Why you should(n’t) be on Snapchat

Have you heard of Snapchat?

Snapchat is one of the fastest growing mobile apps on the market, with an estimated 18.6% of iPhone users sending over 400 million messages every day.

Users take photos (snaps) of what they’re up to, add drawings or captions, then share their snaps with any number of their followers.

Snaps last up to 10 seconds, although you can add snaps to your ‘story’ – a compilation of images that lasts a full day and is visible to everyone.

Snapchat is a photo and video messaging service where the messages self-destruct.

But it’s not just for individual users – businesses have begun using Snapchat in their social marketing strategies. Although there is no distinction between personal and business accounts, businesses such as Spark (formerly Telecom) are using Snapchat to personalise their brand and connect with followers.

Where Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have all created a way for brands to connect directly with their audience, Snapchat is taking it to an all-new personal level.

Why you should – or shouldn’t – worry about it

  • Snapchat is cheap – it works because it’s less than perfect. You don’t need to be polished and you don’t need to spend money to send a message.
  • It creates a two-way conversation, and builds loyalty – a frozen yogurt chain in the States uses Snapchat to send discount codes to customers who send them snaps of themselves or friends eating their frozen yogurt.
  • Snapchat has just pushed Twitter out of the way to become the third most popular social media app (after Facebook and Instagram).
  • It has a young market. Most of Snapchat’s users are 18–24, and many of them are female. If this isn’t your audience, Snapchat probably isn’t for you.
  • Getting followers can be tricky – unless you have people in your contacts, you have to ask them to add you as a contact.

How your business could use Snapchat

  • Offer behind-the-scenes looks at what goes on in your business.
  • Send mobile coupons.
  • Preview a new product or give your audience sneak peeks.
  • Send reminders about a product’s launch or a sale you are holding.
  • Say hello! Wish your audience well, especially during events or holidays (even the made-up ones, like Talk Like A Pirate Day happening this September).

Getting started with Snapchat

Think this might be a good social media avenue for your business? You’re not the only one.

Businesses in New Zealand are already using Snapchat in some interesting ways – the New Zealand Transport Agency has been using Snapchat as a way to draw attention to the dangers of driving under the influence of marijuana (Follow @tinnyvision to see how they’ve done it).

Other businesses and brands worth checking out:

  • Spark: @snapsparknz
  • ZM’s Fletch, Vaughan and Megan: @fvmzm
  • Heineken: @heineken

Happy Snapchatting!

~ Keri

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