Why B2B Marketers Should Pass on Snapchat

Is it just me or does it seem like Snapchat has taken over the marketing world? Every day my social feed is filled with articles from media outlets trumpeting the latest happenings of the hugely popular social network.

So what’s all the fuss about?

For the uninitiated, Snapchat is a messaging app that lets you send messages, photos, and videos (“snaps”) to your friends and followers. What makes this social network unique is that what you send disappears after being viewed. This simple aspect, plus the platform’s focus on fun, engaging “filters”, has made it a phenomenon with the under 35 set.

Just how popular is Snapchat? It’s now surpassed the floundering Twitter with 150 million daily active users. Plus it has big plans to be way more than a messaging app one day. Supposedly, even Facebook should be terrified.

Should B2B marketers consider Snapchat?

Snapchat is now catching the attention of B2B marketers. For instance, I keep getting the question: “My kid is always on Snapchat, should we consider using it for our marketing?” And while I understand the allure of this unique social platform, the answer is no. When it comes to B2B marketing, Snapchat is definitely not ready for primetime.

Why is that?

First of all, Snapchat has a much younger demographic that doesn’t fit the typical profile of B2B decision makers. More than half of the platform’s users are 24 or younger, and over 80% aren’t yet 35 years old. Seriously, does that sound like the sweet spot of your target buyers?

Secondly, the platform isn’t marketing friendly. For example, you aren’t able to set up brand pages or profiles, don’t have insights into the engagement your getting with your “snaps”, and can’t leverage your existing social automation tools to manage daily posting activity.

Reasons why you’d be eyeing Snapchat

With that said, I’m sure there are a few reasons in particular that have you considering Snapchat.

Maybe you think its visual content approach will help your company break-through all the noise on social media. To that I say: invest your efforts in YouTube, Instagram, or Tumblr instead. These are much more brand-friendly and mature visual platforms.

What about all the advantages of being an early adopter with the next big thing? If that’s the camp you’re in then I suggest you become a marketing innovator with Facebook Live and Periscope. These live streaming platforms offer huge potential and are much better suited for B2B marketers.

You could also be considering Snapchat because you’re struggling with your current social media initiatives. In that case, you should dig into what’s going on with your social strategy and make adjustments as necessary. Simply put, if you can’t make social work now, then Snapchat is really going to frustrate you.

With all that said, I do believe Snapchat will play an important role in B2B marketing in the future. It will most likely take another 24 to 36 months before it’s time to consider investing money and resources into the social messaging app.

Just like with YouTube and the other social platform heavyweights, Snapchat needs a moment to evolve from being fun and young, to becoming a place where marketers can flourish. By then, its user base will have lots more “grownups” joining the party, too.

Still want to give Snapchat a spin?

Okay, then be clear on what you’re trying to achieve by doing so. The best approach is to simply experiment and learn… with the goal of gaining insights into how you’ll use Snapchat in the future.

Let us know how it goes…

Did you find this article helpful? Check out the Leadtail blog for more insights on B2B social media.

About the Author

Carter Hostelley is the CEO of Leadtail, and committed to making social media work for B2B companies. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.