Snapchat has been building momentum and users for some time now. Whether it is sharing moments from a particular event or broadcasting seconds of someone’s day, Snapchat has become one of the quickest social media platforms to thrive in popularity.
Nearly 166 million users are on the app daily with 301 million monthly active users, according to the online digital statistics resource DMR. For every second, there are nearly 9,000 snaps being sent out and there are about 10 billion videos being shared daily. The average person who uses the app is likely to open it more than five times a day.
There are no doubts marketers have caught on to the rise of Snapchat and have integrated it into their social media plans.
But so many have been asking the question — does this social media tool fit into our plan? Do we need to make time to be on it?
(Right now, we are talking to those of you in nonprofits because you’re the people who have been asking us. Journalists are there yet: A recent survey by Muck Rack, found a majority of journalists think the app has no journalistic value to them and prefer Twitter. Still, most of the journalists surveyed were between the ages of 31 and 50, while 60 percent of Snapchat users are under 30. But that’s another column, right?)
Here are some questions to help you figure out if this photo-sharing app is right for your organization.
Does it build on your purpose?
Yes: If Snapchat adds to the story your organization is trying to tell, then you should be on board. The platform allows you to spark your creative engines and tell stories visually with a variety of tools and features. If Snapchat’s visual format will help showcase your organization’s work, people, mission, vision and values, then it’s time to get snapping.
No: Don’t just hop on the app because it’s the popular thing out right now. Instead, define your purpose for using the app. Figure out how it fits into your broader communications goals. Then you can develop a cohesive content marketing strategy.
Do you have the audience?
Yes: It’s no longer just for the young folks — people of all ages are catching on to Snapchat. While teens and Millennials dominate the platform, the percentage of users in the 35 and older is rising. If you know your audience is already on Snapchat, your organization needs to be there too.
No: Some platforms are just not for everyone — and Snapchat may not be where your audience is. If you want to take a leap on Snapchat, know your audience first. Hootsuite provides a great breakdown on how to learn the demographics of your audience.
Do you know how to use it?
Yes: Snapchat is more than taking pictures and videos. There are many creative ways you can use the app to promote, tell your story and capture the insides and out of your organization. One example is GeoFilters: image overlays to a photo or video you are posting. They can reel people into the moment, and allow your audience to feel involved in your cause. Look around for inspiration — find out who’s innovating on the platform (here’s how Hindustan Times is using Snapchat). Play around with these tools. Ask yourself how your organization could take advantage of Snapchat’s features to tell your story differently.
No: If you haven’t opened Snapchat to even test the waters, you should hold off on adding it to your strategy. Take the time to understand its functionalities. Once that is done, you’ll have a better sense of how you can use it to further your organization’s goals. Don’t create content before you understand the platform.
Are you looking for new ways to engage your audience?
Yes: Like all social media, Snapchat is all about communicating with your audience. With a strong content plan, you can use Snapchat to perform Q&A sessions, share links, hold contests and much more.
No: If you’re happy with where you’re at, ask yourself if it’s worth investing the time and resources into a new platform. It takes knowing how to use the app to understand the kinds of ways you can engage with your community. Begin developing a content strategy that will bring results and set your organization up for success.
Bonus: Can I make money on Snapchat?
Yes: There isn’t a “no” to this question. With the Snapcash feature in the app, you can campaign for donations or fundraise for a specific project. This strategy could be useful for a #givingtuesday campaign, purchasing tickets and more.
The bottom line
If you found yourself answering “no” to these questions, don’t worry. Snapchat might not be right for your organization right now, but that doesn’t that your organization won’t find it useful in the future. Return to these questions in six months, assess again – maybe you’ll find yourself ready to answer “yes.”
Was your answer already “yes”? Then you should consider Snapchat for your organization. It’s a platform that will allow you to connect with your audience in new ways. It can enhance the story you are trying to tell and provide new ways to get involved. Set some goals, create a strategy and start snapping.