Why Your Company is Likely Not on Snapchat (or this other New Platform)

Snapchat, not just for dick pics anymore

Let’s play a game. Ask your in-house social media person why your company is not on Snapchat.

They will likely deflect because:

A. They think businesses don't use it (they are wrong)
B. They don't know how to use it (but don't want to admit that because they believe they are the "expert" on social media)
C. They are not entirely sure what it is (this is where age might play a larger factor)
OR D. You company might already be on Snapchat

Those of you who can answer D are in the minority.  Snapchat is just one of many tools to use for communicating with customers, but it has a growing base of users looking for something new to overcome their fatigue with Facebook. Snapchat users are typically more engaged based on the platform’s design compared to Facebook’s clunky timeline.  Snapchat’s product team has made important improvements recently, and the content channels help provide quick snapshots for a business’s constituency.   I realize that Facebook just had a “blowout” quarter announced yesterday, but growing mobile ad sales does not always translate into improving sentiments within the actual user base (yes, a company can become more successful monetarily while its users become less excited about it).

Snapchat might not be the answer for you because all companies have different goals, contrasting audiences and varying resources, but Snapchat is one of many companies that will represent the next wave in our social media evolution.  Every company should have some sort of social media presence to try to stay relevant, even a passive one, and that typically includes a Facebook profile, a Twitter handle and occasionally an Instagram account if the industry or product provide the right fit (we’ll call these Big Three “FaceTwIn”).  Snapchat fits into the next wave of platforms that companies are using to create new methods to engage with their audiences and to stand out among the other companies that have a more passive presence on FaceTwIn.  I know that FaceTwIn represents a significant base of customers and users, but the focus here is on how you can expand beyond the standard platforms if you find that your normal marketing efforts are not bringing in the same returns on your time and investment as they did a year ago.

Companies sometimes have a so-called gatekeeper for new technologies and new communication methods.  This gatekeeper is often in a different area of the company from where the marketing decisions are made.  Last I checked, customer engagement is an important component in marketing efforts, and yet social media platforms are often controlled by a company’s PR division.  That organizational obstacle is partly an anachronism from when social media was simply another media outlet and not a tool to build a company’s brand, develop better customer service and create a more direct dialogue with customers.   Obviously, your situation may be very different, so act accordingly based on what works for your setup.

I noticed that the Wall Street Journal recently joined Snapchat.  ESPN and National Geographic are two other major media outlets that are worth checking out.  Snapchat might just be the platform of the moment, but it could present a good opportunity to get your company to reevaluate its social media strategy (if it has one) and goals and try to stand out more from your competitors.