So You've Heard About Snapchat... Find Out What All The Hype Is About Here

What is Snapchat and How Does it Work?

If you've been a frequent and regular user of social media, you've probably been involved in one trend, only to move on to another. Launched in 2011, Snapchat has been a big hit among teenagers and adults alike, and recently has been of interest to businesses.

This popular mobile app allows its users to send disposable pictures and videos. Meaning once it's sent, it will self-destruct shortly after someone else views them. It's basically a messaging app that also allows its users to add a written caption over the picture or video with a drawing or catchphrase. Then once created, you have the option to either broadcast your media to the entire internet world by adding it to your story, or you can just send it to the people within your following whether that be individually or a couple of people at the same time.

The fact that Snapchat posts are temporary makes it unique. Once viewed, the media will disappear forever - or if pinned to your "Story" it will remain for a maximum of 24 hours.

Sounds cool! But what is Snapchat used for? Primarily, snapchat is used for creating multimedia messages that consists of either a video or picture that are just for fun or to participate with a crowd of people at an event. In addition to these multimedia messages, you can add different filters, captions, drawings and doodles known as stickers. Because of how temporary it is, Snapchat can be used for campaigning, advertising, and marketing in a fun and quick new way with a serious urgency to react.

Who Uses Snapchat?

Snapchat is a phenomenon similar to Facebook: everyone uses it. But its use is mostly directed towards teenagers and young adults. And although it's used within the younger generation, research has shown that Snapchat is quickly catching on to new demographics and is being embraced by different categories of social media, giving business owners and marketers an alternative way of communicating with their fans and customers. In short, it's a great way to engage with your followers instantly to build a positive, fun relationship that's memorable.

How Can Businesses Benefit from Snapchat?

The popularity of Snapchat means that it can log over nearly 400 million multimedia messages a day. And because the messages are temporary, all of that data disappears for good. This means that no media is living on a server. Which also begs the question... If it disappears instantly where's the ROI or long term benefit for the energy you're investing in using it?

Because of Snapchat's limited time frame, the messages sent and received creates urgency for both parties. In turn, this urgency creates the perfect outlet for a business and event marketing campaigns that are quick, efficient, and fun. To help you wrap your head around how it could be used, here are a few fun ideas for you to try out.

Engaging Your Audience: Snapchat is a great tool to help fans engage in a positive way, especially when you're trying to promote coupons and new products. And while Facebook and Instagram can provide the same, Snapchat allows for a more quick and efficient way to get in touch with your fans. Exclusive sneak peaks of hot new products that are going to be released soon is a great way to create a fan base that is ready to buy - so long as you can make your product sexy enough to be of interest to your fans - For example, Snapchat's not the right forum to be selling electrical panels or pot lights.

Gaining Followers: Including Snapchat in your other social media methods can bring in an abundance of new followers and activity. Announcing to your other social networks that you now have Snapchat, asking them to follow you there, can create an opportunity to give out coupon codes or to reward new followers with prizes but more so with exclusive opportunities like a look at behind the scenes of a concert with the band just for following.

Coupons: If you're familiar with flash sales, then you'll know what this suggestion is getting at. Coupons being briefly shown with a code word to redeem can reward followers with a discount or deal just for them. You can also post a photo of your coupon to your story as a reward for following you as you can't see someone's story until you've connected with them as a friend.

Creating hype around an event: You can use Snapchat to engage with people at your event to help showcase just how awesome it was to be at. People love being a part of something bigger, so whether it's a festival, concert, weekend camping adventure or pub crawl - You can make custom stickers with your branding on them that appear to users when they are within your targeted, geographic area. For example if you're at a festival for the weekend, and you create a sticker for your festival that only appears when Snapchat users are within your festival grounds, they can Snap a picture or video and then add your sticker to it to enter to win a contest or just be seen at the event to others. Because you created the sticker, you can see all the photos users have created with your sticker on them, and can add them to your story about your festival.

It's true though, the excitement only lasts for the duration of 24 hours - Which is why it's important to keep in mind that Snapchat is about being in the moment not about instant ROI. If your audience is on Snapchat and you're using it in a fun and exciting way - You'll make an impression on the users, and be noted in their memories - in their personal space - with an emotional connection well worth the effort, when it comes to building a loyal customer base.

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