Like most prospective college students, you’ve probably heard of Snapchat. You may even have a profile on the platform and use it to share photos and enhanced images with your friends and family members. However, did you realize that Snapchat can also be an effective business marketing platform? With a career in digital and social media marketing, you can use this and other social media platforms to get the word out about your company’s products and services without spending much money on advertising.
WHAT IS SNAPCHAT?
Snapchat is a short-term photo messaging app where “stories” that users create last around 24 hours. Snapchat is available in 37 languages, and to date, the app has 375 million daily registered users worldwide and more than 107 million registered users in the United States.
Is Snapchat a social media platform? Although it’s an app, rather than a website like Facebook or YouTube, Snapchat is still considered a social media platform by most sources rather than simply a photo-sharing service. That’s because Snapchat allows users to share photos and make them available for their social network to view for a limited amount of time.
SNAPCHAT TIMELINE AND EVOLUTION
Snapchat was created in 2012 by two seniors at Stanford University. By the end of 2012, users had shared more than one billion photos via the new app. Snapchat started allowing ads within its platform in 2014 and went public in 2017.
The pandemic era was a huge benefit to Snapchat’s growth. Daily active users grew more than 22 percent at the height of the pandemic, from the fourth quarter of 2020 to the fourth quarter of 2021.
SNAPCHAT AS A MARKETING TOOL
While Snapchat was created primarily to give individuals a way to share images, it can also benefit businesses, especially those that sell to a younger demographic.
Build Engagement and Traffic
Snapchat is a great resource for building engagement around an event. Companies can take advantage of the platform’s filters to customize posts for attendees as well as enlist a social media influencer to attend the event and post on Snapchat about it.
Taco Bell recently created the most popular Snapchat campaign to date by creating a Snapchat lens for Cinco de Mayo that turned people’s heads into folded tacos. While it may sound silly, it generated 224 million views in a single day.
Connect with a Younger Audience
More than one-half of Snapchat’s registered users are 24 years of age or younger. A further 23 percent are between 24 and 35 years old. That makes about 75% of the platform’s audience 35 or younger. This compares to 28 percent of Facebook registered users who are younger than age 24, meaning that if you are trying to attract and appeal to a younger audience, you’ll likely have greater success on Snapchat. Since this is also a smaller platform than Facebook and Twitter, it will also be less likely that your marketing message will get lost in the sea of other advertising posts.
One example of using Snapchat to attract users is Subway’s recent campaign using animated emojis to launch a new sandwich. They were able to increase their reach by more than 25 percent.
Grow Brand Awareness
Snapchat’s image format is ideal for showcasing your logo and other branding. When a potential customer recognizes your branding, they are more likely to turn to your company when they are in the market for your products or services.
SNAPCHAT VS. FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, AND TWITTER
While Snapchat is a social media app, there are distinct differences between it and other popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Unlike Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat focuses exclusively on photo messaging. Facebook offers a variety of media, whereas Twitter posts are limited to short text plus an optional image. Most Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts are designed to last pretty much forever. Snapchat messages have a short lifespan and “go away” after 24 hours.
The demographics for Snapchat are also vastly different from Facebook and other social media platforms. Facebook tries to appeal to a very broad range of people, from teens to retired folks, from professionals to stay-at-home parents. Snapchat, on the other hand, has a more tightly defined demographic. As already mentioned, half of this app’s users are under the age of 35.
Snapchat offers more immediate engagement with users than older, more traditional social media platforms like Facebook. It’s more interactive than traditional social media platforms, where users must scroll through dozens and dozens of posts to find your marketing message.
LOOKING AHEAD FOR SNAPCHAT
Snapchat recently added a subscription option for users that offers more enhancements and a variety of ways to customize posts. It also allows users to have more control over when their posts will expire, with options ranging from one hour to one week.
Story ads, another new Snapchat feature, will further blur the lines between social and commercial posts and give companies more opportunities to interact with Snapchat users in a fun and creative way.
EARN A DEGREE IN DIGITAL MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA AT JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY
Johnson & Wales University (JWU) offers a unique undergraduate degree in digital marketing and social media. This four-year degree program is offered online, making it easy for students with familial, professional, and civic obligations. With the online format, students have much more flexibility in when they “attend” classes and do coursework.
The BS in Digital Marketing and Social Media degree program trains students to “comprehend, plan, and communicate brand messaging across various digital networks and platforms.” Courses in this program include digital marketing planning, search engine marketing, social media marketing, marketing analytics, and data-driven marketing. There are an average of 17 students per instructor in our degree programs, so you can be assured that your professors will have plenty of time to answer your questions.
ABOUT JOHNSON & WALES UNIVERSITY
Johnson & Wales University offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs in more than 50 fields of study. Founded in 1914, Johnson & Wales has a current enrollment of around 8,000 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. The university is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education. Financial aid is available for qualified students.