3 Ways Birchbox, Steals.com Are Using Snapchat
When it comes to social media, it’s time for retailers to hop aboard the Snapchat train. The picture-sharing app has 150 million daily users — more than Twitter’s 140 million daily users and second only to Facebook, according to Jana Francis, president and founder of Steals.com.
In a session at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition (IRCE) in Chicago last week, Francis and Juliette Dallas-Feeney, senior social media manager at Birchbox, explained the benefits retailers can get from Snapchat.
However, to start using the app, you first need to know how it works. Users share photos and videos (limited to 10 seconds each) to their followers. The photos and videos shared via “My Story” are viewable to all of the user’s followers. "Snapchatters" also have the option to send snaps to select followers. Each photo or video on “My Story” is deleted after a 24-hour period, but content shared to individual followers goes away right after it's viewed.
Users have the option to add picture filters, like time, speed or temperature, or a geofilter, like these from IRCE.
Now that you know Snapchat basics, here are three ways retailers can use the platform as part of their marketing mix:
1. Grow audience. Half of Snapchat's users are 24 years old or younger. Snapchat is a great way to engage with this younger audience in a space they're already in. Francis says Snapchat is “less crowded” with retailers when compared to other social platforms, and therefore it’s a quick and easy way for customers to find and follow your brand.
2. Create (trackable) content. Since followers only have 24 hours to see a “story,” they need to actually pay attention when watching. If they aren’t paying attention, they can miss everything. The photo or video takes up the entirety of the phone screen, so users aren’t distracted by other apps when Snapchat is open.
At the same time, it’s easy for brands to get caught up in sending followers too many photos and videos over a 24-hour period. Feeney suggests valuing quality over quantity. When snaps have meaning, your audience is more likely to interact. There's no perfect amount to send per day, so test to see what works best for your brand.
Retailers can even incentivize the snaps they send. For example, Francis says discounts can be given to followers who screenshot a snap and present it at checkout. Or screenshots of snaps can be shared on Twitter to be entered into a drawing for a prize. This is all data that can be tracked, so you can get insight into how well your brand is snapping and engaging.
3. Develop loyal customers and brand advocates. Unlike Instagram where photos are planned, filtered and Photoshopped, Snapchat pictures are raw and real. This humanizes your brand, and creates customer loyalty and trust.
It’s also easy to interact with your customers through Snapchat. Saying things like “snap me back” creates a dialog between the brand and shopper. When that relationship is built, the customer is more likely to become a brand advocate. Brand advocates can then share your product to their Snapchat followers or on other social networks. Francis refers to this as ROR — return on relationship.
Once you get snapping, let your employees in on the fun. Francis says employee “takeovers” are another great way to get people engaged.
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