So I just signed up to Snapchat (yes bit late to the table I know). The main reason I have been hesitant about signing up to Snapchat is that the feedback I have had has been so-so from anyone over the age of 25 and negative from anyone who hasn’t utilised the privacy functions properly. I classed it in the ‘for mega creepy singles only’ column until recently I learnt of the brands who managed to create great content and audiences on SnapChat. This learning linked back to the second reason I hadn’t used it prior the sheer lack of marketing opportunities I had heard about Australia-wide thus far.
So not wanting to judge a platform purely on hearsay and local bias, I decided to download Snapchat and have a go at it for myself. The interface seemed a little tricky at first even for me, not just the endless authentication process but the incessant swiping, hold/pausing and scrolling reminded me of how my Grandfather explained he had felt when using an Iphone for the first time last year. It did show me and hopefully other users the clear level of safety and care now infused into this platform, so that was a plus.
Young audience safety and UI aside, the colour schemes, clean design and instructional prompts helped along the way and I have began snapping today with various colleagues, family members and even a few friends in the UK. I communicate with these people quite regularly through Twitter, email, text, Google Hangouts and occasionally by phone or even shock horror face to face, however the novelty or fun factor that SnapChat provided by being able to instantly filter, type or draw on a photo of my face or the constrains of trying to make someone laugh in a quick personal video has suddenly opened up a new lighter and more personable way to interact.
The main areas I can see Snapchat being a benefit to brands is incorporating this intimacy into advocate interaction by posting ‘stories’. Stories are what I would describe as a Pinterest board of videos for your fellow Snapchat friends that only last 24 hours each video. Now for any company wanting to increase a sense of urgency or sense of importance to fans or tease a release of a product, this feature rocks. Sure, it may not allow you to broadcast to a huge audience like that of other image and video sharing capabilities such as Instagram and Vine but the beauty is that it does allow loyal ‘Snappers’ a more ‘intimate’ (I use this reference hesitantly in regard to Snapchat) look into the brand’s world. Not only does it allow a more candid insight, but if an audience connects with a brand on SnapChat then that is a pretty darn good indicator that they are prepared to be or already are heavily engaged with that brand and in turn pay attention.
I plan on researching this platform a lot more before incorporating it into any of our current clients’ social media campaigns or selling it as a service at Studio Culture’s digital marketing services. I am, however, excited to be looking into it.
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Joe Fox is Studio Culture’s Business and Development Director.