Why Snapchat should be a “major key” to your marketing mix.

People are often surprised when I answer “Snapchat, by far” to the question “What channel are you seeing the most return on with your students?”. While the majority of my work is dealing with the student demographic as my target audience I can say that I advise most clients to jump on the platform if they’re looking to go after the Gen-Y or Gen-Z market at all. The response I get usually outlines how can it be when there’s little to no return and it’s hard to measure.

While I’m a huge proponent of measurement and analytics I’ve been business minded long enough to know the value isn’t always in the numbers. However, just for argument’s sake, here are some numbers that matter:

  1. Snapchat has the fastest growing user base of any network — experts estimate that it’s nearing 200 million users
  2. Millenials are all over it — “more than 60% of [all] US 13 to 34 year-old smartphone users are Snapchatters.”
  3. Content is being constantly consumed — Users are viewing over 6 BILLION snaps a day up front 2 Billion in May.
  4. Using Snapchat makes it’s users happier versus any other network — researchers at the University of Michigan, polled 154 college students and found “that Snapchat interactions were perceived as more enjoyable – and associated with more positive mood – than other communication technologies.”
  5. They’re valuable— Facebook reportedly offered $2–3 billion dollars for the platform which was swiftly turned down. Currently they’re at an estimated valuation of $20 billion.

One advantage of Snapchat is that it’s so easily consumable. They took one of Vine’s major benefits and have made it better. You can send private snaps or tell your “story” through multiple snaps (photos or videos) throughout the day that last 24 hours instead of the normal 10 second limit. What we use it for is to give prospective students insight on what an average student’s week look like. We give it to a different student every week and have them snap their days and let those prospective students ask questions throughout the week and help guide the “story”

The times and assumptions that Snapchat was just an app for sexting are long gone and I can say that after running our student stories for a year we haven’t had one inappropriate snap sent our way. Even though the private messages disappear, many teens are using this as their main means of text messaging.

If you read the title of this post and you clicked through, you probably heard of the DJ Khaled quotables that have been going around. I can’t scroll through my feed without seeing “They don’t want us to win” or “Major key to success” in some form hanging around or being posted as a meme. DJ Khaled is a perfect example of utilizing the tool of engaging the younger audience. While he isn’t formally selling new albums through the platform or understanding all the analytics that come along with his success on the platform you can be sure the benefits come in other ways. His twitter followers have gone up, he’s going to start selling merchandise with his new mottos, he has access to a brand new demographic as well as sponsors lining up to advertise on his channel.

With risking sounding like just another social media guy using buzzwords, the key to snapchat is being authentic. Use it as an insight on how you run your business, use it to show how people use your products, use it to interact with your customers. If you’re trying to target Gen-Y or Gen-X not being on snapchat is not a business killer but it’s a major missed opportunity. At Splash Effect, we are advising many of our clients to jump on the platform and are helping them create content calendars to give them a better idea of where to take their content in 2016. Make sure and plan out some structured content while letting the rest come naturally in the ebbs and flow of your business.

Take some time and invest in playing around with the platform and let me know if you have any questions!