Snap Into It: What the Heck is Snapchat?

Snap Into It: What the Heck Is Snapchat is a collaborative blog post written by Idea Creative Marketing contributing authors, it’s how we do things around here.

Parents of teenagers have probably heard of Snapchat.  You have probably seen ads with a Ghost looking icon, and you’ve heard about it in the news. Snapchat is the video and photo-messaging app with a ten second shelf life.  Once thought to be nothing more than a way for people to share inappropriate pictures without any repercussions, Snapchat is quickly becoming an excellent marketing tool.

Earlier this month the White House announced it had created an official story on the app.  Big businesses have already climbed on board including Disney, CNN and the Wall Street Journal among others.  There are more than 100 million daily active users; most (71%) are under the age of 34. It’s users are receiving more than 400 million pictures a day and has a growing user base centered on teens and young adults.

So what are the benefits behind the app if followers can only see your pictures, videos and texts for ten seconds or less? Isn’t the point of sharing pictures and videos to be able to save them?

The reason Snapchat is the new “it” app is simple; it hit the market at the right time. Social media users are all too quick to claim that the giants Facebook and Twitter have passed their prime. Visuals sell. Online privacy is a real issue and to be frank, we get really bored quickly. Did we mention it’s free?

In all reality, giants like Facebook and the infamous MySpace made it big because they allowed people to share photos and videos of themselves and friends. Sharing pictures and videos created a massive issue of privacy…we all know that one person that shared dirty pictures of their ex, that shared a picture that ended their career, and I think we can all claim to have “Facebook stalked” at least one person. There is literally no such thing as privacy on the internet.

Let’s not even get into networks selling your information for money. That’s another, very long, blog post.

The idea for Snapchat isn’t new. Mark Cuban had a similar app that he created to basically give the NSA the middle finger. Snapchat is a messaging app that allows users to add photos, recordings, videos, text and drawings, and send them to a list of recipients that completely disappear.

Snapchat stories only last 24 hours, so there’s a chance to do an unlimited amount of updates.  That can allow for some creativity from the business.  Most of us like visual messages over standard texts.  The whole purpose of Snapchat is to share pictures, videos or graphics.

Snapchat for Marketing

Many people today are on the go and have a short attention span.  The ten seconds it takes to look at a story may be the only chance to reach some people.  If the message engages them, they can screen shot it and save it.

The benefit for the business owner is there’s no time wasted going through content on social media or having to update websites, blogs or Facebook pages.

If you’re trying to engage followers, think beyond your product. McDonald’s recently had a successful Snapchat campaign that didn’t feature the burgers and fries on the menu.  Instead the company used famous athletes playing sports and endorsing the famous food.

Use the caption feature to ask questions and engage followers.  Then be sure to read the responses and figure out how to incorporate those findings into your business.  Keep the engagement going by letting users snap with you.  Offer rewards or coupons for customers who get creative in their responses.

Pull back the curtain.  Show the behind the scenes happenings at your business.  Good Morning America for example does a great job with this, but you don’t have to be a nationally viewed news program to benefit.  People love to see things that not everyone has the opportunity to, so share as much of those moments as you’re comfortable with.  ​

What Benefits Have You Seen with Using Snapchat for Business?

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