Latest great guest post by Siobhan Scanlon  founder of Peacock Bride. Snapchat, a quick intro about it, why it’s so popular, and best practice for using it.

I remember 2 years ago when my friends were playing around with a thing called Snapchat and I thought to myself  “It’ll never last… no way”. That was almost as silly as that time that Alan Sugar said that the iPod would be a flash in the pan (only not as high profile).

Snapchat has become the next in line for social app of the times and it looks like it’s just going to get bigger and bigger.

So what is Snapchat. Snapchat is an app platform which allows the users to share videos and photos with their friends – sounds like every other social media platform, right?!? WRONG. The difference here is that the videos and photos only have a short time after they are shared before they, by want of a better phrase, self destruct – they disappear forever and you get to choose how long before this happens. In an age where everything is documented and recorded online, Snapchat is a breath of fresh air and is almost the anti-social media (at least, social media as we have come to know it).

Snapchat also now have a “Story” function, where the user takes short bursts of videos throughout the day and shares it with their followers. Once it is up online, it has 24 hours before it disappears.

What strikes me most about Snapchat is a feeling of reality. Millennials are steering away from the oh so picture perfect filtered photos and perfectly projected lives on Facebook, and swapping them for what’s happening in the now with short bursts of real life and conversation on Snapchat. This makes so much sense when you think about how much quicker life has become since technology and internet arrived and made us expect things to happen instantly. The Millennials and everyone who comes after them don’t know a world without this expectation, so it stands to reason that Snapchat would be their app of choice.

Snapchat is about trailing and testing things to find out what works for you. Typically companies shouldn’t post over 200 seconds to their story every day but companies have found success in posting 4 times that amount so it really depends on how you interact with your audience and how engaged they are. Find what works for you and your brand and you’re halfway there!

In terms of metrics the key ones to look out for are story completions, unique views and screenshots. This will give you a good idea of what people are responding to and allows you to directly ask for feedback from your audience. Brands use the screenshot feature to ask questions to their audience like ‘Would you like to see more of xx or xx’ – the answer is in the number of screenshots! It’s slightly primitive but oh so simple and is the most direct and honest link brands can have to their customers.

Snapchat is the social media platform of today and for the near future, because instant gratification is what we’ve been asking for all these years and now we have it.  The technology graveyard had better make room for the text message, just next to the floppy disk and cd-rom.


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