It all starts with teenagers. Like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram before it, the hottest social media platform of 2016 built its user-base and popularity through teenagers.
After fleeing Facebook to avoid mum and dad, teens migrated to Instagram. But after testing the social media waters with Facebook, Instagram didn’t seem too much of a leap for many parents, who before long, joined their children there too.
The answer to ‘where to next?’ was Snapchat, the seemingly perfect platform for teens for hiding their ‘social’ lives. Disappearing ‘snaps’ (messages, images and videos) and a user experience that differed quite a lot from traditional Facebook and other platform news feeds, made Snapchat a little more daunting to try and figure out for an older generation, and businesses alike. But times have changed.
There were more than three million Australians using the platform in February 2016, and as the demographics grow and evolve, so does the platform itself. Last week Snapchat rolled-out a major update to the platform, positioning it as the ‘go-to’ social media messaging app, providing functionality unmatched by competitors. It also made changes to the ‘stories’ feed which will lead to more engagement and views of the snaps being created.
The sports industry is the one I work most closely with, and throughout Australia and the world, they have been very much early adaptors of utilising the benefits of Snapchat to engage their online audiences. They use their social media platforms to entertain, educate, motivate, inspire and above all, tell stories with their content. This focus is transferable across industries.
Here are five ways businesses can use Snapchat to enhance their social communications with their online community and customers:
- Behind the scenes: Like Instagram, Snapchat allows you to capture engaging behind the scenes content of your business, your team, your products, with the added bonus of elements such as geo-filters, lenses, time, temperature and speed stamps, and other options for creating your very own ‘Snapsterpiece’.
- Live access: Hosting an event, opening, launch or simply attending one? Share the fun, excitement, insights and experiences real-time with your audience. The ‘stories’ feature of the platform is great for piecing together an engaging tale, adding to the experiences of those attending, and those who are following along from afar.
- Influencers: Promote your account, your business and your offerings through relevant Snapchat users with large followings. Great for sharing your message through people you sponsor, or who are ambassadors for your cause. Bonus points for combining the first three ideas above and handing the keys to your account to a trusted influencers to showcase an event or product through their eyes via your account.
- Leverage Snaps on other platforms: Repurposing Snapchat content is a great way to leverage often stretched business social media management resources. A terrific Snap, image or video, or an entire story (a combination of multiple snaps) can be saved and uploaded to other platforms like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Also, be sure to let people know how to add your username, and cross-promote your other online social media accounts among each other!
- Build your authority: The ability to share video pieces to camera directly to your entire Snapchat audience (or simply one, or a chosen few) gives you the opportunity to showcase your knowledge, share some wisdom or insights, update your followers on something newsworthy or answer a question. There are a number of business-owners that are have great success complimenting their business marketing channels with more personal daily updates directly to their Snapchat audience.
So, here you have it. If you haven’t thought about Snapchat for your business yet, it might be time. Try it out now, see what other businesses are doing, get some ideas and confidence before you launch your own business profile.
Snapchat will become more and more business-friendly, with more specific benefits and options over time, but there are still plenty of ways it will work for you right now!
Ryan Mobilia is the author of ‘Social Media Scouting Report: Helping Athletes To Shine Online’. He works to educate athletes, sporting organisations and businesses on using social (media) communications to help them tell their story, build their profile and make a positive impact.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY 🙂