Should Snapchat be a Part of Your Social Strategy?

By Nurain Alicharan in Social Media on July 28th, 2014

Is Snapchat a part of your social media marketing strategy? See how businesses are taking advantage of this new platform to reach their audiences.


What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a popular social media mobile app that allows users to send pictures and videos that last up to ten seconds and automatically disappear. The photo sharing app has approximately 26 million U.S. users and processes more than 150 million images per day, compared to approximately 40 million photos shared per day on Instagram. With about 70% of its users being younger than 25 and female, Snapchat offers the opportunity to tap into a younger audience.

Driving Engagement & Promoting Offers with Snapchat

Well-known brands have begun to tap into Snapchat's powerful promotional capabilities. Last year, Taco Bell asked its Twitter followers to add them as a friend on Snapchat and sent them images, referred to as “snaps”, promoting new additions to the menu. Sour Patch Kids and Nissan have since similarly tested the app by offering behind the scenes photos, video chats, sneak peeks of new products and sending coupons.

Real-Time Marketing with Snapchat

Enhancing personal communication, the app is also being leveraged for real-time event marketing as seen by Electric Daisy Carnival (EDC), the electronic music festival in Las Vegas, and most recently with the World Cup. Through the “Our Story” feature, Snapchat is able to curate a collective story told through numerous fans and attendees and shared with Snapchat users worldwide.real-time-marketing-snapchat

During the World Cup’s final match between Argentina and Germany, every Snapchat user automatically had access to the World Cup Live story. Interested users could watch the feed simply by clicking on Rio Live account under the Our Story tab. The story consisted of photos that lasted for 10 seconds or less and short videos from soccer fans in Rio de Janeiro.

Users that wanted to contribute to the live feed were able to send their snaps directly to “riolive2014” just as they would add snaps to “My Story”. Snapchat utilized a geo-fence to ensure all contributors were physically in Rio for the World Cup. For those following along, the story appeared alongside all other stories posted at the top of the “My Friends” section. Snapchat monitored the content to ensure that all snaps were appropriate while maintaining a hands-off approach to keep the experience authentic.

This engaged attendees and encouraged them to utilize Snapchat instead of uploading images to Instagram or posting updates about their experience on Facebook or Twitter. In addition to encouraging Snapchat interaction among event attendees, Our Story also maintained engagement among those who were interested in the event but weren’t able to attend. Viewers felt like they were transported to Rio as they viewed clips of fans celebrating and cheering on their teams throughout the city.

Snapchat recently experimented with the “Our Story” feature in June through a collaboration with EDC. However, in order to view The EDC Live story, users had to opt in to the live updates by adding EDC as a user to their friends list.

While other social media platforms give users the ability to follow along through hashtags and keywords, the collection of photos and videos offer an incomparable behind-the-scenes experience. Our Story offers a rare pluralistic community point-of-view.

What Makes Snapchat Valuable for Marketing?

While marketers have been questioning its capabilities, Snapchat is proving the value of advertising within the app with Our Story. This feature differentiates Snapchat from all other social networks by providing a unique live, behind-the-scenes experience. Additionally, as seen during the World Cup, it can easily reach a global audience with exclusive user-generated content. If your target is younger and female-skewing, consider incorporating Snapchat in your next social media marketing plan to reach and engage this audience.

Have you tested Snapchat yet? Let us know in the comments below!

Ready to incorporate Snapchat into your current social media strategy or wondering which platforms are more suitable for your brand? Contact our social media experts today!

  • Vdoty

    I’ve had trouble figuring out how anyone is using Snapchat (I’m clearly not the demographic), but this post was a big help!