Twenty Four Interaction

According to Business Insider, did you know that you will soon be able to shop on Snapchat?

Yes, that above fact is currently in the works, which will enhance Discover by allowing consumers to purchase products from selected brands. This will not be an entire shock to the company, as they have already released Snapcash in 2014, which is a partnership with Square for users to exchange money in personal Chats. Interesting topic, especially since it can increase engagement and traffic to the application. Keep an eye out for a possible future post regarding the economics of Snapchat!

In the meantime, this post is about how you, as a small business owner, can optimize the 24-hour interaction function of Snapchat. Think about how when TV and radio were the most popular forms of media, they were “one-time-only” things. Once it aired, it was gone forever. The same is seen with Snapchat, once the 24 hours are over, the content disappears forever.

With its’ immediacy as its major marketing benefit and flaw, having a social media platform where your content self-destructs after 24 hours constantly keeps marketers on their creative toes in posting new, fresh, and engaging content. They can rely on a slight backbone of content that has already recently been posted, but each day should be treated as a fresh start. Also, Snapchat leaves a sense of refreshing independency without having to worry about how many likes/comments you get. It is all about impression.

Here are some ideas of strategically utilizing the basic time frame of Snapchat to accommodate your brand.

Guest Owners

This tactic is extremely similar to influencer marketing, where your company will basically “hand over the reigns” of your Snapchat to someone else to gain more exposure to the account and reach a new audience. Occasionally, Snapchat accounts will hand over the password to someone not directly hired by the company as a guest to “take over” the account for the day. This is typically seen with celebrities or other businesses on a B2B standpoint. Promoted through other social media accounts, this guest-owner-for-a-day should be engaging, relevant, connected to your brand, and offer a new insight that you have not already shown on your account thus far. The end goal is to drive new users to befriend your account, and stay connected after the guest owner’s timeshare has completed.

Taken from Pittsburgh Steeler player Le'Veon Bell's Twitter page promoting his guest ownership of the NFL Snapchat.
Taken from Pittsburgh Steeler player Le’Veon Bell’s Twitter page promoting his guest ownership of the NFL Snapchat.

Curated Content

As talked about in the post about how to look and sound on Snapchat, curating content was briefly discussed. Discover is already a model of curated content, as topics are brought together for each specific edition including National Geographic, Cosmopolitan, CNN and Comedy Central. So, why not make that more respective towards your account? Some examples can be through reposting something more high-quality of a photo, sharing news of your brand in Snapchat-form, and reposting natural reviews of your brand from your customers.

This post by The Content Strategist outlines the type of content seen on Discover, which can be made into an outline for your brand’s Snapchat. It includes limited, short and varied content with celebrities, and an easy swipe navigation.

Limit the posts!

Because the posts will disappear after 24 hours should actually give you an excuse in not posting a lot on Snapchat. Here’s why: your Snap Stories will stay on your friends’ news feeds throughout the day, and as long as you time your postings strategically, you will have a better chance in being viewed. Just as Hootsuite can schedule posts and tweets on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, make sure to time your posts based on higher traffic times in the day. There is no apparent time that drives the most views on Snapchat, but that is because it is still brand new to marketers!

TIP: Create a schedule to keep users engaged and expecting what is coming up that week. For example “Sale Saturday” which incorporates coupons or “Motivation Mondays.”

New Update

During the last week of March 2016, Snapchat released a new update that changed the algorithm in how people viewed their friends’ Snap Stories. Instead of users picking between which Stories they want loaded to be watched, Snapchat automatically does that for them. Once a user clicks on a Story, they will automatically be sent to the following Story in chronological order. On the top right corner, the account owner’s name change, showing the viewer when they are watching a new Story. This new update definitely increases the chances of being seen per day. Now is a great time to start planning out Stories and optimizing the 24-hour framework.

An example of the new look of Snapchat is seen in the figure below. You can see the time left in the Story at the top left and the name of the account and when they posted it in the top right.

Screenshot from my personal Snapchat.
Screenshot from my personal Snapchat.

Never forget that most users on Snapchat are aged 30 and younger, so the point of Snapchat is to be fun and creative. Once users understand a sense of the types of Stories they will expect from you, they will most likely view your content, which increases the amounts of impressions for your brand.

Source: http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/263319/snapchat-lenses-teens-terrifying/
Source 

Do you have any ideas for better 24-hour engagement? Share in the comments below!

Snap you later.

How Should My Business Look and Sound on Snapchat?

Did you know that there are over 8 BILLION video views on Snapchat per day? (Source)

Setting up a Snapchat account gets the ball rolling, but it doesn’t guarantee instant engagement. There are some key points to consider with the account itself, and making sure each post in consistent in the brand voice, message, tone and purpose. This includes pictures, filters, owners, videos, doodles and text. A lingering question could be How can I make my business stand out on Snapchat? This post is designed to provide advice for personalizing Snapchat catered towards your business.

Source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/snapchat-ceo-hates-microsoft-no-official-app-coming-to-windows-phone-dev-says-498610.shtml
Source: http://news.softpedia.com/news/snapchat-ceo-hates-microsoft-no-official-app-coming-to-windows-phone-dev-says-498610.shtml

Who’s Running the Account?

An intern, a social media coordinator, a Public Relations account manager, or the CEO, depending on the size of your business and number of employees, make sure to pick someone who is familiar with Snapchat and can add an entertaining personality to the brand. Like owners of other social media accounts, they have to stay up-to-date with events happening in the world and can try to connect it to your business. Also, they should develop some sort of Marketing Plan to increase engagement and making sure the Snapchat effort is creating some type of positive result.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram are visual in the sense that account managers can post pictures and/or video, but the immediacy of the 24-hour interaction with customers creates a direct, and present connection with your brand. Keep an eye out for a future post on optimizing the time limit standards on Snapchat!

Reposting Content

Believe it or not, there actually is a way to repost content on Snapchat. This is through an outside app called Upload’n’Roll, which allows users to upload pictures and videos directly from their photo album onto social media platform. There are multiple ways to utilize this opportunity, which is described in the list below.

  • Doodle Contests – Frequently brands or celebrities will host doodle contests with their fans to repost onto their own accounts. The basic requirements of the contests are pick a theme, have fans draw graphics on their own accounts, send them to your account, and you pick the best to be reposted. This increases engagement with the fans and can be strategically built around promoting your brand. For example, you can have a contest to send the best doodle of your logo, best doodle of yourself, or funniest doodles on your product in their hands. The last example would require them to go out and purchase your product.
  • Product Information – Providing intimate product information that might be harder to describe or reveal on another social media platform is a benefit for Snapchat. If there is a specific document, article in an email newsletter, or graphic from an outside source that you think would be better to be uploaded to Snapchat rather than taken a picture of and posted, reposting is an option. Because the content is derived from something that it already on your phone, there is a lower probability of capturing something of poorer quality through the iPhone or Android camera. This way, a further step can be taken in uploading better quality content, to give that little difference between your Story and everyone else’s.
  • Missed a Snapchat Opportunity – It used to be “Man, I wish I got that on video!” Now, the common phrase is, “Man, I wish I got that on Snapchat!” In this digital age, many moments are being captured through tiny screens and providing content for people to consistently share. Snapchat is fun in the sense it can share exactly what someone is doing at that very moment, without it haunting a news feed for years. So, if there is a potential Snapchat opportunity that an account owner may have missed, as long as it was captured on the phone, there should not be much to worry! Just make sure the content is posted fairly close to the actual time it happened.
  • Curated Content – sharing content related to your business creates an ideal image in categorizing your business and connecting it with similar brands. Or, if your business provides a product or service, post a picture of a customer. This topic will be discussed more in next week.

Create a Geofilter

TechInsider wrote a how-to article in creating and submitting a geofilter. As long as you have Adobe Illustrator or InDesign, and an explanation “why this is meaningful to you,” it should work!

An example could be seen during the recent Student Government elections at Loyola University Chicago. Four pairs were running for President and Vice President, but candidates Mariana Chavez and Adam Roberts provided a strategic edge against their competition by creating a branded Geofilter on Snapchat. Below is the Geofilter they created portraying cartoons of their heads, what it is for and when voting begins. This Geofilter was then geographically placed to only show up on Snapchat accounts in the Loyola community in a four block radius.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1004788456224241&set=a.144128958956866.15962.100000792871907&type=3&theater
Source: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1004788456224241&set=a.144128958956866.15962.100000792871907&type=3&theater

Remember, these is only starting ideas for developing a brand voice on Snapchat. Keep in mind the tone of the voice, the colors used in doodles, the filters, and what will be seen. Snapchat is very creative in the sense that users can test different ideas to see what really works for your business, and it only lasts for a day.

Does your business have a certain look you are having trouble creating on Snapchat? Or, did your business create something that looks awesome?! Share your stories in the comments below!

As always, snap you later.

Turning Followers into Customers on Snapchat

Did you know that it is estimated Snapchat has between 26 to 30 million users in the U.S.?

Okay, well, you might’ve already known that from reading the Snapshot of Snapchat, but think about the potential of turning those users into your own customers. It’s quite overwhelming, but possible.

The reason that prices for advertising on Snapchat exceed most small business budgets, even though they are dropping lower than the initial $750,000 price tag, should not be a reason not to have an account. Snapchat is quickly making its way into the marketing mix, and investors are (not-so-literally) fighting for stock in the company. Because users have a choice to watch a Snap Story, it is extremely important to make sure the content is worth watching.

This post is a list of four ideas to turn your Snapchat friends into customers, without paying for advertising. Of course, they might not be 100% effective, but can produce an outline on working around the traditional advertising on the platform.

  1. Coupons

Snapchat’s business benefit is its immediacy, which can provide an urgent call-to-action for users. If your business offers products in-store and/or online, create Snapchat coupons! How? See the figure below, these can be done easily and creatively!

Figure 1

Coupons can be for users to screenshot and bring into the store, discount codes for online products. Not only do these coupons tempt users, but they also give a sense of knowing offers other customers might have missed.

  1. Giveaways

A trend on Snapchat accounts is giving away products or services, simply by posting where the items are located! An example is looking at the Snapchat account for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Daily, account owners post lists of who will be on the show that night, and frequently hide somewhere in New York with tickets to the show. Giveaways happen when Snapchat followers find the tickets, instantly becoming a customer.

Example of list of guests on that night’s show. Image via Tumblr.
Source: @FallonTonight Twitter
Image via @FallonTonight Twitter

This is something any business can do, not just a nationally-syndicated television show. Also, giveaways do not necessarily have to be in-person. Many companies have Snapchat contests where users Snap them the best selfie or drawing, and the winners are contacted on Snapchat. It is overlooked, but to even have a Snap opened by your brand instantly humanizes it and makes a user feel engaged. Users and brands can Snap back-and-forth, creating a direct engagement with customers which creates a personal, professional and one-on-one interaction.

  1. Information Release

Did your company just release a new product people might be confused using? Post a video of a demonstration! Do you have an upcoming release date that your business wants to start creating buzz about? Post it on Snapchat! Not only does it create both suspense and excitement, but it makes followers pay attention to your brand. Do you have a special announcement and don’t know how to publicize it? Post pictures and videos on your Snapchat! Nick Jonas recently announced on his Snapchat that his new album is finished, saved the video and posted it on another social media channel, his Instagram. Snapchat is a great way to get the word out quickly and in a condensed manner.

  1. Glimpses

An interesting aspect of Snapchat is the video feature, that disappears after 24 hours. If your business is having important meetings, designing something new, doing something out-of-the-ordinary, or simply working through a daily workday, Snap about it! It gives a personal, behind-the-scenes look into your business, and makes a user feel more connected. Content depends entirely on the situation and type of business. There is no “keep away” list of brands to be on Snapchat. Here’s what I mean. One surprising company on Snapchat is NASDAQ. They post an insider’s look to the bell ringing and fighting investors on the stock exchange. So, even though the users are not business moguls, they can get a birds-eye view on what it’s like on the trading floor.

 

Overall, businesses technically do not need to pay for advertising to attract customers on Snapchat. There are many creative ways to go around the Snapchat “norm” for businesses by posting content on Discover and Live. The key thing to remember is to always promote your Snapchat account via other social media channels through posters, flyers, infographics, tweets and status updates.

Some of these ideas might seem tedious or a waste of time, but that extra effort can be a great benefit to you and your team! Let us know any outstanding Snapchat accounts we should keep an eye on in the comments below!

Next week, keep an eye out for a post about the best way to look and sound on Snapchat!

Snap you later.

Snapchat Advertising Options

Advertising Options and Engagement on Snapchat

Did you know that that Snapchat’s 100 million+ users share over 400 million snaps daily? That number is greater than the photo-sharing activity on both Facebook and Instagram. Yes, Instagram.

As mentioned last week, Snapchat has a user population of 13-35 year olds, making it the perfect app for ads catered to the infamous “millennial” demographic. However, similar to popular Facebook and Twitter when they were first introduced, advertisers are intimidated by the new and foreign platform. However, there is a more relaxed, engaging and fun component by advertising on Snapchat. I know what you’re thinking, where do I start? Never fear, Small Business Owner! This post will outline advertising options and advice for engagement.

Look at the Big Guys

There are many large corporations and businesses advertising on Snapchat today. It is beneficial to pay attention to how they do their advertising to take notes on what works, what catches your eye, and what doesn’t. It’s okay to critique the big companies, they were once a small business too.

Let’s take Taco Bell for example. In this Adweek article, it talks about how Taco Bell takes advantage of the engagement opportunities on Snapchat. These are either from simple self-destructing photos send to friends, or 24-hour stories created on their stories. They are able to keep track on how many people have viewed their content, and use the language used by a younger audience to connect better with their target market. By posting on Snapchat, they keep users engaged with their products, and the business comes alive.

MTV used Snapchat to release their nominees for the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards. From a business perspective, this is a good tactic for releasing or new products. Especially if you put it on your Story, it can give users an insider’s sneak peek into your company for 24 hours. However, that will take a lot of other social media promotion to guide users to your Snapchat account to view the content. An easy post, picture and Tweet will solve the problem!

By researching other companies on Snapchat, it can help develop messages and nail down your target audience to make your own business stand out!

Snapchat’s Advertising Policies

Snapchat is pretty clear on the types of advertisements should be created for the app. A main point is that there is a daily young audience in different regions on the app, so it is the advertiser’s responsibility to be sure the ad is suited for that age and geographic location. Even though this may sound intimidating, it is not so bad.

Snapchat does have that ten second limit, which does not, and will not extend for any advertisement. There is also a strict list of prohibited and restricted content, as seen in the figure below.

Rectriction

Ways to Advertise

The most commonly noticed advertisement on Snapchat is seen as a TV-style commercial in the middle of stories. Whether that’s the local city’s story, or a globally-syndicated story, after about 5-7 compiled videos are an advertisement. This is beneficial to try to reach all users of Snapchat as a whole.snapchat-Discover

Discover. As talked about last week, Discover are Stories solely dedicated to specific brands and businesses. In Snapchat’s blog introducing Discover, they talk about how the feature puts on the focus more on storytelling, rather than trying to sell a product or service. This is similar to editorials in newspapers, but still allows a unique way to convey a message.

snapchat-roundup-ads-that-work

Branded Geofilters. Users are already familiar with the local Geofilters that can be swiped on top of a picture or video, usually to add a location. Recently, many brands have been using Geofilters to promote their own content. The first branded Geofilter was McDonalds, which used their slogan or cartoons of their food as a border for the pictures. Also, as seen in the figure above, there are many movies that create Geofilters to promote the release date in theaters. This contributes to sharing the message about a product, and can act as a persuasive tool.

tumblr_inline_nr6b52zbhl1suyrrk_1280
McDonald’s Geofilter
Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 11.13.44 AM
Loyola University Chicago

Further discussion about the best look and feel on Snapchat is coming soon, so keep an eye out for that post in the near future!

How Can Businesses Use Snapchat?

Let’s be honest, for a small business, it will be hard to get a kick start on Snapchat. This begins with the fact that Snapchat does not have a Search feature similar to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram where users can easily search brands and businesses. Users on Snapchat have to either add you as a friend, or vice versa. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Type in the username. Although this is long, if you make your username simple and nearly exact to your business title, it will be easier for users to find you on Snapchat.
  2. Add friends through taking a picture. Below I added a step-by-step guide on how to do this. We are talking about Snapchat anyways, better visually explained, right?
IMG_5500
Click on the little Ghost icon at the top of the screen in the middle. This will drop down a menu seen below.
IMG_5501
The drop down menu shows your Snapchat square, that other users can take a picture of to add you as a friend. The same with adding people, you can take a picture of their Snapchat Square. You know it worked when you get a notification that so-and-so added you as a friend.

Overall, will Snapchat help my small business?

The answer to this question is that it really depends. If your target market is millennials and you can create a fun, and engaging video advertisement, why not? Financially, if you read this a year ago, the starting cost would have been $750,000. Yikes. Now, rates have dropped to around $50,000, some companies negotiating below that number or getting the ad for free simply because Snapchat liked the idea! Is that a goal or what? Don’t forget when creating your ad, Starting Social would recommend thinking in the mindset of an eighth grader. If they won’t understand, or grasp the key concept of your ad in the allotted time period (ten seconds), go back to the drawing board. Young demographic is the key to success.

P.S.- If you don’t understand my reference there, add DJ Khaled on Snapchat, and you will see the daily life lessons he leaves for his friends. Username: djkhaled305

Screen-Shot-2015-12-21-at-8.09.24-PM

Snap you later,

Sarah

 

 

A Snapshot of Snapchat

Welcome to Snapchat!

Did you know it would take you 10 years to view all the photos shared on Snapchat in the last hour?

Created in 2011, Snapchat is a photo and video messaging application for smartphones and tablets. Each picture and video sent is called a “Snap.” When it was first introduced, many people used it as a way to send funny, self-destructing selfies of themselves to their friends.

In one of the first blog posts penned by the creators of the app, they wrote, “Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion — not just what appears to be pretty or perfect.”

Now, it has grown into a platform that many businesses use to advertise, and many stories are created that give a peek into someone else’s life, but we will get into that further down.

How does this thing work?

In case you aren’t familiar, Snapchat allows for people to send photos and/or videos to one another that can only last 10 seconds. Celebrities, brands, news outlets, friends, family members, and entire cities are able to visually document their daily lives to have an insider’s perspective on how others see the world.

Nick Jonas, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Olivia Culpo, Ariana Grande, Jessica Alba and Miley Cyrus getting their snap on!
Nick Jonas, Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Olivia Culpo, Ariana Grande, Jessica Alba and Miley Cyrus getting their snap on!

Besides directly sending one another messages, Snapchat created a tool called “Snapchat Stories,” where a user can add any photo or video to their public story for all their friends to see at one time. It is Snapchat’s version of a news feed, like one would find on other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. These stories last 24 hours, and display a list of users that have seen your Snaps.

Also, on the stories page, there are sections entitled “Discover” and “Live,” which correspond to different types of content. Discover usually has media outlets like Cosmopolitan or Comedy Central, as seen in the picture below. Live is a very unique aspect, especially in the sense o getting a perspective from another place in the world. These topics range from special events happening that day like awards shows, sporting events or holidays, and they also focus in on one particular city of the world each day. One day users in London might be posting to the London Snap Story, and the next day there could be a Sydney Snap Story. The global possibilities are endless, and users really feel closer to the region Snapchat is highlighting that day.

Who’s Snapping?

A statistic derived from the U.S. Census Bureau, more than 60% of U.S. 13-34-year-old smartphone users snap. However, Ireland is the top country based off Snapchat usage. Everyday, there are around 7 billion video views. When put into perspective, that’s one view per every human on Earth, even if they don’t have a Snapchat account. That’s a lot of views. How many people do have accounts? 200+ million. Also, about 70% of Snapchat users are female. To check out more info on Snapchat demographics, check out this article from Omnicore Digital Marketing Agency.

With these numbers and age group, it is safe to say that Snapchat could be used as an advertising tool for millennials.

How can I get involved? 

According to this article in Forbes, not every small business needs to advertise on Snapchat. But, if you are targeting the age group 13-34, it should be an option. There are specific ways for advertisers to promote their message on Snapchat, which will be highlighted in a future post. Keep an eye out for the next Snapsterpiece!

Snapchat is fun!

Being able to add anyone through their username, and getting a visual perspective of their lives, Snapchat has proven to seem the most intimate amongst its users. Especially since you know who and when people see your content. In the picture below, you can see who has opened your Snap, who hasn’t, and who screenshot it to save it to their personal photo album, (probably to remind themselves of how funny or great you are!).

Overall, Snapchat is FUN! You can draw, add emojis, write, use the Snapchat filters and deliver a message in a 10-second, visual form. So from a business perspective, it allows you to add a youthful and visual twist on messages and promotions. Hopefully after this post, you can understand a bit more of the mystery behind the ghost.

Snap you later,

Sarah