By Emilio* Social Influencer (@themilsedition)
It’s no secret that Snapchat is THE go-to social media platform especially for millennials. Oh... You didn’t know? Well, now you do. The question is not who likes and uses Snapchat. The question that haunts our dreams of counting bearded unicorns skipping across skittle filled rainbows to the theme song of Bohemian Rhapsody is simply, why? Why is Snapchat the source of our daily happiness? Why has it eclipsed Instagram in daily users and content curation? And why should your brand be on Snapchat?
The “In-Between” Social Media.
You’re sitting in the waiting room of your dentist office at 1:37 P.M. and you see this cute plant in a pot. You want to take a picture, but know from past experiences that it will not turn out great. The scenery around it is plain and there's yellow lighting in the room. You can’t post it on Instagram until 5 P.M. anyway because that’s when you get the most likes. What do you do?
You snap it. You open Snapchat, take a picture, swipe on a filter, pull out a stylus, then draw a face and some arms on it.This picture that might have gotten 27 likes on Instagram (and only because you have close friends who like everything you post) will easily get 98 views on Snapchat and people will not only like it, they’ll love it!
The casual friend-like, “this is good enough” nature of Snapchat is what we crave. We can post pictures that aren’t necessarily Instagram quality or “Instaworthy” and still get a high amount of interaction which Snapchat has deemed as views. Whether it’s a video or photo, it matters how many eyes see it. Snapchat can do that because they don’t have a feed. You actually have to click onto someone’s story to view their snaps. That would be like only seeing Instagram posts if you went to that account’s page. This makes your content creation efforts seem worthwhile because not everyone physically likes pictures and videos even when they actually like them. Snapchat is setup so that if you don’t like an account’s posts, you simply don’t watch them.
Snapchat has made its way up the social ladder as being that in-between Instagram posts, behind the scenes, buddy-buddy social channel which is what social media has been missing the entire time.
High Amount of Daily Users.
Snapchat has the highest amount of daily user due to 3 reasons. Stories appear in sequential order, disappear after 24 hours and can only be created within the app. This is a winning combination to say the least and here’s why.
1. Creating from within the app.
Instagram was designed to allow users to only post pictures from their own phones to create that in-the-moment feeling, but ultimately fell short. That is where Snapchat came in and took the role and title as the in-the-moment social platform. Before the recent update, Snapchat did not allow any pictures to be uploaded from the camera roll in your phone because you can acquire pictures from anywhere, put them on your phone and live vicariously through someone else. Snapchat wants pictures to be created within their app to eliminate the catfishing and deception that plagues the internet.
Snapchat’s new update Memories is what allows uploads from the camera roll, but with a VERY obvious border around them and a time stamp that says when the picture or video was added to their camera roll so that we know the difference between pictures and videos from your phone gallery and ones created within the app.
2. Sequential Order.
You’re looking through your Instagram feed and stumble upon this picture posted by a local travel agency of a girl holding plane tickets, accompanied by the caption “Thanks to everyone who entered the contest. We have found our lucky winner for a trip to Jamaica!” You didn’t enter any contest nor do you remember any mention of one.
You immediately head to their page looking for any post that mentioned a contest. You see 7 over the past week. You’re dumbfounded at the fact that you missed every post when you use Instagram daily. Then you look at the times and days these pics were posted and measure that against how many posts they made each day. Finally, you discover what has happened.
You use Instagram at the same times each day. You never saw that post in your feed. You only saw the most recent post they made. Instagram posts are dependent on the time a user is on the app which is why they need an algorithm like Facebook to determine what posts to show you. The only way to beat this is to go to the account’s page every day or turn on post notifications which Instagram has not done a good job with promoting so most of its users don’t know it’s there.
Snapchat has ushered in a new terminology in social media with the introduction of stories. Stories are what you see when you are on Snapchat. A series of snaps in sequential order from the first post to the last which only take up one line of space. This allows a person to tell a story in which all posts fall in order of creation. Every time you make an update to your “story” it appears in a user’s recent updates list. If they want to view it they simply tap the story and it begins playing, starting with the oldest snap you had not yet seen.
3. 24 Hour Roll Off.
Nothing makes you wanna jump up and take immediate action quite like FOMO (Fear of missing out). This is the crème de la crème of Snapchat’s platform. Don’t be frightened away as a brand thinking that all your hard work has just turned to dust with no evidence of ever having done anything the entire week. The pictures disappearing after 24 hours is the best thing that could’ve happened to brands since social media.
As a brand, you want more people visiting your website/business, using and purchasing your products, visiting your social channels and receiving quality information directly from you. You can determine the quality of your social posts by how many people view your snaps on Snapchat. There’s no feed so they couldn’t have scrolled over your post. You can feel comfort in knowing that these viewers not only chose to follow you, but chose to click on your story and watch it. All within 24 hours I might add. You know exactly how many people engage with your brand everyday as opposed to two weeks ago. You can create a call-to-action that is almost immediate.
Why is Snapchat Good for my Brand?
The problem with brands in social media as that they act like brands. Social media is media preceded by social. If there is no social atmosphere then there is no atmosphere. Snapchat can be a window into a brand. People connect with people.
Unless your clients are graphic designers looking for work, no one cares about your logo. Especially not millennials. We care about people. Mainly people we can relate and are familiar with. Snapchat allows you to show a behind the scenes of your business which tends to be shrouded in an air of mystery and sales. Transparency is truth. When we see a brand as a person rather than a business we are allowed to have a deeper relationship that can ultimately change our perception of the entire business.
I recently bought a Chevy Cruze from Chevrolet. I never really cared much about Chevrolet even though I was driving a Chevy at the time. All the commercials were get this car at this price with approved credit and blah blah blah. Not once did I feel anything for Chevrolet other than irritation. Well, not until I saw Prince Ea in a recent advertisement. I like Prince Ea. He’s a person I relate to. The commercial he was in didn't even show a car until the final 10 seconds. I had the opportunity to feel something because Prince Ea was surely talking to me. After the commercial, I tweeted to Chevrolet and told them how impressed I was with the commercial. They tweeted back and after a few exchanges, my feelings about the company, or lack thereof, changed. I bought a Chevy two weeks after and can now say that I actually like Chevrolet as a company and as a brand.
Nike sponsors athletes and Pepsi sponsors celebrities for one simple reason. People relate to people. Tillys and Pacsun do a great job of providing an insight into their brands on Snapchat. They show the photo shoots for their clothing line and even utilize celebrity and employee takeovers get even more in depth. Use Snapchat to personify your business and people will begin to like it…as a person. Open a window into your brand, share your feelings and thoughts and ultimately, tell your story.
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About Storyteller Media
Storyteller Media helps businesses connect to their audiences by creating and distributing creative, headline grabbing content that drives measurable results and ROI. We are social media agency built around helping you tell your story to the world. We were founded on the idea that everyone has a story to tell.