To Snap… or Not to Snap?

PUBLISHED: November 14, 2017

For a moment, let’s divide the world’s population into two: those who are on Snapchat (“Snapchatters”) and those who are not.

Snapchatters consist of about 173 million daily active users around the world, including some major corporations—Amazon, Starbucks, McDonald’s, AT&T, GrubHub, Disney—that have joined the platform to target the platform’s millennial demographic. All of those brands have a vested interest in the 17 to 24 demographic.

If you’re not a Snapchatter, there may be good reason. Unless you’re a global operation like Starbucks with a massive marketing budget, promoting a business across all social media platforms is probably not the best strategy. You’ve got to pick and choose where you spend your marketing dollars based on the advantages of each platform and its principal users.

Perhaps you’re not on Snapchat because millennials are not part of your core customer base. For instance, if you’re selling high-end lawn care equipment, you’re not going to make a dent with millennials.

Other reasons why you might opt not to Snap: (a) insufficient targeting as compared to other platforms, (b) challenges with measuring the effectiveness of Snapchat ads; and (c) the increasing popularity of Instagram and Facebook stories while Snapchat’s user engagement diminishes.

All that being said, it’s unfair to dismiss Snapchat as “that ridiculous app where people take pictures of themselves vomiting rainbows.” Here’s a few reasons why you shouldn’t underestimate the Snap.

  1. Comparatively, it’s less saturated. On Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, introducing your brand to the masses and acquiring new followers is a constant challenge. Everyone’s competing for attention. While the same can be said for Snapchat, it’s a smaller arena, which means you’re more likely to get noticed—particularly if you’re connecting with the right influencers.
  2. Vomiting rainbow filters aside, it’s refreshingly authentic. One thing users love about Snapchat is that, unlike other social media platforms, the posts are less prescribed and polished. Instead, the photographs are more spur-of-the-moment; the content less calculated; the people more real. And “real” is attractive to millennials. If you can capture that authenticity in your snaps, you’ll fit right in.
  3. You can stretch some new marketing muscles. If you do venture into Snapchat territory, you’ll have to adapt to the new environment and devise all new marketing strategies. Take a cue from Taco Bell—a brand that’s had consistently playful messaging but has stepped up its game to create elaborate and clever campaigns and find new opportunities to engage and interact with Snapchatters. There’s a whole world of snap features to explore.

Acclimating to a new social media platform is never easy, particularly one like Snapchat that has its own language in the form of emojis and puppy filters. And yet, if you perceive those 173 million Snapchatters as potential customers, then it’s certainly worth the investment. Open your mind to the rainbow vomit, and you could open yourself up to an entirely new demographic.


Published online at Community Newspapers.

About Brand Poets

Founded by Tana M. Llinas, Brand Poets is a collective of strategists, storytellers, and digital artisans crafting smart, poignant campaigns that command attention.


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