If you keep up to date with tech news, you have probably heard about Snapchat recently rejecting Facebook’s all-cash offer to purchase the app for $3 billion. While it may seem absurd to reject such an offer, Snapchat wishes to keep its distance from Facebook due to its target audience of teenagers. If Snapchat merges with Facebook, teenagers can no longer share candid or fun photos without parents or family relatives judging their behaviour on Facebook.
For those who are unfamiliar with this form of social media, Snapchat is a mobile application that allows a user to share photos and short videos with friends within a limited time of 1 to 10 seconds. Once the photo/video is opened and viewed, it will automatically delete itself after a given time period. Even if your friend tries to screenshot the photo, Snapchat will send a notification to you regarding the screenshot attempt. Similar to the concept of chatroulette, you can also connect with strangers at random on Snapchat if you know their username.
Although Snapchat has only been around for two years, it has become a big hype in the photo and video sharing community. According to CEO Evan Spiegel, Snapchat processes around 350 million photo uploads per day. Due to its immense popularity, businesses have turned to this application as a marketing tool. Here are a few ways the unique characteristics of Snapchat can be used to promote your business:
Exclusive messages to targeted users
For brands who want to offer coupons or other promotions on Snapchat, they can provide a limited offer exclusive for its followers that will disappear after a short period of time. This helps customers in generating a strong sense of brand loyalty, as they feel important when they are part of something small and exclusive.
A successful example of this marketing strategy is New York City-based yoghurt shop 16 Handles offering coupons to Snapchat users. First the user has to take a photo of themselves tasting yoghurt on-site to the company’s Snapchat account, then the company will automatically send a Snapchat image of a coupon to the user’s account. The coupon can include 16-100% off on the user’s purchase and it can only be redeemed at the register, since the photo is automatically deleted after 10 seconds.
The surprise element of the messages
The element of surprise can be advantageous for businesses, as they can send messages in the form of a present to customers. As the user will not know the content of the message until they open it, businesses can use this platform to inform customers on various discounts and promotions. Since everybody loves a pleasant surprise, your brand will become more memorable and have a more positive reputation to Snapchat users.
The short lifespan of messages
One of the major problems that businesses have to deal with is the misinterpretation of their advertisement or poor-performing content. Due to the brief lifespan of Snapchat messages, businesses can avoid a potential scandal when users misjudge the content of the message, as it will be deleted after a maximum time of 10 seconds. Even if the message does not generate a sufficient amount of feedback or positive performance, businesses can save themselves the embarrassment after the message is opened and deleted within a few seconds.
Although Snapchat is not an ideal platform to create viral trends, businesses can use this form of social media to build brand loyalty, promote limited offers and easily get rid of misinterpreted or poor-performance content.