by Anna Bilek
What is Snapchat and how does it work?
Snapchat is a popular app for smartphones and tablets through which users can send photos or videos to their friends. Its special characteristic: Pictures and videos which are sent are deleted after a maximum of ten seconds and can no longer be viewed after this time. Additionally, users can edit their snapshots before sending them or add text.
Snapchat as a marketing channel
More and more companies are using the messaging app as a means of social media marketing. For example, Taco Bell announced to all followers that “Beefy Crunch Burritos” were making a comeback. A frozen yoghurt chain from New York sends out vouchers which disappear after ten seconds. (The idea here is to send out a time limited voucher which can be saved on the smartphone as a screenshot and then used). Acura gave its first 100 followers an exclusive video preview of a product prototype.
Snapchat pictures only reach the company’s followers and disappear again after a few seconds. This gives people the feeling of exclusivity – the feeling of being present for something special. This is a different way of showing users teasers for offers or telling them about limited special deals. From the point of view of those responsible for marketing, one aspect of Snapchat should be particularly appealing: The user needs to put a finger on the smartphone display to request snaps and stories – if they take their finger away, the display stops. This means the user will be paying close attention to the screen. Of course, the short display time needs to be considered when creating pictures and videos. This translates as: eye-catching calls-to-action, catchy slogans and where possible short informative texts are a must. Naturally, you don’t just have to stick to a picture. Snapchat makes it possible to use photo storytelling with several successive pictures.
Conclusion: The communications market is not yet dominated by Snapchat and Co. Nevertheless, mobile messaging apps provide a broad range of possibilities for communicating creatively, originally and promptly using a smartphone in the B2C sector.