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SOCIAL MEDIA SPOTLIGHT: SNAPCHAT

WHAT IS IT?
According to the internets, Snapchat is a photo messaging application that enables users to take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, then share that content as Snaps to a controlled list of people. Okay, cool. But here’s where things get tricky…

Users are able to set a time limit for how long recipients can view each Snap—typically from 1 to 10 seconds.

Once viewed, they disappear.

Snapchat also offers a Story feature, which allows users to share content for 24 hours. These pics and videos can be viewed over and over, but once time expires, so does the Story.

WHAT’S THE POINT OF THAT?
One of the brains behind Snapchat, Evan Spiegel, said Snapchat is intended to counteract the trend of users being compelled to manage an idealized online identity of themselves, adding, “It’s taken all of the fun out of communicating.”

Essentially, Snapchat takes the whole court reporter dynamic out of the equation. It lets users communicate in a way that lives only in the present, and requires greater attention from recipients—otherwise they might miss the message.

Ultimately, it more closely portrays an actual conversation, just with rich and engaging user-generated content.

WHO USES IT?
Lots of people. Snapchat has close to 30 million monthly users, with nearly 16.5 million using the app daily. The core demographic consists of users between the ages of 13 and 23, with a growing user base of 40-plus.

WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITH IT?
Lots of stuff. Sharing jokes. Telling secrets. Spreading rumors. Flirting. Making each other laugh, sing, cry… people are using Snapchat to communicate in a casual way that’s engaging and immediate. Often times it’s a catalyst for a bigger conversation that takes place in real life. Maybe it’s just an idea that’s shared to get things going. And it’s always done so without the burdening need to be curated.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR MY BRAND?
Simply put, Snapchat lets people and brands communicate in a way that’s more real. Users only opt in to receive Snaps and Stories from brands they like, that way users aren’t bogged down with marketing messages they don’t want to hear. It’s a great avenue for brands to engage brand ambassadors, and really take part in the immediacy of how our respective targets communicate.

SO, SHOULD MY BRAND BE ON SNAPCHAT?
The answer to that question lies in another question: Is your target on Snapchat? If so, then Snapchat might be something to look into. Brands like Taco Bell, ESPN, and even major movie releases have used Snapchat in their marketing messages.

WHAT’S THE RIGHT WAY FOR YOUR BRAND TO USE SNAPCHAT?
Well, how well do you know your target? Start by putting yourself in their shoes and try to understand what types of things they’d want to hear from you. Brand communication through Snapchat is relatively new, so defining that territory will require a bit of creativity—but that’s a good thing! Just keep it simple, and always keep your target in mind.

Now get to Snappin’!

 

Written by: Immediate Consumption

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