Snapchat: what’s in it for your brand?
Snapchat’s basic principle is to enable sending “snaps” (messages, photos, videos) that have a limited life cycle of one to ten seconds (the length being set by the sender). As opposed to other social networks that store the entirety of messages published by their creators ‘til kingdom come, this system allows for freer self expression. The application’s two creators, both Stanford graduates, did indeed want to create a means of communication that was both more expressive than emoticons and less “risqué” than sending “undeletable” messages. This is an innovation that presents various boons for brands. Here is our review.
1. Capture users’ attention, truly
As we have previously written in our article dedicated to infographics, consumers’ attention span has considerably reduced over recent years. The ephemeral format offered by Snapchat allows serial channel hoppers’ attention to be caught – aware that they must seize the information in the moment that it is sent to them, at the risk of no longer being able to access it afterwards.
2. Gaining a Younger Audience
It is of some notoriety that the “great” social media have aging user bases – in the vein of Facebook, which includes an increasing number of seniors and a decreasing number of teenagers. Snapchat, conversely, is the young persons’ social network par excellence! Sosh, Orange’s entry-level brand, which targets a young audience, has made no mistake about this: it has been amongst the first in France to invest in Snapchat to promote its services.
3. Protection from leaks… by “teasing”
Today, brands are exposed to the risks of leaks — as they are currently called — more than ever. This particularly regards brands’ announcements (following Apple products’ example), the details of which are generally “guessed” or even “known” by web browsers before their official announcement. The problem is that, once the first “stolen” photos are published, it is no longer possible to control their dispersal.
The Snapchat technology justly allows this risk to be curbed by allowing brands to “tease” – unveiling prototypes or posters while still keeping control. This principle was perfectly mastered by the Rebecca Minkoff brand at the September 2013 Fashion Week in New York when it spread pictures of its new collection before the show itself. It was a smart way of thanking its fans without pulling the rug from under the press’s feet.
4. Stir up excitement around an event
In a similar way, it is possible to stir up excitement surrounding a launch or event thanks to the “Stories” functionality which allows a message with a 24 hour lifespan to be dispersed. Better yet, brands have the chance to unveil their content as time goes by, thereby encouraging their subscribers to follow their immediate activity.
The prestigious NBA was able to take advantage of this functionality at Kevin Durant’s MVP ceremony by offering a “story” in three parts. Each part was made up of a photo from the event. This mechanism kept millions of league and player fans captivated around the announcement.
5. Giving Exclusive Offers
The instantaneous and ephemeral nature of Snapchat presents, finally, a promotional interest for brands, which have the chance to pay their subscribers back with offers that are exclusive… and limited. This principle is, in the end, approximate to traditional flash sales. As an example, the frozen yogurt distribution chain 16 Handles celebrated the new year in 2013 by offering discounts to its subscribers that ranged from 16% to 100% off in exchange for the publication of a Snap in one of its retail outlets.