Snapchat Cruises Past Twitter for Mobile Communications


When Snapchat launched nearly three years ago, PR pros were quick to pooh-pooh the ephemeral messaging application. How could using an online service in which photos and videos disappear after 10 seconds possibly help brands and organizations spread their messages? Now, in light of recent data from comScore, companies and their PR agencies may have to start to try and figure it out.

Despite Snapchat’s relative novelty, it has already established itself as one of the most highly used apps among millennials (18-34 year olds) at 32.9% penetration, trailing only Facebook (75.6%) and Instagram (43.1%) among smartphone users, according to a new report by comScore. (The data does not include Twitter’s desktop audience.)

In November, Snapchat’s audience penetration among smartphone-using adults was 12.1%, suggesting that the company—which late last year rejected a $3 billion buyout offer Facebook—still has a great deal of potential for the mainstream.

If not already, Snapchat is likely to become a growing part of the conversation among PR managers when devising their marketing strategies, particularly when trying to appeal to millennials.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to consider when contemplating the use of Snapchat, courtesy of Amy Schoenberger, digital director at Cone Communications:

  • Who are you? Personify your brand. What is your point of view, and what can you say that no other brands can say?
  • Who are you trying to reach? Define your target consumer as more than a gender and age range. What are their habits, likes, dislikes, needs and wants? Look at the latest eMarketer report and find out what motivates your consumer.
  • Where are your consumers most active? Do they check Twitter or Facebook first when they wake up in the morning? How are they receiving information? Are they OK with fleeting messaging, or are they looking for deeper engagement?
  • Do you have the right team in place to set yourself up for success? Marketing roles are going to shift completely, and we will see more of an investment in people with highly specialized skillsets. For Snapchat, you’ll need someone who has photography or visual editing skills. Do you have enough manpower to manage the platform?

Follow Amy Schoenberger on Twitter: @AmySho

Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1