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Snapchat: From Social to Business

It has arguably been seen as the black sheep of the social media world. Plagued with bad press and tarnished a “sexting app”, the social media platform Snapchat hasn’t had an easy ride since its launch back in September 2011. But with high-end fashion brands such a Burberry and Michael Kors starting to dip their toes in the “snapping” water, could the platform finally be making a name for itself as a serious contender as a digital marketing tool?

Initially know for “snapping” your friends with the ugliest pictures possible (don’t deny it!), Snapchat has come a long way. Today, the app is estimated to have over 100 million active users worldwide, sending an average of 2 billion photos and videos per day. Now that’s a lot of selfies!

With that many users, it is of no surprise that brands want to be using the app, but like most people over the age of 25 (including myself!), they know that the platform is a big deal, but they haven’t the foggiest where to start! But fear not! Thankfully, some brands have already taken the leap and have started leading the way when it comes to nurturing a harmonious relationship between the two!

Brands take the leap
The first interaction between a business and the app was back in 2013 when MTV took a seemly risky decision to put the video sharing app at the centre of its digital marketing campaign for the 6th season of equally eccentric reality show, Geordie Shore. MTV sent out exclusive pictures and videos from its own Geordie Shore Snapchat account directly to fan’s, giving them an exclusive premier of the “cheekier” side of the show.

Since then, a whole host of brands have jumped on the bandwagon. Over the pond, Taco Bell used Snapchat to communicate the re-release of its Beefy Crunch Burrito, requesting users to add the Taco Bell account for a sneak peek at the release date. More recently, Dominos announced the debut of its own Snapchat channel. The campaign is set to launch with a short “Dough to Door” video which will play out across the channel for 24 hours, showcasing the heroic journey of a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver.

But possibly most surprisingly is the adoption of the app by the high end fashion industry. Earlier this year, luxury fashion brand Burberry allowed users to view their Spring 2016 Campaign live on Snapchat. The move gave fans exclusive, behind-the-scenes access into a normally privy world.

Why?
Snapchat has the highest penetration among social media platforms among millennials aged 18-34, ranking higher than its social media counterparts; Facebook and Instagram. The way in which people are connecting with each other is changing; Snapchat acknowledges this. People are becoming increasingly mobile; millennials and Generation Z’s are mobile crowds. Users no longer receive unwanted friend requests or detailed information about people’s lives.

Users aside, Snapchat enables brands to tap into the highly emotive (and therefore lucrative) territory of storytelling. Storytelling is a hot topic when it comes to marketing; a trend that is set to continue. Audiences want the ability to interact and connect with brands on a personal level; Snapchat allows exactly that.

Since its birth, Snapchat has undergone some serious maturing and is undoubtedly blossoming as a serious player in the business of social media applications. The marriage between brands and Snapchat is only set to become more cemented as uptake of the app in digital marketing campaigns increases.