Snapchat users send more than 400 million disappearing “Snaps” per day, making it the most popular photo sharing service in the world. Although the company has remained silent about the exact number of users it has, nobody doubts its popularity, especially with the coveted group of 18-29 year-olds. It’s a highly personal and direct medium, as Snaps feel more like text messages than widely broadcasted shared posts that appear on other social media networks.
It’s no surprise, then, that brands have attempted to get in on the action. With the introduction of Snapchat Stories—a months-old feature that allows the photos and videos shared via Snapchat to live for a full 24 hours before disappearing—using the app has started to make a bit more sense for brands, whose Snaps now have more staying power.
Brands like the HBO TV series Girls, the New Orleans Saints, Acura and Taco Bell all use Snapchat to tell their unique stories. The stars of Girls recently used Snapchat to give a sneak peek at the premiere of their latest season, while the Saints’ account tells candid, compelling stories that would never make it into a game-day broadcast. Acura used the app to show a sneak preview of a new prototype, while Taco Bell has used the platform to announce the return of a popular menu item.
But Snapchat isn’t for every brand. Questions remain about the ROI for brands using the app, as it has no built-in engagement metrics such as retweets, followers or likes. Not to mention, the accounts of close to 5 million users were compromised in late 2013.
Should your brand be on Snapchat? Here are some questions to ask when thinking about crafting a strategy for Snapchat, courtesy of Amy Schoenberger of 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?
Join Jeff Petriello of Mashable, KC Geen of GrubHub Seamless, Whitney Kelly of Hyatt and Dana Wasilewski of Edelman Digital at PR News' Feb. 27 webinar Social Media Hot Shots: Leveraging Snapchat, Instagram Direct & More.
Follow Brian Greene: @bwilliamgreene