Social media trends are showing that youth are leaving Facebook and opting for new communication platforms. One in particular, Snapchat, is making great strides with this demographic.
So what is Snapchat? The two-year-old company founded by a group of Stanford undergrads is a mobile photo and video sharing service in which anything shared literally self-destructs. It can either disappear after the recipient views it, or if using the new Snapchat Stories feature, it will vanish 24 hours after it is first posted. Videos are up to ten seconds in length, and photos can be viewable for that same length of time. Before sharing, users have the option of annotating clips with text and marker tools. It notifies recipients as a popup similar to an email inbox.
Maybe we're actually getting through to teens that what you post becomes a permanent record of who you are, or maybe Snapchat is their solution for ignoring that advice altogether. Whatever the reason, it's a tool that needs to be considered as part of your organizational communications mix.
So how are organizations using Snapchat with this market? Just as event hashtags have been a great strategy for increasing buzz before an event, Snapchat offers organizations an opportunity to engage supporters to create excitement leading up to a campaign or event. The organization can preview the backstage activities of the event or quick videos from those planning to attend.
Using the Snapchat Stories feature enables organizations to tell a 24-hour story over the course of a day. Stories can be viewed many times before the 24 hours is up and then they disappear. Clips are removed piece by piece as they reach the time limit and newer ones are added to the end of the story cycle.
Snapchat isn't just for teens. This story shows that some companies are offering Snapchat as a way to follow up after emailing a resume. Offering applicants a more private way to connect over social media allows them to show creativity without the public access of a tweet.
There's no doubt that Snapchat is growing in popularity and usage. However, it is a tool to add to your social media mix, as opposed to a replacement for other tools. Facebook is still strong with the older demographic, proving that "one size doesn't fit all" with your social media strategies.
Click here to check out FCM's President/CEO, Celina Gradijan and her interview with ResCare on social media trends for 2014.