You’ve mastered Facebook, and you’re a stud at sending out 140-character tweets on Twitter. You pin like mad on Pinterest, post several pictures a day on Instagram, and your Google+ account is topped off with beautiful content every day. Does this mean you’ve mastered the world of social media? Not so fast. If you’re not using Snapchat and Periscope, you may be missing out on lucrative venues filled with marketing potential. Both Periscope and Snapchat focus on sharing microcontent, something you may already be familiar with if you’re using Twitter. With both Periscope and Snapchat, you use short snippets of video or pictures to tell your story. For a creative marketer, these apps can be a goldmine to getting the word out about your brand. Let’s take a closer look at both.
Snapchat first launched in 2011 under the name Picaboo. The app, which was developed by students at Stanford, was aimed at the younger set. Even today, the demographics of Snapchat users lean on the younger side—13- to 25-year-olds are its prime users. But if you think Snapchat is just for kids with no buying power, think again. Forty-five percent of Snapchat’s users are between the ages of 18 and 24, a highly desirable subset of the population that marketers are eager to tap into. Snapchat has gotten noticed by the big boys as well. Back in 2013, it was reported that Snapchat turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook, which is perhaps not as crazy as it seemed to some at the time. Today, Snapchat has a $16 billion valuation, and companies are clamoring to use the app to their advantage. There are reasons it’s getting attention. Snapchat boasts 100 million daily users. These users are active on the app: They view more than seven billion videos per day. Compare that to Facebook’s 8 billion views and 1.55 billion monthly active users. Much of Snapchat’s value lies with who is using it. According to comScore®, 73% of Snapchat users are Millennials, and 30% of U.S. Millennial Internet users access Snapchat regularly. With Millennials predicted to spend more than $200 billion annually starting in 2017 and $10 trillion in their lifetimes, this is a group every marketer would love to capture the attention of.
Snapchat as a Valuable Marketing Tool
For the uninitiated, Snapchat takes some getting used to. When you sign up, you don’t have a bio or a custom picture, and you don’t have a URL that links back to your company website. Your hard-won content doesn’t even stick around for long. The default is to have your pictures and videos, or “snaps,” show up to viewers for 3 seconds, but you can choose for them to stick around for anywhere between 1 and 10 seconds. If you’d like your content to last a little longer, which might make more sense for a company, then you can post “stories.” These can be viewed by anyone and last 24 hours. After that, they’re gone. The fleeting nature of content on Snapchat creates excitement. People may feel the need to check back often throughout the day for new content for fear of missing out on something. Snapchat is a great way to deliver mobile coupons, showcase new products, and send out exclusive promotions. For larger businesses, such as CNN and the Food Network, Snapchat has a “Discover” feature. Companies pay to be listed here, but not just any company can sign up. Companies that are deemed worthy are handpicked by Snapchat, which gives the Discover section an air of exclusivity. Discover gives a brand a permanent place on the service to share their content. Stories refresh every 24 hours, so your audience will check back often to see what’s new. And Discover is getting noticed: 60 million people visit this feature monthly. Snapchat also has direct messaging capability that’s a little different than Twitter’s. Unlike Twitter, when you send a direct message with Snapchat, you can see who opens it. This can make your messages a little harder to ignore and promote more communication with potential consumers.
Periscope is a video-streaming platform that was acquired by Twitter before its public launch. Its release on March 26, 2015 was met with much anticipation and generated a lot of buzz. On the first day there were around 51,000 tweets about the new product. Periscope has been on the rise ever since. In less than four months, it had 10 million registered users. Periscope has 1.9 million daily active users on iOS and Android. More impressively, these users watch 40 years’ worth of video every day. Periscope is by no means meant to replace your Twitter account, but they can work in tandem. The ability to live video stream on Periscope can complement your tweets. When you post a video on Periscope, it automatically appears on your Twitter news feed, which hopefully sends your already established followers over to Periscope to check it out. Another interesting facet of Periscope is that, like Snapchat, its content is fleeting. Live-streams can only be accessed for 24 hours, and then (poof!), they’re gone.
Because of the fleeting nature of your content on Periscope, it is all about being current. The good news from a marketing standpoint is that you know people are seeing your content at that moment. People can easily comment and ask questions about your content, which can make it easier to interact with potential customers. Companies can encourage feedback and interactions by holding live-streaming events or offering exclusive promotions. Because users know the content will disappear shortly, Periscope gives your content a built-in sense of urgency and exclusivity. Someone who catches your live-stream feels special. Here are some ways your company can get the most from Periscope:
- Show new product releases.
- Hold a live question-and-answer session — Be open, and encourage your followers to ask you anything. This can help build trust with potential customers.
- Offer a behind-the-scenes tour
- Use Periscope to build up your Twitter following.
Don’t Miss Out
As a marketer it’s a waste of time to adopt every new technology or platform that’s out there, but in the cases of Snapchat and Periscope, it looks like they have some staying power. The type of content that you can post on Periscope and Snapchat may be different than the other social media channels you’re accustomed to using, but, if used correctly, both can help you build relationships with potential customers, especially with the coveted Millennial market.