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Get SnapHappy with SnapChat

24th May 2016

As the days go by, the conversations around SnapChat seem to increase ten-fold across the world of PR and marketing, but why now? And how can brands tap into this fruitful community in the most effective way. Time for us to explore this question.

Why here, why now?
Snapchat has been on the social media scene for years, although only recently started to gain traction and draw in the attention of communicators and brands in the masses. This is partly thanks to the Discover feed and Stories, which open up the network from is traditional 1-to-1 closed framework, to 1-to-many broadcast tool. The former model, initially captured the younger generations imagination, as fundamentally they are transitioning from the open (e.g. Facebook, Twitter etc.) to closed social media networks.

Snapchat culture
Like every social media platform, Snapchat has it’s own culture. Everything about the app is designed for the audience it has attracted, from the ten second limit, appealing to the fleeting attention span of the digital generation, to the inclusive micro-cultures created by influencers. Snapchat Superstars such as DJ Khaled and Kirsty Dash have used this aspect to raise their reach by branding themselves using their own taglines and phrases.

The key selling point of the Snapchat culture for comms. is the illusion of exclusivity built from the closed networks. Access to something ‘exclusive’ makes people feel special; this is especially effective for the FOMO nature of millennials using the app. With the amount of ‘behind the scenes’ access to events, celebs and brands we PRs get our hands on, we’re essentially being served up the content SnapChat ready. Time to think how this can creatively, and effectively be shared in a way that adds value to the community.

Snapchat

Building communities
Brands need individual accounts which users can follow, so they need to be creative in order to kick start interest. Gucci did just that by partnering with hearthrob, Jared Leto, to offer exclusive snaps from him via their channel. Great way to build an audience, almost instantly. Other brands have used existing social networks and platforms to distribute their Snapcode and build their audience from the off.

It is time you discovered, Discover
The Discover feed is designed for users to get all their news, lifestyle and entertainment updates from their favourite media outlets in no more than ten second bursts. Outlets post their best stories for the day on their Discover feed and with a flick of a finger users are able to watch videos and read full articles. Check out Cosmopolitan and Buzzfeed’s Discover channel to see how the most watched outlets are doing it.

Securing coverage on discover is just like anywhere else – it’s totally up to the journalist and outlet if your content will make the cut. To ensure content creators keep the attention of users, Snapchat has the option to skip Snaps by the simple tap of a finger, so quality and interest of the story is paramount, as with any other channel.

After being closed for so long, brands are now starting to successfully explore the potential SnapChat has to offer. Whilst this needs to be done in the right way (as with any social media activity), the opportunities perfect for SnapChat are unique when compared to the other networks. Brands are able to connect with a segment that is turning off from the established social platforms. We’re seeing a shift in behaviour and use, which is going to change the landscape and present even more opportunities for a brand to get creative and innovate the way their connect with their audience.