Snapchat Can Benefit Small Businesses In Large Ways

By Ann Marie van den Hurk
Lexington Herald-Leader.

Is your business interested in connecting with young people? Snapchat could be the social platform to use in reaching this particular demographic.

Because a Snapchat message disappears after a few seconds, Snapchat has a reputation as a messaging platform for teens acting as bullies and adults sharing naughty photos. But the platform is evolving into a storytelling venue for brands, individuals, news media and politicians.

Snapchat has quickly become the fastest growing social media app and is extremely popular with the young Americans, says Caitlin Fischer of lotus823, a New Jersey public relations and digital marketing company. The age range of the majority of Snapchat users is 15 to 25, she says.

WHAT IS SNAPCHAT?
Snapchat is a messaging platform for smart phones designed for sharing moments within a closed group. You can take a photo or video, add a caption and send it to a friend. There is an option to add the photo or video to a collection of photos or videos called a “Story.” You can share that with some or all of your friends. Your friends may view the Snaps and Story for a set amount of time, and then it disappears.

WHY SHOULD SMALL FIRMS USE SNAPCHAT?
Snapchat can be a great tool for small businesses to engage their audience and give them authentic content, says Charlie Gliwa, co-founder of Storytyme Media. Based on his company’s experience, he thinks Snapchat users crave behind-the-scenes looks and unfiltered photos they cannot find with any other social media platform.

Fischer concurs, and says that because Snapchat makes it possible to swipe through all stories and updates, a company’s audience has the opportunity to really interact with the company, even more so than with other popular social sites.

Snapchat’s “My Story” is also unique because, after 24 hours of posting, the update is gone. This means engaged users will check for updates often over the course of the day, giving companies the chance to post unique content continuously.

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