Snapchat is no longer the app anyone past puberty couldn’t work out how to use, or if you did, couldn’t see the point of. How do I know this is true? Forbes has changed its Twitter profile image to its Snapchat avatar.

The fact is, in Social media you have to be where your customers are – and if they are young (13-34), Snapchat is where you need to be.

The attraction of the App is its immediacy. It’s like a Mayfly, just lasting for a day. So your message is honest (hopefully!), and it’s intimate. You can Snap to all your friends (also read as customers), some friends, or just one. You can Snap images (with your own captions/ graffiti/ filters), short videos or a message. It’s a real-time personal view on the world, reflecting who you are in the moment – to use the word of the moment for anything ‘brand’ related – authentic.

Major brands have their own place on Snapchat in the Stories ‘Discover’ zone. Buzzfeed, MTV, National Geographic, Daily Mail, and Cosmopolitan are the types of company there, and the stories are like mini-magazines. There is also ‘Live’, which curates community Snaps from live events like football, boxing, to Paris fashion week, and Mother’s day.

Let’s get cosy

Snapchat has one pretty unique offering – the Geofilter – free for communities (think University campus), or paid for by big brands. A Geofilter is a marked boundary identified within Snapchat using Googlemaps. You are effectively claiming your Snap real-estate, which you identify with an illustration that can then be overlaid onto any photos that are ‘Snapped’ while in that specific location. This feature was not affordable for small business until the new ‘on-demand’ Geofilters, where you buy time on a Geofilter location (hours, days, weeks). This is a great way for small businesses promoting events like a grand opening at their place of business, or for social events like a wedding party.

Thinking outside the box

Rania Kurdi, a Jordanian/ British performer and broadcaster, who for the last 20 years has been working across all digital media platforms, is now using Snapchat to broadcast her comedy shorts to her audience. Because you can save your own Snaps, she re-purposes them for her Facebook page as videos. What a great idea!

How big is it?

Last year Snapchat had a $16 billion (yes!) valuation and has just raised $175 million in fresh funding (2016/ Reuters). With 100 million daily users and the Snapchat main publishers attracting around 3 million viewers a day, the platform could start to look a little different as there is ‘duh’ incentive to sell ads with a wider reach. Relying on those millions of Snappers who just choose to watch the publishers channels to be afflicted with ads could be a thing of the past …


If you’d like to learn how to use Snapchat – Ben Phillips wrote this fantastic post on Medium and Melissa Opie has a sweet little free intro course that runs through the basics