If you haven’t noticed by now, consumers are making a huge social shift from Instagram to Snapchat. The migration over to the popular self-destructing photo and video social network is happening right before our eyes. Snapchat is a multifunctional app: People use it to communicate one-to-one, one-to-few, and one-to-all. They share moments, not just pretty pictures, through stills and videos with added captions, doodles, and filters to make them even more fun and personal. The social shift is official when a majority of consumers start to make an announcement on all their other social media networks to join them on a newer or more popular social network.
When this shift starts, it is when I start to recommend small businesses prepare a marketing strategy for that network. The first movers will dominate and connect with their consumers faster than their competitors. Social savvy small businesses know that taking advantage of social media to market their products and services can be very cost-effective to drive sales and consumer engagement.
Using Snapchat as a marketing tool goes against everything you’ve learned about marketing from the dawn of time, which is creating repetition and staying in front of a potential customer as long as possible. On Snapchat, you only have a limited amount of time for your target audience to see your promotion before it disappears forever.
Before you dive head first in to Snapchat, please do your due diligence as you would with any other marketing strategy. Here are three factors to determine if your small business is ready to make the shift:
1) Target Audience
Does your small business target audience align with Snapchat’s user demographic? Snapchat’s demographic is users ages 16 to 24, but I predict this age range will drastically shift to 18 to 40 as more people migrate from Instagram to Snapchat over the next 12 months. Snapchat already has over 24 million adults using the social network.
If your target audience falls within the former, then you’re right on time to take advantage of the social network before it gets overcrowded with your competitors. If it falls within the latter, you should still take advantage of Snapchat, but more on a planned roll-out approach. Your main focus should be on learning from other brands while getting your team familiar with the channel. This could be an upside for your business as you have more time to carefully plan a strategic approach to using Snapchat in order to engage with your existing customer base and attracting new customers.
2) Real-time Readiness
Do you want your small business to engage with your customers in a new interactive and fun way? You already mastered Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others; now it’s time to experiment with Snapchat.
One of the earliest adopters of this channel was 16 Handles. 16 Handles is known as the first brand to create and execute a marketing campaign using Snapchat. Its “Snappy New Year” campaign urges the company’s Facebook fans to send a Snapchat photo of themselves or friends at their stores to the company’s Snapchat. In return, participants got a coupon for anywhere from 16% to 100% off a purchase. They then had to use Snapchat to access and redeem the coupon while at the register. This promotion kept fans actively engaged with 16 Handles, and it also provided customers with an incentive to visit again and spend more money. As an early adopter before all these new updates and changes, 16 Handles did it right. Imagine the possibilities of what your business can accomplish using Snapchat now!
Do you have enough time to invest in a channel that can completely change the way you drive new sales to your business? Snapchat requires time and dedication to develop cool, fun and creative content. Snapchat users now send 700 million snaps per day and view 1 billion stories per day. Stories are a Snapchat function that allows users to share snaps with all of their followers. Snaps in stories live for 24 hours instead of a few seconds.
According to a Cowen social user survey, on average, Snapchat’s U.S. Internet users 18 and older spend 17 minutes per day with the service. Compare that to 17.1 minutes spent per day on Twitter and 21.2 minutes per day on Instagram. Existing and potential consumers are already using this outlet to engage with their friends. If you want to succeed on Snapchat, you need to dedicate time to develop the content that will get noticed in those 17 minutes.
Not many companies are using Snapchat yet. If you start using it now, you will find your Snapchat voice by the time competitors try to learn how to use it, and you’ll already have experience using the latest Snapchat features, engaging with your customers, and creating amazing promotions for your small business.
To learn more about all the changes made last year on all the social media channels, including Snapchat, click here to download my e-book, “The Big #Buzz of Social Media Changes.”
Andre Kay is CEO and founder of Sociallybuzz, which exists to help businesses grow using social media. By helping them reach relevant customers, build customer loyalty, mange reputation and increase revenue. We protect relationship with their customer, create effective campaigns, manage their social channels and online reputation 24/7. Read the company’s blog and follow it on Twitter and Instagram.
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