Snapchat as an Effective Social Media Tool
You’ve probably heard a lot about Snapchat. You, or at least someone at your restaurant, is likely an ardent user.
What is it?
It’s a photo sharing app that allows its users to send photos, videos, messages and drawings to their friends and post personal or local stories.
Snapchat has more than 100 million daily active users. Many of these users have their phones out and they’re ready to post their experiences online when they visit a restaurant.
So, where does Snapchat fit into digital marketing and advertising?
Snapchat offers multiple different paid marketing options to meet the specific goals of your business. The app is unique, because directly sent videos or photos disappear immediately after being viewed.
Have a new menu item? Are you hiring? Are you opening up a surprise food stall? Use Snapchat to convey all your messages, promotions etc. Tell your followers where you’re going to be and announce the latest happenings at your venue.
Let’s look at some of Snapchats features and see how they can help your business thrive and attract more customers.
A Snapchat Story is a series of images and videos which appear in a chronological order that disappear after 24 hours. You can create a storyline that plays out over a sequence of images or you can create a collection of visuals that highlights your brand.
This means you have to keep creating new content to stay active and relevant for your followers. For business owners, it’s a great way to test out new content and show your inventive side.
Think of it as a behind the scenes of what you do and how you do it.
Bring your restaurant to life – and make those followers of yours drool – by capturing the ins and outs of your restaurant. Running a special? Document the prep of the special and record the tasting process. Do you have a bartender who has really good skills? Catch them on a busy night working their magic.
While “My Story” allows an individual to put out a collection of Snapchat experiences over 24 hours before they vanish, “Our Story” moves away from the individual experience and welcomes the collective. According to Snapchat’s blog, “We built Our Story so that Snapchatters who are at a similar event location can add Snaps to the same Story. If you can’t personally be present at an event, watching Our Story makes you feel like you’re right there!”Basically, users who are at the same location can use “Our Story” to add their videos, photos, and doodles to a publicly viewable content stream.
According to the company's website, there are three main methods to advertise your brand on Snapchat: Snap ads, sponsored geofilters and sponsored lenses. Major brands like Gatorade, Audi, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. have used Snapchat for marketing campaigns.
Snap Ads are a great way to catch the attention of your viewers. A Snap Ad is a 10-second, video ad that pops up between Stories. Advertisers can offer their users the choice to swipe up to view more detailed content like another long form video, article, app install ad or website.
You can also add Geofilters to your snaps! After you take a snap, they’re those logos that appear in precise locations when you swipe to the left or the right. You can acquire these for a price around a specific location and have your branded logo show up on users' snaps. Geofilters are a promotion opportunity to get the word out about your brand in a particular geographic location in which you choose. This is great to do if there is an event happening with a big group of people around your area.
Sponsored Geofilters are formulated for national/global businesses looking to introduce their brand into millions of Snaps every day whereas On-Demand Geofilters are accessible to small businesses and individuals., On-Demand Geofilters are a perfect feature to get the society involved.
Sponsored lenses are more interactive than geofilters. Filters are applied after a video or picture is taken, prior to sending to a friend or adding to a Snapstory. Lenses have facial recognition technology, which allows users to wear masks, pretend to be a dog, turn into supernatural creatures and wear flower crowns. It happens in three steps: detecting a user's face, reacting to the user's expression, and creating the final image. And when you’re finished, it’s easy to send Lenses to a friend or post one to your Story..
In January 2016, the platform introduced a new corporate feature: Discover. It's an entirely diverse part of the app. With it, users view content created by well-known media organizations like CNN, Cosmopolitan and Food Network.
Similar to the Stories feature, Discover stories accumulate both audio-video and photo content, which links to articles and graphics. You can choose your favourites and send parts of their stories to users individually. Sometimes when a special event is going on, you can even watch it live! Just tap on a Story that says ‘LIVE’ to tune in.
In February 2018, Snapchat launched its own merchandise store that lives inside Snapchat Discover.
In the Snap Store, users can buy various items ranging from plush dolls to knick-knacks. At the moment, the store only promotes and sells Snapchat items, however, in the future it could potentially be an in-app commerce platform for other brands, which would be big for businesses selling their branded items.
Snapchat introduced Memories in July 2016, a library of Snaps that makes it easy to save and revisit previously created Snaps. Snaps are archived in reverse sequential order, and you can search by location or graphics such as emojis. The search function includes recognition features so you can find your past Snaps that feature items such as beaches, food and animals.
Memories can boost your Snapchat marketing by helping you to create more stories and videos. When at an event, multiple people can use the app and add their media to your Memories. Then, you can review all the content, pick the best, and craft an interesting Story for that day or a permanent story – Storyboard on your profile.
The latest update from Snapchat sees the addition of maps – SnapMap. You can now share your updates on to these maps and the public will be able to see them as listed events. SnapMap features story ‘hot spots’ where major events are taking place. Users can upload their own stories and see other user-submitted content on the hot spots located on the map. Now when you add a snap to Our Story it gets shared on the map for your local area. The public will see your Snap, depending on your location and timing.
So, what does this mean for marketers? There’s now a wider potential to serve your audience based on Snap Map hot spots, enabling you to craft timely, location-based content.
Snapchat is such a personal medium, because not all brands are on it. Just like many restaurants seek to create a homey, friendly feeling within their business, Snapchat is the ideal digital place to broaden that mood.
The beauty of Snapchat? It’s easy to add to your daily schedule. It doesn’t require immense upkeep. While photos may disappear in 10 seconds, Snapchat won’t be disappearing anytime soon. It’s the perfect way to share your story, extend your brand, and display your fun-side your customers.
Communique Digital is an experienced and specialized Social Media agency that promotes brands related to the Food & Beverage industry, with decades of rich experience when it comes to marketing for restaurants. From fine dining to casual dining, Fast food to Quick Service restaurants, clubs, bars and night clubs and more, have successfully devised and marketed numerous campaigns for brands in the Middle East.