Snap And Tap Or Snooze And Lose
As a story and video sharing platform, Snapchat is the new frontier. But while the 100 million global user mark has already been passed, Irish organisations have been slow to get snapping.
Yet this is a platform that’s not going away. Just like with vloggers on YouTube and the huge audiences they command, Snapchat along with its influencers presents a massive opportunity for all kinds of companies in Ireland.
The fact that Facebook tried to buy it in 2013 is a pretty good indication of where things are going in Snapland.
Let’s Get The Snapper Stats Straight
As of August 2015, an Ipsos MRBI poll found that 22% of Irish adults have a Snapchat account, with 68% of them being daily snappers.
Admittedly, its appeal is amongst the younger generation aged between 15 and 25.
The 25 to 35-year-old group are starting to play with this platform already, while the older ones will soon need to know what it’s about just to see what their teenage kids are up to (remember, this is what happened with Facebook).
2015 research in the US also threw up an interesting and little-known fact – it’s the teens from higher income households that are more likely to opt for Snapchat over other social platforms. So we’re also assuming they’re the ones with the greater disposable income.
First conclusion here? If you’re a brand, large or small moving and shaking within this age bracket, you need to get into the snapchat groove right now.
Second conclusion: If you’re not aiming at this demographic point, it won’t be long before the snappers move up to the older age group, so you’ll need to start using it shortly.
So Just What IS The Big Snapper Appeal?
First up, Snapchat is mostly a monologue, and let’s face it – two way communication is just so last season. Or last generation, maybe.
Unlike with Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, your ‘snaps’ (photos and video) don’t show up directly in your followers’ feeds – they have to be selected to be seen. This ‘take it or leave it’ approach means you can’t be accused of clogging up your virtual friends’ screens with boring baby and cutsie doggie pictures. There’s also no comment or ‘like’ feature, so you can snap away freely without the social pressure that comes with other platforms.
Secondly, it’s an ephemeral world, and who likes anything permanent these days? Snaps are only available to see for up to 24 hours and once they’re opened you can only view each one for up to 10 seconds before they disappear back into the abyss. There’s both safety and excitement in the fleeting nature of Snapland. (Although last month the company introduced a feature allowing users to buy a once off replay of a snap)
Thirdly, its pencil and drawing tools make it super-easy for users to doctor a photo or video with something amusing, or just to illustrate a point.
Who’s The Biggest Snapper?
Right now the most highly visible snapping going on in Ireland is being driven by the beauty and fashion blogger brigade.
Tune into Joanne Larby’s (themakeupfairy) snaps and you’re likely to find a full showcase of what she’s bought in Penny’s that afternoon – pictures, prices and the full voiceover monty to boot. And with 13.5k+ followers on her YouTube channel, 60k+ on Facebook and 54k+ on Instagram, this girl definitely carries sway.
A glance today at beauty blogger Nuala Gorman’s snaps (@nualsg) shows a line up of an ‘advent calendar’ stuffed with No. 7 skin care goodies from Boots.ie.
She also mentions her fellow blogger Karen Constantine (lovelygirlybits). Like others, Karen had a big following as a youTube vlogger before sharing her content on Snapchat.
Elsewhere in Snapland this afternoon, stylist and journalist Rosemary MacCabe (rosemarymaccabe) gives away a Dundrum Town Centre voucher worth €100, features the Irish version of the Zomato restaurant guide app, and shows a package she’s just received with a gift of a gold ring from Chupi’s designer jewellery.
What About Company Accounts In Snapland?
So what about Irish companies, large and small? Are they on the snapping bandwagon yet?
There’s some snapping going on amongst business branded accounts, but it’s not very regular. More collaborate with Snapchat influencers to produce the content audiences want to see.
Though sporadic, larger Irish company snappers have included Tayto (mrtaytosnaps), Paddy Power (thepaddypower), Electric Ireland (electricireland), Pennys (primarksnap) and Aer Lingus (aerlingus).
Smaller companies include Cocoa Brown under the personal account of owner Marissa Carter (cartermarissa). Yesterday she snapped an Xpose shoot for Boots Ireland featuring Cocoa Brown tanning products.
Local business The Field Bar Kilkenny (thefieldbarkk) keeps customers coming with snaps of its special offers and live music events.
Snapchat is also being used for practical purposes like recruitment. When Irish pub company Sober Lane looked for waiting staff as far back as June 2014, they asked applicants to forget the CV and send Snapchat photos and videos instead. They were drowning in snapper submissions before they could sober up.
Most companies use their other social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) to encourage users to follow them on Snapchat – let’s call it the cross-pollination approach.
Tips For Company And Brand Snappers
What are the main snapper points Irish companies should start to consider (if they haven’t done it yet?)
- Look for the right influencers and partner with them to create interest around your brand. It takes research to find the best individuals – their outlook, approach and personal brand must be in line with yours
- Or consider giving someone within your company or organisation the role of Snap Ambassador, and work with them to develop their Snapchat account to promote your brand
- Develop a company account and use it to give consumers a glimpse of your brand and the lifestyle of your company, or make last minute offers with a sense of the now e.g. issue a coupon code valid for that day only
- Each snap or story is so temporary it’s ideal to use for sneak peeks of a product or idea, behind the scenes stories, and to generate immediate buzz around a topic
- Use your existing social media accounts to bring people to your Snapchat account (audiences need to be pointed directly to your account’s username – they won’t just come across it as they might with other platforms)
- Once you have an account you’ll also have an individual snapcode; use this generously – tweet it out, put it on material at an event or trade fair and include it on your YouTube and Vimeo videos. Users will snap it (photograph it with their cell phone in Snapchat) and automatically follow you this way
- Try to post every day or very regularly. When users follow you they can’t see historical posts other than what you’ve produced in the last 24 hours, so it’s important to be consistent
- When you’re posting a story, finish with a clear Call To Action e.g. Tune in for more tomorrow, Follow the rest of the story on Twitter etc.
- Opt for more video than still images (or at least a good mix), your younger audience expects this
- Remember your goal is to build your brand and develop relationships. So once you’ve gained people’s interest on Snapchat, direct them to another channel where they can follow-up and find out more about what you offer
Snaps To Takeaway
- If you’re a consumer-oriented business targeting the younger generation and want to stay ahead of the crowd, get snapping now.
- For the low down on how Snapchat works, have a look here.
- If you’d like to talk about how Ivory Content can help you use Snapchat to develop your brand, get in touch for an informal chat.