Your Insider’s Guide to Using Snapchat for Marketing
Snapchat is a social media platform that is image and video based. You “snap” an image or a video and then you either send it to one particular person, or more people. Or, you can add it to a “story”, which lasts for 24 hours that anyone can view, depending on your privacy settings.
Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown (no longer with the company) got the idea for Snapchat when sending photos to a girl and wishing they’d just disappear immediately. Yes, it started out as a dating or “hookup” app.
The idea that started as Pictaboo then became Snapchat when the three realized that with venture capital help, the huge potential of the idea for individuals and businesses that aren’t looking for a hook up was there. It launched in its current incarnation in 2011.
As the third most used Internet app, now worth an estimated 15 billion dollars, it’s a very powerful solution for many different types of businesses, whether large or small, online or offline. Now corporations, small businesses and individuals wanting to expand awareness of their brand, or just have fun, use Snapchat on a daily basis successfully.
How it Works
One of the biggest questions people often ask is; what is Snapchat and how in the world does it work? Also, what’s the point? Even though it’s immensely popular, especially with young people, many people just don’t get it. As a marketer it behooves you to get to know this app and learn how to use it. It can be a very powerful force in your business.
As mentioned above, it is essentially a photo and video messaging app. Think Twitter, but with video and images. The thing that makes Snapchat unique is that everything only lasts a short time and then disappears forever. Today, the more than 100 million active users are sending more than 700,000 massages, called snaps, each day.
Warning: Keep in mind that while these messages do disappear, someone can always record it or capture it with a camera to save forever. So it’s not an excuse to misuse the platform, especially as a business owner.
Snapchat is really a very simple app to use, but it does puzzle a lot of people. The main part of your Snapchat app is the camera view. But, it can be very confusing because it does a lot of things. The best way to learn is make a profile and get started experimenting.
First, let’s go over some basic Snapchat terms.
- Snapchatters – These are simply Snapchat users.
- Snapback – A Snapchat reply.
- Story – This is a snap that you send to all your followers at the same time, in a broadcast. Your recipients can see it as many times as they want in a 24 hour period.
- Scores – This is a function that shows how many snaps you’ve sent and received.
- Chat – Using this, you can talk privately and directly to your friends, depending who you choose.
- Here – During a direct message you can choose to use this feature to start a private live video with that individual.
Snapchat is not difficult, but it can be confusing. Many people say it’s simple, but it does have a lot of features that you’ll have to practice to learn. For example, you can choose from 1 to 10 seconds for your images to show, and 1 to 13 seconds for your videos to show to your audience. It will take some trial and error to get it just right.