Commentary

The Standout Star of Social Media Week: Snapchat

Snapchat is set to become the biggest battleground for marketers looking to reach young consumers.

Take these statistics as proof: Snapchat has over 100 million daily active users, over 6 billion daily views, and there are 400 million snaps sent per day. More than 60% of U.S. 13 to 24 year-old mobile consumers are using Snapchat, with 37% between 18 and 24 years old.

For those reasons and more, this $16 billion was a constant topic of discussion at this year’s Social Media Week in New York.

According to the experts in attendance, the key for Snapchat’s users is the platform’s intimacy, sharing of moments and fleeting nature.

“Snapchat for us is a way to talk to the consumers we’re not normally connected to on other channels,” said Aaron Wolfe, social media specialist at American Airlines during a panel of four Snapchat experts.

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Wolfe described the company’s strategy for success, explaining that “for companies trying to build a corporate narrative, think about what your friends are going to want to see.

“Tell a story that you aren’t going to tell on other platforms.” American Airlines is currently one of the few airlines taking advantage of the platform, which will soon change the game for airline marketing forever.

In another panel at Social Media Week, Farrah Bezner, head of new business ventures at Mondelez, detailed best practices for how brands can market on the platform. She discussed a successful campaign from Sour Patch Kids, which decided to take on Snapchat to connect with its target audience: teens and millennials.

Other brands successfully leveraging Snapchat include publishers, like Mashable and The Wall Street Journal, and media companies like MTV.

“Snapchat is very user focused; the user is always coming first,” said Sarah Epler, senior director, social media and fan engagement at MTV. Carla Zanoni, executive emerging media editor at The Wall Street Journal says the platform’s exclusive Discover feature is a direct extension of its paper.

She describes Snapchat as “a new storytelling platform,” and says the brand wants to go where their audience is.

Snapchat is also beginning to partner with brands to drive even more engagement on the platform.

Just recently it announced it was joining forces with the Tribeca Film Festival, encouraging viewers to submit “Snapchat shorts” for a chance to win tickets to the big event. The goal is to “spotlight the next generation of mobile storytellers,” another unique way for brands to engage millions of young, eager consumers.

So what’s next? Snapchat’s Discover feature will become an even bigger destination for young consumers looking for exclusivity and a constant flow of engaging mobile content.

Discover is composed of unique channels that allow publishers to produce hand-curated stories daily.

Of course, it’s not without it’s competition as Facebook Instant Articles, Twitter Moments, Instagram Spotlight and Google Accelerated Mobile Pages looking to achieve similar goals.

And while Snapchat doesn’t yet offer the targeting or measurement capabilities of other platforms, the company this year announced plans to build more tools that help marketers understand the success of their advertising.

The company’s CEO Evan Spiegel also expressed plans for more in-app purchases down the line – a huge step towards increasing monetization for the company.

With mobile ad spending expected to top $100 billion worldwide this year, Snapchat has become a powerful channel for brands looking to target young consumers glued to their phones in an authentic and engaging way. And this is only the beginning.
1 comment about "The Standout Star of Social Media Week: Snapchat".
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  1. Jon Currie from Currie Communications, Inc., March 2, 2016 at 6:31 p.m.

    Because soooooooo many of American Airlines flyers are in that all important 13-24 yo group. You know, the group that has sooooo much disposable income to use for first class weekend jaunts to Madagascar. Maybe the reason AA is not talking to them on other channels is because they are not interested and relevant to them. Oh I know, it's part of the "get them while they're young" to build loyalty. Really? Try marketing to those who give a s-t. Like real travelers with money other than what mom and dad give them to go off on spring break to Florida.

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