Social Media

Learning the Basics of Snapchat Marketing

How can you use the social-sharing app to market to potential attendees?

Snapchat's 'stories' feature lets brands engage with all of their followers at once.
Snapchat’s ‘stories’ feature helps brands engage with all of their followers at once.

Snapchat — once considered the sole domain of teens trading selfies that would “magically” self-destruct after a few seconds — is quickly gaining popularity with the older set: 2015 saw a 103-percent increase in 25-to-34-year-old users and an 84-percent increase in new users over 35, according to a report by MarketingDIVE

Snapchat allows you to share snaps, ephemeral photos or videos sent to only one other Snapchat user, or stories, a sequential series of snaps that appears on your public user feed for a full 24 hours before going “poof.”

“After polling a few savvy DMO industry friends who either loved it or hated it, I decided to ask my 13-year-old to show me why she loved it so much,” said Stephanie Molina, CTE, director of marketing for the Beaumont, Texas Convention & Visitors Bureau. “After the initial eyeroll, she obliged.”

Molina began following Buzzfeed, Mashable, and National Geographic to see how big-box media brands were keeping users engaged using Snapchat’s stories feature. “Snapchat showcases their content in delightfully consumable pieces,” she said. “When touched, a lovely photo with a quote is shown with a subtle animation to pique my interest, and I have the choice to swipe right and see what else is available or swipe up and read on. It’s a brilliant article experience and I think that’s the key for brands.” 

Molina cautioned Snapchat newbies to start slowly. “Like with any platform, marketers should fully understand metrics and methods before allocating major financial and time resources,” she said. “It’s my job to find a match between my audience’s interest and making what I have to say relevant. Start with baby steps and just keep growing. Think of the messages we like to read and the way we like to consume those.”

Kate Mulcrone

Kate Mulcrone is digital editor of Convene.