I spent my first two years of college at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where I studied Fashion Merchandising Management. I decided to become a beauty school drop-out after receiving my Associates Degree, and although much of my life has changed since returning to the north-east, my social media news feeds have remained heavily dominated by fashion-industry related folk. That being said, when I think of Snapchat, the first successful users that come to mind are fashion bloggers.
Now this kind of a content is certainly going to be different, and presented differently, than the type of news that News 7 would be reporting on. Nevertheless, I think bloggers present an interesting strategy since their success depends entirely on viewer engagement.
In my opinion, Snapchat has presented the public with an extremely intimate platform for sharing stories. Everything is temporary through this application, which forces posts to have a distinct purpose, and a distinct message. This timelines also forces the producer to create a cohesive sequence of their experience, whether it be a hike, an interview, or putting together an outfit in the morning. The video format also adds to this sense of intimacy. While watching these short clips, viewers almost feel like they’re involved in the “snappers” life.
So what are fashion bloggers doing on Snapchat that I seem to find so successful? To answer that question I thought I’d discuss one blogger in particular, Daniel Bernstein of We Wore What. There many aspects of Danielle’s blog and online persona that make me indescribably thankful to no longer be studying fashion, but regardless of personal taste, she is a motivated business woman.
Danielle is 25 years old, she has 1.7 million followers on Instagram, and has such a powerful influence that brands will pay up to $20,000 for post collaborations. Therefore, her career depends on social media engagement. Danielle utilizes Snapchat to bring her followers along with her to meetings, showrooms, fashion shows, fittings, special events, and even non-work related excursions.
In addition to the types of stories Danielle shares on Snapchat, I think her execution is equally as masterful. You feel exclusive when following along with her. You get to go places, and see things that you never would have had access to, had you not been digitally accompanying the blogger. She’s also very interactive with her fans. For example, she’ll show a collection of shoe options for the day, and ask her followers to screenshot which pair they like best, resulting in her wearing the most highly screen-shotted option. She’s also very consistent with tagging and linking the brands that she wears on a daily basis, making it easy for followers to shop her pieces. And her final posting quality that I think is most strategic, is her timing. Her videos run cohesively when she wants to focus a bit more on one topic, but don’t carry on extensively, forcing you to lose interest.
So how does this pertain to News 7, and to other news stations who work as a team (not just an individual blogger)? I thought I’d first outline what it is that I think Danielle does well, and then relate that to a more journalistic style of reporting. I think the key components are as follows:
1) Cohesiveness of posts
2) Appropriate lengths of videos
3) Including access to more information if the viewer wishes to look into the matter further
4) Inclusive- make the viewer feel involved
The way I see Snapchat working most successfully for newsrooms is as an alternate angle of the story heard on the broadcast (sort of like a sneak peak). I think the viewer will take away useful knowledge if the story isn’t too long. In my opinion, too many Snapchat videos on the same topic becomes boring and redundant. I think viewers enjoy learning about stories from different, and more obscure perspectives at times. And I think the video format will leave them feeling involved, engaged, and wanting to learn more. I know in my Prac. 1 class we’ve been discussing teases, so using Snapchat as the platform for these short segments could be a cool option in the future.
As far as 60 Minutes goes, they don’t currently have a Snapchat account, but they could play around with some different angles if they wanted to incorporate the app within their content distribution. They could give brief bits of information on their subjects, show viewers behind the scenes shots of interviews, and even elaborate on a topic once a piece has aired.
For me, I don’t see Snapchat as a primary medium for reporting, but I think it is an additional resource that can enhance a newsroom, and bring its viewers a new style of content. Especially in regards to the younger generations, who will be much more apt to follow along with something short and sweet (and also in their hands).
On the opposite side of the spectrum… here is a fashion blogger who shares her experience of killing the app.