July 12, 2016

Why Businesses Should Care About Snapchat

  • Subline: If you're going after a younger market, it's an effective tool for reaching them

Just the sheer mention of Snapchat to anyone over the age of about 30 can elicit a variety of responses, everything from complete unawareness to perhaps an uncomfortable grimace. Those reactions are likely rooted in some obscure notion that may only hint at the actual truth.

The fact is, Snapchat, the free photo- and video-based sharing app that whose posts quick expire, has become hugely popular with teenagers and 20-year-olds. In fact, their numbers are growing so quickly that it’s hard to get a good sense of Snapchat's total user base. But we know it’s well over 100 million users. Recent statistics show that of millennials (18-35 year olds), roughly one-third have an account, and one-third of those access that content on a regular basis. If you look at the younger end of that spectrum, that number soars to roughly 75 percent having a Snapchat account that they use daily.

So what?

Why is this important to your business? Until recently, Snapchat had no mechanism for advertisers. That’s changed.

Now, advertisers can build custom filters that allow pictures that users share to be branded with a company’s logo and filter designs. What’s even cooler is you can make those filters available only to certain geographic locations. For instance, a popular night spot in a tourist town could design a custom geofilter that’s only available within a two block radius around that business and includes a unique design and their logo.

From an advertiser’s perspective, this is fantastic for several reasons. First, you have an audience that loves to share and craves the ability to personalize everything they do. This can’t be understated. Creating custom geofilters allows for exactly that.

Also, it’s been proven that Snapchat users are highly active users, often posting many times a day. In addition, the limited lifespan -- photos last only a few seconds and stories last only 24-hours - creates a sense of urgency. And finally, the space isn’t cluttered (yet) with advertisers like other social media platforms that have offered advertising for longer.


Here’s how Snapchat geofilters work. First you create the artwork - business mark, business name, business logo or other promotional content. It is then set up so that anytime someone in or near your business shoots a Snapchat photo, your artwork will appear on the photo. The image above shows examples from Venice CA, New Orleans LA and a McDonald’s restaurant. The result: pictures of happy people at your business, with your business name, going out to some of the 100 million Snapchat users. 

The bottom line

If you’re in a business that has an audience that skews younger, or a business that wants to appeal to a younger crowd, Snapchat is an effective way to reach that audience.