By Tina Zafiropoulos
The video sharing social media service has hit 7 billion daily video views with a hyper-engaged user base that business owners should not ignore!
Indeed Facebook numbers are as impressive as ever, climbing to 1.59 billion users and crushing Q4 estimates with 5.8B revenue. However as a large and possibly partial advocate of Snapchat [USERNAME – SYDNEYPR] SPR has it on good authority that 2016 is the year to get yourself on Snapchat.
1) Because of Snapchat’s in-your-face GROWTH.
In 2015 Snapchat users were sending 2 billion photos and videos per day – fast forward – to 7 billion in just over a year. Snapchat reinvented mobile storytelling, allowing businesses to take advantage of a faster and on-location way of content creation. In October 2013 Snapchat introduced the “My Story” feature, which allowed users to chronologically compile snaps (short videos) into storylines accessible to anyone who has “added” their username. Each story is accessible for 24 hours only, creating immediacy and an all-too-familiar consumer rush (statistics by adweek.com). SPR has seen a trend across all MAJOR platforms, specifically in the way they’ve grown. They begin with a niche consumer base and then go mainstream – when an app has hit 100 million active users – it’s clearly mainstream. Gary Vee who is a large advocate of Snapchat explains that “the platform can start to mature… getting deeper into the business world… once you have the attention of the 35 to 65 year old world, you now have the potential to cross over into the B2B world”.
The presidential election itself generated more than 1 million viewers on EVERY political story produced. Clearly Snapchat has passed the point of proving they’re a worthy Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/Pinterest contender.
2) Because of our favourite point – it’s harder for everyone to jump on this bandwagon
At this early stage of the game (early because Snapchat hasn’t directly advertised the “My Story” feature for business use yet like when Facebook came out with Facebook Pages) it’s more difficult to curate and perfect content on Snapchat in comparison to Instagram + Facebook. Snapchat is shot and published instantly. It’s not about a traditional Kodak moment – it’s about REAL communication – it’s NOT perfect – and there’s no photoshopping blemishes out of candid shots. Snapchat FORCES businesses and owners to step outside of their comfort zone. So many business owners I’ve spoken to are extremely keen to produce content for Snapchat yet hold back because they’re afraid to. Of course it’s always important to note that Snapchat isn’t for everyone and there’s always the risk of tarnishing rather than growing your brand as a result of your online presence. It’s not an easy platform to master and those most relatable and most valuable on Snapchat are the one’s getting the views! Almost live publishing is still a new and gutsy move for many meaning if you find this platform is the RIGHT fit for you, now is the time to impress your audience in a more authentic way.
3) Because of it’s INCREDIBLE USER ENGAGEMENT
User engagement as opposed to just “exposure” is arguably still underdeveloped and underappreciated by businesses. Exposure (publishing photo’s/videos to large audiences on social media) works very much like traditional billboard advertising, however it’s a business’ user engagement that brings in a return on investment. From a social media standpoint, this investment is not only your time but also money if you employ a marketing/social agency for your content creation.
Facebook Pages, UNLESS you’ve sponsored your posts, have been rendered useless by many small businesses as Facebook selects whom your post appears to on the News Feed now and NOT to all your followers (Side note: of course given it’s incredible growth Facebook Pages work wonders when you figure out your cost of customer acquisition through sponsored posts but that’s another story, for another day!). Instagram of course has still retained it’s user engagement and is still considered the best free platform for advertising products and services despite it’s new and arguably subtle introduction of Instagram ads.
Snapchat however COMMANDS user attention. The stories you watch have just been recorded (audiences LOVE this sense of immediacy) and the snaps are only available for 24 hours (creating urgency). There are no ads and conversion rates are typically 50-60% plus. SPR’s Director finds that 70% of those who added her watch her snaps and 10% ask Marketing questions!
Due to Snapchat’s 1) incredible growth 2) it being more difficult for brands to simply jump on the bandwagon (at this stage) and 3) it’s high user engagement Snapchat is most definitely another platform to consider in 2016 for new methods of marketing to new and existing business.