Welcome to “Is That Still a Thing,” a new feature here on the Fabric Blog where we look at some of the more niche social networks and examine whether or not it would be worth investing our time and energy into growing an industry presence there. First up, we’re looking at a popular message sharing app — Snapchat.
WHAT IS IT?
Snapchat (aka SC or Snap) is a real-time messaging app built around the idea of posts that disappear after 24 hours. Think of it as a cross between Instagram and those secret briefing tapes from Mission Impossible that self destructs at the end of the message. Snapchat focuses on a mobile experience with a variety of filters and virtual stickers.
WHO USES IT?
As of February 2019, Snapchat had around 188 million active users. For comparison, that’s just about as many users as Twitter, but less than half of the audience of Instagram, which boasts over 500 million daily users. Most of the people using Snapchat are between 18-24 years old, so we’re looking at a heavy Gen Z presence on this network.
What does that mean for you? Remember, Gen Z is just entering the workforce and most of them are still in school, but they still wield nearly $44 billion in discretionary spending every year. People in this demographic crave authenticity and transparency and they want to follow and support companies that share their values.
IS THERE AN INDUSTRY PRESENCE?
Yes and no. There are definitely some promo and apparel companies out there dipping their toes into Snapchat, but you’re not going to find the Snapchat icon listed next to the big three (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) on people’s homepage.
SHOULD YOU USE IT?
For many people, the 24-hour time limit on Snapchat posts is a nonstarter, but when you consider that the majority of engagement for a Twitter or Facebook post happens within the first 24 hours anyway, it’s actually not that big of a deal. Your mileage may vary, however.
Retail brands are killing it on Snapchat, and the platform offers a lot of tools to help connect businesses to their customers. The question then becomes, are your customers using the network? Are they the kind of people that can casually drop “Snap” into a sentence and know what they’re talking about? If they’re using the platform, even casually, then it might be worth a second look.
WHAT ARE THE BEST PRACTICES?
It never hurts to reiterate general advice for social media marketing: Be authentic. Do not try to sell. Instead, educate, inform, and entertain your audience. Snapchat is a very visual medium, so focus on quick, dynamic video content, and post often. If you can’t commit to a regular posting schedule, you’re going to get lost in the noise.
ASI and CommonSku also have some handy how-tos you can check out if you’re interested in Snapchat:
- 8 Ways to Use Snapchat for the Promo Industry
- 4 Ways Promotional the Products Industry Can Use Snapchat Marketing