Move over, Facebook? Snapchat says users now send at least 700 million photos and videos per day via the ephemeral-messaging service. GE, McDonald’s and other brands are using it for PR campaigns. Ditto for frozen yogurt company 16 Handles, whose associate manager of social and digital marketing, Lara Nicotra, shares tips on getting started.
Snapchat is great, but just because all the cool kids are doing it doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Do your customers actually use the app? With the vast majority of Snapchat’s users younger than 25, it needs to make sense with your brand’s target audience.
Snapchat may seem shiny and new, but is it right for your brand? Besides the question of talking to the right audience, will you have enough content or resources to maintain it? Answer these questions before you move forward.
Find your voice.
If Snapchat makes sense for your brand, you need to find a groove and own your voice on the platform. It may mean changing your tone a little and tweaking your brand message so that it will appeal to younger people, who, as was noted above, make up the bulk of Snapchat subscribers.
As social media evolves, we know that simply copying and pasting text and posting it on every platform won’t work. Not only do you have different audiences across platforms, but your posts must be adapted to each medium.
Direct messaging is powerful.
Snapchat may be the most intimate social channel. Its conversations feel very personal. Users appreciate that brands are engaging with them on a one-to-one basis. It creates a sense of intimacy, and it makes brands approachable.
Make it interactive.
Don’t just send snaps—ask for them back. It’s a fun way to execute a promotion and a great source of user-generated content. If you intend on sharing snaps from fans, be sure to get their permission first.
Keep it playful.
That’s the whole nature of the app. Super-heavy content can reside somewhwere other than on Snapchat. This is a space to innovate. Jump in and go crazy with the drawing feature. Make it light, within reason, of course.
Don’t try to be perfect.
As above, the nature of Snapchat is to be instantaneous and fun. That includes small imperfections. Don’t have a graphic designer create artwork for use on Snapchat. It doesn’t belong there. Brands must embrace the fact that they’ll have to post on the fly. That’s the whole point.
Use Snapchat Stories.
Snapchat Stories allow a brand to post a series of photos and videos that are viewable for 24 hours. They’re great for events, parties and festivals. Fans get to follow along and see the story unfold in real-time.
Successful marketing campaigns are known for telling a story. Snapchat is the perfect tool to do it in a special way. The fact that the message disappears within 24 hours opens up possibilities for cross-marketing the Snapchat message with a brand’s other media channels as well as its website and/or partners’ sites.
Fans are the VIPs.
Snapchat is an easy way to make a brand’s fans feel special. This is the insider’s channel, the VIP content. Use it to post those sneak-peek brand moments.
Testing something? Have an early product launch? Snapchat fans are the ones who want to hear and see it. first. Use Snapchat as that behind-the-scenes medium.
Source: Lara Nicotra, associate manager of social and digital marketing, 16 Handles. The above is an excerpt from PR News Book of Social Media Strategies & Tactics. To order a copy, please go to prnewsonline/prpress
This article originally appeared in the August 10, 2015 issue of PR News. Read more subscriber-only content by becoming a PR News subscriber today.