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Why I love Snapchat and you should too!

Snapchat!! A word flitting about now and then over the past year but one which I know we’ll be hearing more and more of in 2016. I’ve had an active account for well over a year now (maybe closer to two) and I’ve watched its features develop and grow, not just into something worthwhile to connect with friends but actually something worthwhile for organisations to get on board with ’n all. I’m really chuffed to see some great organisations taking that next step, like The White House and The BBC

What is Snaphat??

Snapchat is a video messaging app where you can take photos and record videos and send them to ‘friends’ you have added. You can also publish ‘stories’ which last for 24 hours and can be viewable by all your friends, or by any snap user (depending on your chosen settings).

Each snap can last between 1 and 10 seconds after which they disappear, but they can be saved by recipients via a screen shot and you also have the option to download your own story throughout the 24 hour period.

You can add text and drawings to your snap and you can now ‘chat’ through the app.

How do I imagine it being used?

Here are just a few ways I see local government in particular making use of snapchat,but the same principles (highlighted) apply to organisations and businesses alike:

  • Youth workers promoting what happens at the youth club, what the facilities are, who the workers are.
  • Creating a buzz at an event you’re hosting with behind the scenes footage, (take a look at the snap live feature under ‘stories’ for inspiration.)
  • #OurDay this year – HUGE potential here to add a completely new level to the live updates about a day in the life of local government workers.
  • Elections – encouraging voter turn out in a younger generation by creating a story about the voting process, the venues, reminders of when and how to vote, behind the scenes at the count.

Why should organisations start taking snap seriously?

Primarily because of the demographics. A much younger generation (13 – 25 mainly) are using it, allowing you to connect with a new audience in a way that’s current and relevant to them (much like the early adoption days of Facebook with previous generations).

It has the best engagement rates out there. Remember when organic reach on Facebook was massive and we weren’t battling with algorhytm too much? That’s happening over on snap chat right now. It’s the epitome of real time and it’s fun still too. As with most social media outlets, there’s opportunity here to connect on a human level, to communicate messages creatively and simply and to share useful information in new ways. You can deliver content quickly and because it’s mobile only, it can connect you with those UK internet users who access the internet via their mobile phone first and foremost and who choose to get their news from places that aren’t tv or newspapers.

Some tips before you start snapping – don’t write a script and don’t stage a setting with fancy back drops and lighting. Users on snapchat aren’t connecting with that, they’re connecting with authentic content that’s in the moment.

How do you build your audience on snap?

You can’t post out to masses of people on snap like you can on twitter, in the hopes they will find you, check you out and follow you, so you simply need to tell people and keep telling people that you’re on there.

Your profile picture can be static or a moving image (very cool!) but it’s also a QR code which other users can screen shot or scan to add you.

Use your other channels to tell people you’re there – a picture of your snap code on your Instagram account, a tweet or Facebook post with a screen shot or video download from your current story, a pinterest board of ‘your week on snap’. Heck, add a logo and your username to your email signature even.

Remember though, even when there’s a greater number of users on snap, with a wider ranging age range, keep it useful and authentic.

Looking forward to seeing and hearing about how others are using snap in the future,

Nat x

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