To Snapchat, or not to Snapchat?

Roughly a 4 minute read by Dom

Snapchat’s been around for 4 years now, with brands jumping on-board left, right and centre. It’s reported that more people use Snapchat daily than Twitter (a whopping 60% of all smartphone users in the USA aged 13-34) and with views up 400% year on year there’s no sign of it slowing.

Despite the hype, there’s still plenty of marketers out there who just aren’t sure whether to jump in and take their first snap. Let me tell you what we think…

The background

We’ve been working with Snapchat for a while now and with their 2.0 updates (check out Georgia’s latest blog post to find out more), it’s easy to see that there’s plenty for both users and brands to play with.

For us the biggest part of being successful at Snapchat, is how you manage it, which is something we’re still tinkering with on a daily basis. Creating content on the fly does take more time, but like any other social channel building an engaging content plan pays dividends.

The examples below are from Bubbleology, the UK’s biggest (and best of course!) premium branded bubble tea concept. We’ve been working with them for years, and with their target customer being within the ‘youth market’, Snapchat fits their demographic perfectly.

With its instant nature, we need to create a lot of content. So regular trips out of the office is a key way to make sure we’ve always got something interesting to show our fans. We’re also able to create branded content and publish it to Snapchat whenever we like. This comes at price of course, but incredibly handy for busy marketers!

Here's some we made earlier…

To get the full Bubbleology Snapchat experience, you can add them to your friends here.

The evidence

Looks great, sounds cool, but does it drive results?

The biggest unknown for most brands, and perhaps the ultimate question is whether Snapchat drives any return? Hopefully, you’ll agree with us when we say social media is about more than just direct sales, so if it’s engagement you’re looking for Snapchat is a major player you need to consider.

But let’s look at the numbers.

As I mentioned earlier, Snapchat has already overtaken Twitter on the daily user count which I can guarantee no one saw coming in the app’s early days. Alas, here we are. It’s time to move on.

For us, the impact of this shift in ranking has already produced some stark contrasts in results on the two channels. Using the ‘interactions per 1000 followers’ measurement, we saw 40 interactions (likes or tweets) on Twitter over the space of a week and more than 800 interactions, (that's opens and screenshots) over on Snapchat. Now, who can argue with those numbers?

Don’t get me wrong. I love Twitter and it does have its perks. But it’s always been more about joining the conversation rather than being an efficient tool for brands to talk to their fans. Look at it this way… a user can easily swipe past a sponsored tweet, whereas Snapchatters are actively making the choice to open and view your content. As long as it’s good, they’ll keep coming back for more. #winning.

Channel growth isn’t too shabby either.

In just 30 days we saw one of our clients following grow… wait for it... by nearly 80% organically. *drops mic*

I’ll leave you to figure out how much that would cost elsewhere in the social-sphere.

The conclusion

Ultimately, it’s all about the here and now on social media these days. Users want and need instant content to satisfy their consumer urges and they want a choice over whether they see it or not. Snapchat gives them exactly that! While Facebook and Twitter are trying to up their game with the likes of Periscope and Livestream, Snapchat offers something uniquely different they can’t compete with (yet).

Brands are only just figuring out the endless opportunities this channel offers, but we predict it won’t be long until Snapchat is a key part of most brands digital strategy. Will you be one of them?

Dom heads up team marketing, getting through his days at Engage by talking (a lot) about all things digital. From client relations and campaign strategies to leading our team of marketers, he’s the frontman making sure everything stays in order.