Social Media Optimization: Spread the Word with Snapchat

By Ric Shreves, Michelle Krasniak

One of the social media darlings of 2014 was Snapchat, a mobile app that allows users to send photo or video messages that automatically disappear 1 to 10 seconds after being viewed. It’s classic ephemeral media, updated with the computer age. What’s cool about Snapchat — aside from the time factor — is that the application includes tools that let you mark up the image, so you can annotate, doodle, and even add a little story.

Snapchat is meant to be fun, and it achieves that goal. Here’s just one of the many types of interesting images you can create and send with Snapchat.

A Snapchat image.

A Snapchat image.

Check your demographics. Snapchat has a younger audience. Statistics from ComScore and The Wall Street Journal indicate that one third of mobile users between 18 and 24 use Snapchat and that 70 percent of the audience is women.

To the surprise of many people, Snapchat has been embraced by marketers, who find that the unique nature of the channel suits creative uses. Here are some of the clever uses of Snapchat:

  • A frozen‐yogurt shop encouraged users to send Snapchats of themselves enjoying yogurt, and the shop would send back coupons via Snapchat. Because the coupon was a Snapchat image, it disappeared 10 seconds after it was opened, forcing users to use Snapchat at the register to display the coupon while they were checking out. To make the promotion more fun, the amounts of the coupons varied, from a little to a lot, and users wouldn’t know the amount until they opened a coupon to use it.

  • A cosmetics company used Snapchat to promote the release of a new line. Only people who friended and followed the company account could see the short‐lived previews of the products, which nicely played to the exclusive nature of the line.

  • A brand created a series of humorous Snapchat images and ran them throughout the course of the Super Bowl. The theme of the images dovetailed with the Super Bowl and were so well received that the company’s Snapchat following jumped by more than 5,500 people during the game.

  • A clothing brand used Snapchat to preview its new line and drive traffic to stores.

Snapchat isn’t really about pretty pictures. It’s about fun and authentic moments.