Ask them to send you a Snapchat drawing of your logo (you’d be surprised at how adept some people are with the crayon feature), have them sing your jingle, put up a promo code and have them screenshot it (hello, tracking your promotions), you could even follow Grubhub’s lead and send your followers on a scavenger hunt! Anything that gets them interacting with you.
If you want to break into the Snapchat game, here are few tips to get you started:
- Pick someone to represent your brand who has a great personality. Taco Bell has a couple of good looking, funny, interns who handle their Snapchat account and that really is the way to go. Personality is what sells this social platform so, pick the office clown and turn them loose!
- LET PEOPLE KNOW YOU’RE ON SNAPCHAT! Seems silly but, you want to tell people to find you on Snapchat. Don’t just toss your SnapCode up and hope that people will know what to do. Just as you would inform your customer base to follow you on Twitter, and include your Twitter handle, you need to let them know, using words, that you’re on Snapchat.
- Keep it real and keep it fun. Remember, it has a very, “behind the scenes” feel to it. Don’t worry about rehearsing what you’re going to do or say. Play!
- Make sure every Snap has a lot going on. Use filters, draw on it, use emojis and text. MAKE the viewer focus for the duration of the snap’s life on their screen. The more cool stuff you have going on in a single snap, the more they’ll want to tune in- intently- for all of your snaps, to see what you’ll post next.
- Decide how often your team is going to snap. At M+, during the work week, it’s tough to spare a person or two to Snapchat the events of the day. It simply isn’t practical to our workflow. We do, however, commit to snapping at least once a week and for special events: Office parties, birthdays, award ceremonies, tradeshows etc. With Snapchat, while it would be great to be able to snap all the time, it’s really about creative and unique content when you snap, rather than the frequency. If you can snap more, great, if not, focus on a few cool snaps each week and during peak periods or special events.
- Bonus tip: If you’re snapping a lot, you can keep your Snap Story at the top of the list by adding another post to your story within the 24 hour period of that story’s lifetime.
- For special events, storyboard the snaps that you absolutely have to have, then you can fill in with fun stuff that is less planned. Just like you wouldn’t want to miss the shot of the bride walking down the aisle in your wedding album, you wouldn’t want to miss special moments at an event- make sure the team knows all of this ahead of time and stays alert and aware to that when snapping.
Snapchat may not be for everyone but, it has definitely captured the attention of the illusive Millennial market so, why not give it a shot and ride the wave! It’s fun and user friendly and you can definitely use it to your advantage when it comes to connecting with your fans and followers and promoting your brand.
Jay Acunzo, host of the “Unthinkable” podcast, writes “Snapchat is, at least for now, what social media was always intended to be: Humans interacting with other humans. There’s no tone-deaf brand message or trend hijacking. There’s no anthropomorphic logo talking AT you. There are only people creating mainly fun, quirky, and positive content and actually interacting with other people.”
So, get out there and start snapping!
And hey, follow us on Snapchat: mpluscreate