Fitting Snapchat into a Marketing Plan

Jul 31, 2013 by

With over 50 million ‘snaps’ sent every day, Snapchat has been one of 2013’s success stories. So what is all the fuss about? More importantly, how can we integrate it into a marketing plan?

Snapchat is an app that allows you to instantly send photos to a friend, with a short message. It doesn’t sound very special, multimedia messaging has been around for years, used by a rather modest crowd. The difference with Snapchat is that you set a timer for how long the recipient can see your picture, with a limit of 10 seconds. Your friend sees the photo for less than 10 seconds then it’s gone forever.

So what’s the point in that? Why not just send a picture message? People are now pretty clued up on social media, privacy and data protection; the idea that when a photo is deleted from the recipients phone it is also removed from Snapchat’s servers, gives them a sense of confidence.

You also cannot just send snaps to anyone. Similar to the now defunct MSN Messenger they have to accept you as a friend before you can start barraging them at will. From the point of view of a marketer, Snapchat is a highly personal and exclusive channel of communication.

This level of privacy and exclusivity is unique in the world of social media. While Snapchat cannot realistically be a stand-alone campaign, it compliments many over marketing activities.

Research: Got a new product in the pipeline? Send a few pictures to your loyal fans asking for their opinion. It may not be as scientific as a focus group but it’s cheap, will flag any issues and will create a bit of buzz.

Exclusive Offers: Do you have special offers for your best customers? Let them know via Snapchat, if they’ve accepted you as a friend, surely they’re one of your best customers?

Contests: Snapchat is a fast and free way to enter contests. Just hit reply with your answer.

Feedback: Using contests and offers, encourage customers to send pictures of them using your product. Cheap content for blogs and social media.

Events: At a festival or trade show? Stand above the crowd by sending a snap of your stall or stand with directions.

Unlike Facebook which drowns its users in sponsored posts, Snapchat is still relatively ad-free. At the time of writing, you only receive snaps from people you want to. It’s a blank canvas then, unspoiled by over-commercialisation, with plenty of scope for creativity.

Big brands have been slow to get on board though, Shapchat’s private and personal nature means it has been unfairly dubbed the sexting app. Any large scale activity has been from brands who want this image, MTV and Lynx being the early adopters.

At the time of writing, there is no certain model for success with Snapchat, like all social media though, value is key. Engage don’t sell, give your loyal customers something they want. Don’t be the person that turns Snapchat into Facebook.

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