Snapchat has become one of the most popular social media platforms among young teens in the past few years and marketers are beginning to set their sights on the app to reach new people. It might be useful for certain industries but does every business need to be on Snapchat?
Businesses might feel that they are missing out on an opportunity if they are not involved in every new trend but the reality is that a platform like Snapchat is not going to be an effective marketing tool for everyone. It really is only useful for certain people and certain brands.
Your Target Demographic and Brand
One important thing to realize about Snapchat is that in spite of the enormous hype, the platform is really only popular among a relatively niche demographic. The majority of users on Snapchat are between the ages of 13 to 34 and about 70 percent of them are women. If this is your target audience then Snapchat might be something to at least look into but otherwise it might not be worth the effort.
If you are the type of brand that needs to be “on trend”and relatable to teens or appeal to young people in general then you might genuinely be missing out if you are not on snapchat. Other brands might actually hurt their reputation by using Snapchat if they are trying to hard to be relatable to an audience that will not respond to them. If you typically get the most response for your brand from middle-aged men, then they are not likely to be on the app themselves and the younger audience might simply ignore you.
You need to be consistent with your brand and the kind of content you produce. If Snapchat does not allow you the opportunity to accurately reflect your brand’s voice then you don’t need to be on it. Trying to fit your brand into the style of the app just because it’s popular will be detrimental to the image that you have already established.
Your Goals for Growth
The people that do well on Snapchat typically already have large audiences on other platforms or are brands with enough resources to spend a lot of money on marketing. If you are a small to mid-sized business and are mainly using social media to help grow your brand then Snapchat is probably not the best choice.
Most successful businesses on Snapchat are personality-based and have already grown an audience through other means. They are simply using Snapchat to help create a more intimate relationship with their existing audience. The platform does not really offer newer businesses a chance to expand their audience and start establishing themselves.
If you really want to get involved in Snapchat then you might benefit from spending time on another platform that is more growth friendly first such as YouTube or Instagram. Once you have a bigger audience that is within the Snapchat demographic then you might find the app more useful for marketing.
Your Resources, Time and Energy
One thing to realize about an app like Snapchat is that can be expensive and time-consuming to start a marketing campaign. Some of the tools that the platform offers can be costly such as Snapchat Filters which can cost up to $200,000 per day and Snapchat Discover which can be up to $700,000 per day. Bigger brands with a lot of money might be more willing to gamble on a new app but others might not have the same kind of means.
Another issue with Snapchat is that the younger demographic tends to be much more active online and your brand will have to keep up. Posts on the app are designed to disappear after they are viewed so users on the site tend to continue posting several times throughout the day to stay involved. If you want to be visible on the app you can’t rely on the type of content schedule that you use for platforms like Facebook.
If you create a Snapchat you need to make sure that you have the time and energy to be as active as your audience is. A company account that rarely creates content will leave a bad impression on followers. When your business doesn’t seem interested in engaging, followers will lose interest.
Even though it might seem appealing to try to be a part of something new and trendy that seems to have a big audience, you need to make sure that it will actually be worth it to you. Everyone wants to be a part of the next big thing but in some cases it might not be the best choice.
Before jumping into Snapchat, make sure that you will benefit from the app based on your audience and resources. Otherwise, focus on platforms that better suit your brand and your marketing goals.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.