By @TheMarkDalton

Let’s start by getting this straight first. Not every business should be on Snapchat in the first place. You need to decide what platforms feel right for you and seek advice on what could be best in a social environment for your business.

In the same vain that not every business needs be on Instagram, not every business needs to be on Pinterest, not every business needs a Twitter. Facebook is it’s own animal and one could argue that every business should have at least that in terms of online presence.

However, while I know I have been getting loud about it and I am encouraging more people to be there, I also need to point out that for some businesses there will be no significant upturn by using Snapchat.

However, I was asked in a meeting early this week about Snapchat for business and the guys spoke about it on the podcast which went up yesterday (which you also need to listen to – hopefully I can get a chance in my schedule to get on there soon to give more insight!). For now, what better way to give an insight for businesses than right here, because I realise that many of you may also be asking yourselves how you ‘do Snapchat for business’.  Don’t worry, its real easy when we cut down to the chase.

So, in terms of business then. Who should really be joining the party? Content creators, bloggers, photographers, publishers, any brand or business or person who wants to tell a story and who wants to drive business results through branding and storytelling on a personal level.

Because that is what this is guys, Snapchat is marketing and branding through storytelling. This is building a brand online 101 and the problem is that many businesses have gone online and they want to be transactional.

You want to drive business and generate sales but you don’t want to put in the ground work of building an audience and building your brand to drive those results. You just want to tell everyone how great you are, scream as loud as possible and then expect them to come with their wallets open.

You want it all and you want it tomorrow, problem is the game has changed now and too many businesses are not putting enough emphasis on how important storytelling is for branding. Storytelling is now everything for your branding online, it is how you now connect at scale.

The consumer has a voice now, they can openly challenge you through the internet and through social platforms, regardless of whether your business is on those platforms or not. Previously, before the social media boom, it was simply a process of generating ad campaigns. Run those campaigns, see which one “sticks” and then shove it right down the consumers throat via radio, print or TV.

Back then the consumer didn’t have a voice, they were force fed ads and they either decided to go buy your product or not. Now things have evolved, social interactions have evolved, branding and marketing has evolved. Well, it has evolved for some of us however there are still people who think they can advertise like its 1994 and get away with it but let me tell you my friend, those days are coming to an end.

Now you have to build trust, now you have to engage and you need to take branding to a different level. Oh, and by the way, you don’t just need to do this on Snapchat. You need to be working on building your brand equity on every platform you use. You need to tell a story and this is something Snapchat does to perfection right now. So, what can Snapchat do to drive business results?

It enables you to build a brand on a platform which has just passed Twitter on daily user numbers and is projected to grow a further 27% in 2016. Building these connections and building brand equity, both personal and professional, will help drive your business results. Again, how do you now build your brand? Storytelling. What story do you tell? Thats up to you to figure it our based on who you are and what your company does.

Thats it! There is no big mystery as to what Snapchat could possibly do for your business. How can Snapchat possibly be used for businesses, where is the benefit? I understand why the question is asked and the answer is simple – It builds your brand and as we all should know, building your brand spreads brand awareness which can help drive business.

What we need to realise is that right now, something very big is happening here. People are using it and they are going to keep using it. It is not going backwards, it is going forward. Mark Zuckerberg tried to buy Snapchat for $3 billion in 2013 but the offer was turned down. Facebook knows Snapchat is hot, Snapchat knows it is even hotter.

There is a land grab on Snapchat right now, people are looking for people to follow and the land grab is not going to last long so your chance to get on there and maximise your potential audience is right now. Don’t be afraid that content doesn’t hang around on Snapchat, don’t fear that it disappears forever.

People are afraid that if it only lives for 24 hours, not everyone will get a chance to see it. Thats the wrong way to look at it. Snapchat has user attention, that is one of the most important commodities you can have in business. People watch a story and they tune in with their attention because they know that the content disappears so you give your attention for those 8 seconds or however long the photo is on screen. You take it in.

You open your Twitter app and you scroll fast through a whole bunch of tweets real fast, you take a few of them in. You don’t consume all of them, nobody does. We skip tweets in bunches and we slow down to look at a few, maybe retweet one or two and post a reply.

But we think there is value in having them there and we are becoming way too obsessed with impressions and other dumb data without realising that the attention on Twitter is just not ‘there’ as much as it used to be. Don’t get me wrong, impressions are a great idea of how many eyes you get in front of which isn’t a bad thing and the higher the number the better. The data I am really obsessed with though are the interactions, because when people interact I know I have their attention.

I love Twitter, I don’t deny that it has value and that there are benefits over other platforms. If there were no benefits to Twitter over other platforms then we wouldn’t bother with Twitter at all. Make no mistake though, Twitter’s problems are very real and it is now at the point where they are going to need more than a few new features to stop the rot.

I made this point the other day, I have a very small Snapchat following. Much much smaller than my Twitter following (so hit me up on snapchat: themarkdalton) however despite that, the interaction on Snapchat is much higher than Twitter. It feels more like a community, it feels more sociable and it feels more personal.

Somewhere along the way we all seem to have gotten a bit lost. Perhaps it was during the social boom where companies started jumping on board left, right and centre. We forgot that one of the key elements of social media is “social.”

You don’t need to run out and jump on it straight away, you don’t need to create content on it tomorrow. But with the way the numbers are going you should consider downloading the app, following the lovely people at the link below and just see what they are doing on it. You could be surprised at how brand awareness is now being built!

8 People Who Are Crushing It On Snapchat

Also check out our adults guide to Snapchat.

The Adults Guide To Snapchat

And finally, be sure to follow me on Snapchat!

username: themarkdalton

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