As with any social networking mobile app or site, event marketers must know their audience. Different social sites appeal to different people, and few consumers actively engage in all social media platforms. Snapchat hasn’t yet garnered the same following as other more entrenched social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The platform is very popular with and appeals to younger demographics. If these are the new members, attendees or followers whom your company seeks to attract, Snapchat may be a worthwhile investment of your social media marketing resources. Much like Instagram, which relies on photo and video posts, Snapchat, as a platform, easily enables sharing of images, but with creative and imperative twists. Snapchat creates a very “in the moment” type of experience for its users – a concept which pairs quite well with events.
In addition to its live and in the moment appeal, Snapchat can have broader downstream advantages. Many organizations create specialized event hashtags to capture and promote social conversations around their meetings. Snapchat offers several advertising packages that brands can purchase to engage Snapchat users. Static and video image options are available; however, sponsored lenses and sponsored geofilters can also be a fun and creative way to attract Snapchatters to your upcoming event. Sponsored lenses are artistic special effects that can be added to an advertisement; sponsored geofilters are specialized tags that Snapchatters can see when a snap is taken in the geographic location of your choice (e.g. your event). These images, when shared, will spread the message about your brand and your event to other Snapchatters. A section of the Snapchat website has a sponsorship campaign dedicated to the use of these geofilters during events. Some restrictions do apply: as an example, hashtags and website URLs may not be published in geofilters.
This year will be critical to Snapchat’s immediate future as well as its long-term success. The company’s ability to innovate, to monetize its products and services, to build upon its advertising platform, and its stock performance will all play critical roles. Competition for advertising revenue from other social sites – namely Facebook – will be fierce. For some, Snapchat has become the enigma that Twitter once represented when social media really gained traction during the early part of this decade. Hashtags and handles mystified many who were new to Twitter. Snapchat, with its flair for the fun and the frivolous, similarly stymies and even disinterests or irritates some social media consumers. More established sites like Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter have broad appeal and continue to attract wide audiences. Snapchat’s ability to remain relevant to its users and to attract the next generation of Snapchatters will determine its rate of success and longevity.