I don't know if you've noticed the sudden buzz around Snapchat going into 2016 but it seems to have really taken off again for the first time in years. This time it's among all kinds of personal brands and small businesses. It can be a little intimidating especially if you aren't familiar with the platform or know it as "that place teens go to send pictures that disappear".
With all this pressure to sign up and start snapping, you might be left scratching your head and thinking in a high-pitch, squeaky voice, "Snapchat? My business? On Snapchat?"
If so, let me break Snapchat down in a little more detail for you then you can decide if Snapchat is right for your business.
71% of users on Snapchat are under the age of 25. It's still very much a platform that caters to the younger demographic.
With that being said, if we look at all the other major platform and society trends, we are very much seeing a youthification process going on. The age gap with technology is diminishing and we're seeing 70 year old gran's jumping on the likes of Facebook and Instagram.
This is exactly what's happening on Snapchat right now and again, it comes down to our use of technology as a society. More on that in a second.
On the demographics point, these are the factors to consider when deciding on the platforms you are choosing to use. It's your job to go where your customers either are right now or are likely to be in the future.
As a small business, you have limited resources in terms of people, time and money so it's important to be strategic about how you use these resources.
Our Use Of Social Media
There is no denying that we are all becoming more and more connected as a result of social media. The world is becoming one and we're seeing that platforms using pictures or video are creating a universal language. It's pretty incredible.
Livestreaming has taking off and the reason for it is because it's real, it's raw and it's in the moment.
It's lifecasting really. You are sharing all these moments throughout the day.
The ability to really get to know people on a deep, deep level is unlike anything we've seen before. Even if we think about our everyday actions in the real world. You see your friends, you catch up and share what's going on then you go and do something else until the next time you see them.
When you are using a platform like Snapchat to 'lifecast', it's like having your friends with you, by your side, all day and every day. They know exactly what you're up to, how you've spent your day, how you're feeling...everything. Of course, you are 100% in control of what you choose to share and not to share.
My point here is simply that you REALLY get to know the real people especially behind a business or brand. You aren't just living these moments, you are sharing them. That creates a strong bond because even if it's not in person, the viewer feels like they are right there with you. I can't think of any other way that could build such a close, emotional connection.
Plus, it's scalable.
This is important because people buy from businesses they are emotionally invested in. It's human nature.
The Number One Benefit
There are currently 100 million daily active users on Snapchat. Now, that isn't nearly as big as some of the other larger social media platforms but what's interesting is the engagement of those users. There are 6 billion daily video views.
These people are ENGAGED and the reason for this is simple.
The content is only available for a very limited time so there's a sense of urgency to watch and give it your full attention.If it's a personal snap and you miss it, it's gone. You can watch a limited number of replays or pay if you really need too but very few do.Even if you are sharing 'snaps' to a story, it only lasts 24 hours. As a viewer, if you want to see it, you have to watch it.
If we think about just how noisy social media is and how difficult it is just trying to capture the attention of our audience, it's not difficult to see how powerful this platform can be.
Attention. To me, this is the number one benefit of using Snapchat.
But I really only care about whether I can sell on Snapchat?
I hear ya! Stick with me for a second...
Snapchat offers you the opportunity to share your story, not by telling it, by showing it. More importantly, by bringing your community along for the ride and letting them be part of it.It's an opportunity to create a strong emotional connection whereby your viewers are emotionally invested in your success because they are emotionally invested in you and your team.It's kind of like when you get into that movie and you're sitting on the edge of your seat cheering on the underdog.
This is where the sales come in; through that emotional investment that turns into a financial investment. It's much bigger than that though because when people are invested to this extent, it becomes about lifetime customer value.
You're not getting a quick sale. You're attracting lifetime customers. You're creating brand advocates who believe in you so much that they go out and do a lot of your word of mouth marketing for you. That's powerful stuff!
Now this isn't to say Snapchat is 100% right for your business. It might not be. It comes down to who your audience are, where your audience are and what you are trying to achieve with social media as a business.
These are just some points to think about. They're important points so please do think about them.
Oh and if you do decide to join the Snapchat community, feel free to add me at C4Compete.