Tuesday, 9 July 2019
It was 2011 when two friends in Los Angeles launched a photo and video messaging platform called Snapchat.
Like Instagram and Facebook, users could follow friends and create posts, but unlike other platforms, those messages—video and otherwise—would disappear in ten seconds or less in Snapchat.
The social media world exploded with excitement over Snapchat and by 2013, Facebook had offered to purchase the company for a whopping $3 billion. The founders declined and, according to reports, Google countered with an offer of $4 billion. That offer was also denied. While many were dumbfounded to learn that two early twentysomethings—still reportedly living in a basement—would pass up such large sums of cash, it looks like they may have been on to something. Today, Snapchat is more popular than ever. More than 100 million people log on daily and more than 200 million people use the service monthly. Users skew young— between 13 to 34 years old, though most are around 13-17 years old. Brands are just now starting to utilize the platform for their marketing purposes, and some are experiencing huge successes.
Snapchat is free to download and use. You'll need to create a username, and it's best to use the name of your business, without spaces. For example, if your company is called Jane's Boutique On Main, your username could be JanesBoutiqueOnMain or something similar.
The app then allows you to look up your contacts that also have Snapchat accounts and follow them. The app takes you on a tutorial on how to post public “snaps" and how to send snaps—which are photos and/or videos with captions—to specific people.
While Snapchat servers are designed to automatically delete all unopened snaps after 30 days, it is possible to take a screenshot of a Snap. Brands can track when screenshots are taken and use those numbers as measuring tools. Another great way to track Snapchat success is to tease a discount in a snap and then tell viewers to go to a specific URL to see the rest of the discount, or specific code associated with it. For this, it's best to create a unique URL only known to Snapchat users and then track how many people are going there.
Snapchat is an incredibly popular social media platform, but only used by a small amount of brands. This poses a unique opportunity for small businesses to take hold and grab the attention of millions of potential customers every day.
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