The One Thing Your Business Needs To Score Points On Snapchat

Snapchat is probably the most exciting social media marketing tool there is out there at the moment, and this has gotten marketers and businesses intrigued as to how to use the platform to engage their audiences. And although the platform’s success has seriously been undercut by Facebook which introduced features similar to Snapchat on Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook (Instagram stories, WhatsApp Status and Facebook Stories) leading to a less than brilliant IPO, the truth remains that Snapchat with its 160 million+ daily active users (more than Twitter) and with over 7 billion videos viewed daily on the platform, is a gold mine for any business, brand and personality.

To be able to understand to use Snapchat effectively is to first of all understand the platform.

First of all, the core users of Snapchat are aged between 18 and 34 years. And so it is a young demographic that Snapchat itself says are trend followers and are less brand loyal that are mostly found on the platform. Older users are there as well, but as the age of the user increases the number of times they visit the platform per day drops quite considerably. Users who are 25 years old or older open Snapchat around 12 times a day and spend 20 minutes a day in the app on average. Users younger than 25 visit Snapchat more than 20 times a day and spent 30 minutes in it on average according to Snapchat figures from the last quarter of 2016. But altogether people visit more than 18 times per day and spend 25 to 30 minutes on Snapchat every day.

Next you have to understand that no two social media platforms are the same. The way you/business engage(s) with people on Facebook, will be different from the way the engagement takes place on Twitter and on Instagram. Twitter users are more interactive with pictures and infographs while Instagram users are more interactive with great-looking professional content (picture or video) that is visually appealing. Facebook users are more interactive/tolerate a long-form content and often want to interact directly with the brand on the platform e.g. ask questions and expect prompt replies.

But Snapchat’s is somewhat radically different from all the platforms above. Knowing how to engage users on the platform has its own secret. And what is that secret, you ask?

AUTHENTICITY.

Snapchat is not Twitter with its 140 characters or Instagram with its glossy pictures and videos. Snapchat is a raw, authentic and goofy platform where people can make fun of themselves, do something crazy and not worry about it because after all that moment will be gone in 24 hours. Think about it; that is the whole philosophy behind the app in the first place. And what one tangible element of Snapchat reinforces that idea? The filters!

Just take a look at what some Snapchat user did during the U.S presidential debate on both candidates.

Snapchat is the platform to take yourself less seriously and show your true self without caring so much about being straight. Going into Snapchat to portray your business or your brand with rehearsed moves for videos sucks the spirit out of the needed authenticity and doesn’t engage well with your audience. Social media users change their habits when they switch from one platform to another and use each platform and behave more or less differently from platform to platform. If you are going to move to Snapchat from Twitter, you have to be able to switch your behaviour from “twitty” to “snappy.”

Even a multinational conglomerate like G.E which by all accounts would seem to be a bore on Snapchat understands this! Below is a Snapchat story from GE showing the exploration of a volcano. It is authentic, real and interesting even for the non-geologists like me.

Using Snapchat for your business is the time to show your public the lighthearted version of you. It is time to show them the “true” moments that go into creating your products and services. It is time to give them backstage access and let them see the true, authentic and goofy side of your business and/or brand. Never mind if you have an older audience. Snapchat is the place to awaken the inner child in us and be able to get your audience to do the same and by that, to interact with your brand positively.

Daniel is passionate about marketing and creative writing. He is a champion at “The Big Bang Theory” trivia. An avid fan of “Game of Thrones” and John Grisham, he has been a Manchester United supporter since he was 10. If it’s your thing, you can follow him on Twitter as well.