Snapchat – Another Social Media platform. Why would you use it?
Set up in late 2011 this video messaging platform had 10 million users in less than one year and now has over 100 million.
Once a free account is opened and the app downloaded – Users create a 15 character username and then can send Snaps, which are images or videos and they can filter or add text or add drawings. Send to any number in your addess book once they accept your connection. Unless you hide your number you can be found by others. Choose who sees you.
Once sent they self delete within 10 seconds. Nowadays Snapchat have added ‘Stories’ which allows people add a selection of images during the day which stays available for 24 hours. Half way through 2015 people were sending over 2 billion snaps and stories are viewed half a billion times a day. In 2016 Snapchat has 7 billion video views a day.
They have allowed Official Stories by Famous people like a verified account in Twitter. Live stories was added in late 2014 to promote live events, to create images or videos that are seen briefly by followers, which is fine if you are a rock star or rapper trying to connect with your audience. It is more personal than paying for boosted posts in Facebook and many tenagers do not use Facebook.
Recently they added Discover for big Brands to do short form advertising content, which is proving successful and is bringing in more revenue for Snapchat, if not the brands themselves. So they have partners who feed content and advertise, which is a way to monetise for the owners. This now values the company at about €3bn although they have been offered €3bn by Mark Zuckerberg, when they were only worth €1bn. which they turned down. Recently I read that it is worth €60bn 🙂
New Social media approach – not for business?
The originators or inventors turned social inside out. Instead of recording uploads or items, as on Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter, Snapchat is more like real life interaction, where we see stuff for just a brief moment, before it passes by. It is a conversation, using images and text. You can even hit replay in content from friends and see something for another view.
Teenagers were early adopters, 13 to 23 year olds, because whatever they say or show gets deleted in 10 seconds. No interference from parents checking out what they say. Facebook loves this and wants it badly to get access to that evolving market.
It is just another way to talk without talking. It has been accused of being a sexting app where people send lewd or sensitive private images, but research shows that this is a minority activity. People are still shy about sending explicit personal information across the net. But people do like the fun of using the application – simple ! They send selfies, silly faces, idiotic poses, group poses etc.Most people accept that anything they send may be seen by a stranger, a hacker or a scammer. Snapchat has had a number of hacking episodes, but claim to be continually working on security to prevent it. Even if hacked, very little content is on the server at any given time, because it is being constantly deleted.
Opinion on Snapchat for Business
It is not currently a simple way for SMEs to advertise and is worth studying only if your target market is teenage. This may evolve in the next few years, so keep an eye on it, but do not get distracted by yet another social platform. Try it out, have some fun and talk to the kids. As you learn how to use it, you learn how your audience uses it. It is just texting, but with graphics.
Tips on using Snapchat for business if and when you do build a fan base would be to use it to send offers to your followers, discount coupons, previews of products, live images of events or back stage views. As with every other social platform the hard work is building that following. Do you want to invest the time to build a platform for a younger audience ? Do they want you to connect through Snapchat? Oh, and if you decide to use Snapchat, get to understand the lingo, by understanding the emoji or short cut messages – check out the How to Guide HERE Learn how to use filters to alter images and videos, add text, size it, change font, add lenses to alter images and add some fun.