New Social Media Platforms Come and Go

by | Apr 4, 2016 | Uncategorized

Why Then Should Your Brand Be on Snapchat?

It is only natural that business owners and brand marketers stick with what they know will work. Tradition is a powerful force precisely because it is based on behaviors reinforced over time by successful results. Innovation, by definition, is not validated. But given the rate at which digital marketing is evolving, the reality is that if you are not innovating, or at least open to innovation, you’ll likely find yourself left behind … and right quick at that. In this post, I am not advocating that brand marketers drop all of what has traditionally worked for them to jump on the newest, most trendy social media platform out there. Instead, I would like to seed the thought that for many business owners and brand marketers, the relatively new entrant called Snapchat may just be the thing they need to innovate. Snapchat is receiving a lot of attention from customers, but not businesses, making it a great opportunity right now.

Those who continue to pay for radio advertising probably don’t realize that more than 40 percent of Americans no longer listen to the radio on a daily basis. Even when they do listen, do you think they will actually remember to check out your company after they get to the office, drink their coffee, check their email, and finally get some downtime? Probably not.

I would speculate that roughly 90 percent of those who suggest that Snapchat is just a place where kids send risque photos have never used the platform. They haven’t taken the time to go through the four screens of Snapchat. I think it is also safe to say that more than half of them have never touched the Discover tabs or sent “snaps” back and forth to people.

Screen

Snapchat’s Discover tab, where brands can pay to share their stories.

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As a young entrepreneur with a robust social network, I have used these features and have become intimately familiar with this platform. I have studied how Snapchat can function as an integral component of a modern brand marketing strategy, and I would like to share with you the reasons why.

  1. Snapchat is different. It’s not like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram in that it doesn’t have a vertical scroll feature, a “like” button, a “share” button, or even a click-through option. That alone makes it unique in social media.
  2. What Snapchat DOES have is a platform where users will give 10 seconds of their undivided attention to viewing a snap. NO OTHER PLATFORM OFFERS THIS! Snapchat is a platform where you can build a closer relationship with your customers and prospects and really engage with them.
  3. Snapchat took a massive step toward social media domination on March 30, 2016, with the launch of Chat 2.0, which makes Snapchat significantly more sophisticated. Chat 2.0 allows users to make voice calls from within the app and send audio, video and (of course) text messages.
  4. Lastly, Snapchat is a place where you can tell a story. THIS is ultimately what brand marketing is all about, and businesses that post Snapchat stories can do so at scale (a Snapchat story is a photo or video you post to your feed for all of your followers to see for 24 hours). So often, I see businesses shove an endless stream of sales pitches to their customers. Marketing is about creating a story around your brand, which in turn creates value. When customers relate to your story, they perceive value and are more likely to engage. Snapchat is a platform that allows you to tell your story to all of your followers with engagement like no other platform.

LA_Art

Los Angeles County Museum of Art – showing its new exhibits to all of its followers on Snapchat.

If your customers are between the ages of 16 and 30, you are definitely missing out if you are not implementing a Snapchat strategy. So how do you tell your story using Snapchat? To start, take every phone number from every client and find them on Snapchat, and start sharing your username on your other social platforms. I think you will be surprised by how many of your customers actually have accounts.

Now you start telling your story! For example, if you sell any type of apparel, you have a gold mine of content you can share … anything from new styles to new items, tips on putting together outfits, and fashion shows. Anything that is a small mental step away from your product is always gold.

SEVEN BILLION videos are being viewed every day on Snapchat, and since there are not many players currently out there engaging with their users, now is your chance to strike. Don’t wait three more years to jump in once everyone else is already there.

Get out there and innovate!

 

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Jake Stoll
Jake is the Director of Growth at AvidBrain, an online marketplace that matches students to tutors. While in his last semester of college, he led the growth of the company to more than 15,000 users on a zero-dollar advertising budget. He enjoys speaking with other entrepreneurs and being a practitioner of social media platforms.

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