Snapchat basics for your social marketing plan
Founded in 2011, Snapchat is a mobile networking app best known for letting users send photographs or videos to friends that disappear after a short amount of time. Since then, the app’s popularity has grown quickly, and it is now one of the most buzzed about social networks. In 2016, Snapchat rebranded as Snap Inc. and revealed a new product, Spectacles – fashion forward sunglasses with built in video cameras that allow the wearer to record and post directly to the Snapchat app. They went on to achieve a successful IPO in March of 2017.
Snapchat can be an intimidating social network to learn, which is partly by design. The app employs a user experience principal known as shareable design, which holds that an app is best learned when a friend explains it to you. This strategy appears to be working in Snapchat’s favor – over 2.5 billion snaps are posted on Snapchat every day.
Content on Snapchat begins with Snaps, which are photos or short videos shot and edited from within the app. Fun editing features can be used to enhance your snaps, such as selfie lenses, which transform you into fun characters, or geo-filters, which appear based on the location you’re in, and stickers, drawing, and text tools to add extra flair to your image. Unsurprisingly, the resulting real time content shared by users tends to be lighthearted and casual.
Snapchat also includes a Stories feature, which lets you publish a collection of Snaps that can be viewed by other Snapchat users, and a search feature, which allows users to easily find other stories within the app, which is particularly valuable for brands looking to build a following.
Snapchat provides a unique value to businesses as a way to showcase the personal side of a brand with content that is considered more authentic, as the app discourages users from posting pre-created content. Because of this, Snapchat has become the go to place for exclusive behind the scenes content from brands, whether it be product reveals or backstage tours.
With the powerful combination of real-time and disappearing content, Snapchat encourages high levels of engagement and devotion from its user base, making it an attractive platform for many brand marketing strategies.