~ By Sarah Vance-Tompkins
“Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you.” — Captain Wentworth, Persuasion.
Snapchat is unlike other social networking platforms. Captain Wentworth will love you forever, but your Snapchat posts are going to ghost. While Tweets and Facebook posts remain in perpetuity and can be searched any time, a Snap has an expiration date. When you’re sending a Snap to a friend, it self-destructs after it’s viewed. That’s why brands take advantage of the Story feature when using Snapchat for marketing. More on that in a moment.
“I’m twenty-seven years old, I’ve no money and no prospects. I’m already a burden to my parents and I’m frightened. So don’t you judge me, Lizzy. Don’t you dare judge me!” — Charlotte Lucas, Pride & Prejudice.
I am not a digital native. Twitter and Facebook are already pushing the limits of my technological comprehension. Why in the world would anyone use a social media platform with posts that are going to disappear? While Snapchat hasn’t reached the mainstream popularity of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the app is wildly popular among millennials. If your aim is to reach a younger demographic, especially 18-34 year olds, then Snapchat is the place you want to hang your bonnet.
“That will do extremely well, child. You have delighted us long enough. Let the other young ladies have time to exhibit.” — Mr. Bennet, Pride & Prejudice.
Let’s say you decide to take the plunge and build your audience on Snapcat. Your approach to content will have to be different than how you create other social media content. Snapchat is not a place for professional product photos or slick stock images, users here want a peek underneath your petticoats.
You’ll find a lot of popular brands post Snaps and Stories that have nothing to do the company itself. This is because they understand the culture of the app. Don’t think about what you can get out of each Snap. Just be you. Be real, genuine and entertaining.
Here are three suggestions for beginner marketers to use Snapchat:
Offer discount coupons
Snapchat gives you the ability to draw and write over your images or videos. You can make your Snaps stand out and be much more entertaining than the pics posted on Instagram or Facebook. You can also announce sales and give Snapchat users exclusive discount coupons.
Let’s say you have an event coming up. Post photos of your preparation or make a short video clip of what’s happens behind the scenes before the event. You could also make Snapchat story of all of the crazy moments that occur on your book release day. You might not think it’s intriguing or glamorous, but it might be just be enough to intrigue your fans.
Tell Snapchat Stories
Snapchat Stories let’s you can combine a series of Snaps together to create a longer piece of content. The biggest advantage of Stories is your followers can view them as many times as they want within 24 hours. Snapchat Stories can be used to tell a more traditional style of marketing story with a beginning, middle and end. Stories makes Snapchat more instinctive for those of us who are technologically challenged.
“It isn’t what we think or say that defines us, but what we do.” — Jane Austen, Sense & Sensibility.
Check out more ideas for using Snapchat here.
Remember, as with all social media, there are no tricks to gaining an audience on Snapchat. Engagement is key. Engage your followers with your posts and engage with their posts in return. Successful social media is all about activity.
Sarah Vance-Tompkins (Instagram: SarahVanTom) is a social media consultant for small businesses. She earned an MFA in Film Production from the University of Southern California and worked in feature film development. Prior to her attempts at writing fiction, she has been paid to write everything from obituaries to the directions for use on bottles of personal lubricant. She is a member of YARWA and CRW-Online. She welcomes your questions and comments. Sarahevance@gmail.com