by Lily Bradic
Last week in Web 101, we covered Ask.fm — a site with no marketing value at all. This week, we’ll be talking about Snapchat. You might have heard of it, or even used it — but have you used it for business?
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a photo messaging service for smartphones. Messages self-destruct (boom!) after being read, and this ephemerality is what makes it so popular.
Who uses Snapchat?
Mostly — but not exclusively — teenagers and young adults. It’s often associated with sexting, nights out (because a drunken Snapchat is the new drunk-dial) and Uglies (ugly selfies).
Why should you care?
First, you need to be aware that there are ways for the recipient to save your photos to their phone, so don't count on the presumed 10-seconds-to-self-destruct to keep you out of trouble. If you’ve got kids, it’s worth letting them know. A lot of people use Snapchat to send sexually explicit photos to each other. Banning teenagers from doing something usually makes them even more eager to do it, so warning them of the app’s dangers might be a better option.
But, on a more positive note, you can also use Snapchat to boost customer engagement (not by sending dirty pictures, though).
Is Snapchat good for marketing?
Some companies have used Snapchat for marketing — with mixed results. You need to really think about whether a Snapchat campaign could work for your company — Instagram is a much “safer” alternative, but that said, Snapchat can be great for increasing engagement.
This here is a great example:
It’s also done with club nights (“free tickets for the five funniest Snapchats before 9pm”), hair salons (“Snapchat your bad hair day for a 20% off coupon”) and…well, pretty much anything. If you come up with a creative prompt and a worthwhile prize, you can really drive engagement — and sales.
So, Snapchat has a little more value than you might think — although it’s worth being cautious of, too.
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