Fanbytes' Timothy Armoo: Debunking 3 Snapchat myths

Here are three misconceptions brands have about Snapchat. Why they're wrong.

In our day-to-day talking, speaking at conferences, and with clients, we’re often privy to some of the doubts people have about Snapchat.

Indeed, Snapchat is not as advanced as Facebook or Instagram from an advertising infrastructure point of view. However, one cannot deny the attention and engagement it captures of the younger audience.

We recently compiled a list of the excuses brands and agencies often gave when hesitant about Snapchat and deconstructed why they might be flawed. Below are three of the most frequent hesitations and our answers.

‘Snapchat is only for brands based around an individual or personality’
So, you’re not Gary Vaynerchuk. That doesn’t mean Snapchat is useless. As millennials, what we want to see from big brands is authenticity. We want them to break down the wall that exists between us—after all, how can we possibly relate or connect to a major brand when it seems like closed off, corporate money-making machines?

Snapchat is an awesome way for these very businesses to show the consumer behind the scenes footage and transparency. Break down that wall. Introduce us to your employees. Give us a glimpse at how you create your products, or what your content or tech teams look like.

This is how Snapchat can be a game-changer. Take advantage of its ability to foster intimate and real relationships with consumers. It’s this that can build genuine brand loyalty at a micro level.

‘Snapchat is not for small to midsized businesses’
Nonsense. A small to medium-sized mobile application, for instance, can use Snapchat to create buzz and engagement. Direct your existing followers on other social media platforms to your Snapchat, or team up with an influencer—there is a wealth of native influencers who have grown up using and gaining followers on Snapchat—to hold contests.

Ask users to send direct Snaps with a picture of…, a video of…, a drawing of…, for the chance to win a prize: anything that fits your brand's culture, such as a spot at your product launch or event, unlimited access to your product, etc) Filling in the blanks with something relevant, creative, and accessible to your audience can lead to very effective b-to-c engagement.

Another method is offering exclusive deals on Snapchat. These normally require screenshot-able coupons or promo codes and can create real excitement and engagement among your audience. Ask across your social media platforms for followers to send you Snaps of them using your product, and reply individually with coupon codes for free access to in-app purchases, etc. From this, you then have a user list for future promotions.

‘Conventional TV and print advertising is still the best way to go’
Millennials don’t like advertisements that are intrusive. Why should we have to see your giant advertisement on London buses? Why should we have to see your ad in-between our favorite TV shows?

The key word here is choice. We want to be able to choose when and where we see your adverts. And this is where Snapchat can be such a beneficial platform for brands. It allows them to create engaging stories and content in a totally non-invasive way. We can view them if we want, and if the brand knows how to create compelling content, we will.

So, what can be taken from all of this? The main thing is that Snapchat is a platform for brands of all shapes and sizes to create grassroots loyalty and generate buzz. Its critics simply require a better understanding of the methods that can used to ensure the best results, and of the psyche of millennials.

Timothy Armoo is CEO of Fanbytes.

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