Snapchat is Humanizing the Future of Social Media

LaurenHarburn    July 14, 2016


Snapchat is one of the newer social media platforms that is taking the business world by storm. Still in it’s “toddler” stage at only 2 years old, the social app has more than 200 million active users per month and more than half of them use it daily. 10 billion videos are viewed each day – to any business big or small this should read as 10 billion opportunities to build brand awareness. So what does this app have that other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram do not? It mimics real life the most when it comes to interaction. When you have a conversation with someone on Snapchat it stays between the two people involved and then disappears shortly after leaving only a memory. Too many people have learned the hard way that with other social media platforms what gets put on the internet stays on the internet whether you want it to or not. In the words of the companies CEO Evan Spiegel,

“The essence of conversation is not which media format we choose to talk to each other with, so we don’t differentiate between snaps and chats. It’s just someone wanting to talk to you… for Snapchat, the closer we can get to ‘I want to talk to you’ – that emotion of wanting to see you and then seeing you – the better and better our product and our view of the world will be.”

Having surpassed  Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram as the most popular social media platform of choice, how can it be used to benefit people in the business world to generate brand awareness and customer engagement?

Business Applications of Snapchat

Snapchat offers several different ways to build brand awareness and drive customer engagement for any type of business from internationally known brands to mom and pop shops. One of which is using Snap Ads –  A Snap Ad is a 10-second, full screen vertical video ad that appears between stories. Users are given the option to swipe up which will take them to more in depth content such as a website, article, full length ad or app installment option. According to Snapchat, the swipe-up rate for Snap Ads is five times higher than the average click-through rate on comparable social media platforms. One company that has reaped the benefits of this is the popular music app Spotify. They used Snap Ads to promote their “year in music” campaign where users can review all of the songs they listened to on Spotify that year. The ads were used on Snapchat’s Discover channel and showcased a different genre of music each day. As a result, Spotify earned 26 million total views and a 30 percent increase on subscriber intent – quite a feat!

Another way businesses can utilize Snapchat is to promote engagement using customized Geofilters. There are 2 different types of Geofilters: On Demand Geofilters, which start as low as $5 and Sponsored Geofilters which can run well into the $100,000 price range. Geofilters are small pictures that show up over a snap (or a picture) and when Snapchatters in the location of your choice take a Snap, they’ll be able to select your Geofilter and use it to explain where, when, and why they took the Snap. Small business Blue Fountain Media tested this out by purchasing a 4 hour block for roughly $30 and created a Geofilter for it’s Madison Ave location (as shown in the picture above). It ended up generating about 4000 impressions and the CMO Yoni Ben-Yehuda was very pleased with the results:

“We wanted to own the location of our offices – we are geographically located in a part of the city where there are a lot of other businesses  – we could use a geo-fence (quite small) to capture a ton of competitor locations as well as business locations. By capturing a 2 block area in New York, we were able to reach a couple of hundred companies.”

Lastly, businesses can increase purchase intent with what is called a Sponsored Lens which is basically an interactive customizable ad. It’s a graphic that shows up while you are taking a snap of yourself; some prompt you to open your mouth or raise your eyebrows which triggers and animation to occur. On average snapchatters play with these lenses for 20 seconds and they are then easily sent to friends or posted to their story. The Lens below was created by Gatorade and mimics the classic sports drink shower that coaches receive when their team wins a game. During the super bowl fans could take part in a virtual Gatorade shower and share with friends and family. The lens received over 165 million views and triggered an eight point increase in purchase intent!

Lessons for Others

The future of social media and how businesses interact with their customers is heading in a much more casual direction – and customers are loving it! Snapchat breaks down the barriers previously created with other means of social media – everyone uses the same version. There are no favorable outcomes for particular brands and no algorithms (as of yet) that decides who sees what snaps. It also creates more visibility within brands allowing customers the chance to view what goes on behind the scenes. It’s less about marketing and more about a level playing field for all which leads to  natural conversation and a more casual tone allowing the customers and the brands to let their personalities shine. Snapchat is going to keep gaining popularity in the business world; according to predictive marketing service eMarketer, Snapchat will grow 27 percent in 2016 to nearly 59 million users in the U.S. alone. The key to businesses using this platform in the future will be to stay true to themselves and to their customers. People use Snapchat because they want to share with friends and family where they are and what they’re doing – brands should be focusing on how they can enhance this experience.

Industry: Mobile App
Name of Organization Contact: Evan Spiegel, CEO

Authored by: Lauren Harburn

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.


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