I have a confession to make.
Growing up, I was scared of ghosts.
I watched The Sixth Sense- you know the “I see dead people” movie – at a friend’s house when I was eight-years-old, and for years I was convinced that ghosts were real.
However, once I turned thirteen, I swore I would conquer my fear of ghosts because I was a teenager now and practically a grown-up. Since that day, I have left my fear of ghosts behind and have developed a fear of real things, like spiders. I hate spiders.
My point is that you shouldn’t be afraid of something that can’t hurt you. Spiders can kill; ghosts cannot.
Snapchat is slowly becoming a rising star in the social media world.
However, many marketers are steering clear of the application because they are afraid of it. They see the white ghost with the yellow background and immediately dismiss it as a minor social player.
There are currently around 200 million users actively using Snapchat each month, according to a recent article in Business Insider. That means that Snapchat has roughly the same amount of users, if not more, than Instagram, whose official number was 150 million users in May 2014.
What Is Snapchat?
Snapchat is an application that lives on smartphones.
Snapchat’s unique feature is that the messages that are sent through the app are only available for a limited amount of time. Once that time is up, the content disappears forever.
When a user wants to view content that was sent to him or her, they must touch the message and maintain contact with the device’s screen to view the content. Once the contact with the screen is broken, the content disappears.
Snapchat users can send photos or videos to friends directly, or add them to a feature called My Story.
If a photo or video is sent directly to a user, the recipient will only be able to view the content for a maximum of 10 seconds once he or she has opened the message.
My story is a feature on Snapchat that allows users to compile a series of photographs and videos into a single piece of content. The story is available for all of their friends to see for 24 hours. Once that time is up, the story disappears.
Snapchat users can add each other by typing in a person’s username or cell phone number. Snapchat allows you to see how many friends you have, but you cannot view the number of friends other people have.
Why Does My Company Need to Be On Snapchat?
Marketers need to be present in areas where people are paying attention. In other words, your company should be visible wherever your target audience is present.
Snapchat should be treated like any other social media channel; If your primary audience isn’t on the channel, then your company shouldn’t be either.
However, if your target market is 13-to 25-year olds, it might be time for you get over your fear of ghosts and download the app. Snapchat is growing at an incredible rate, and it show no signs of slowing down.
Sure, you might think the audience is too young for your brand, but that will not always be the case. They grow older each day, and, as they age, their purchasing power increases.
If Snapchat keeps evolving like it has over the last few years, you can bet the company will retain its users while continuing to grow the audience.
The Content Disappears, So What’s the Point?
Snapchat’s disappearing content feature adds value instead of diminishing it.
On most social media channels, users quickly scroll through content. Even though those posts will be there forever, there is little chance that they will be viewed again. Studies suggest that most social media posts only grasp about 50% of a user’s attention when viewing a single post.
This is because most people are doing other things while scrolling through their social media newsfeeds.
Even though Snapchat content disappears, marketers have 100% of their audience’s attention when someone is viewing their message or story, because they have to maintain contact with the screen. In order for a user to view a message or story, the user must push down on their screen and hold their finger there until the content stops playing.
Snapchat gives marketers a captive audience that you know wants to view your content because they are interacting with it.
What Should Marketers Do On Snapchat?
Marketers who want to get involved in Snapchat should start by following some of their favorite personalities who are using the app to see how they use it to engage you.
Here is a list of my favorites:
This will help to give you ideas about how your company can use the application. Snapchat is a great place to show behind the scenes work, display videos from an event your company is hosting, or even footage from a staff outing.
Seize The Moment
Where would you be now if you could have started your Facebook Page when organic reach was at an all time high or been one of the first brands to use Twitter. Snapchat is still in its early phase, but if your brand can learn how to be successful on the application now, the possibilities are endless.
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