Marketers have been closely watching the explosive growth of the latest social network, Snapchat. The social app now shares more that 350m photos every day. Because of the one-to-one messaging and pictures that self-destruct after just a few seconds, it hasn’t been obvious how brands could use Snapchat.
But it’s only a matter of time before marketers rush in. Some early Snapchat experiments have included Lynx in the UK and Taco Bell. Snapchat introduced “Snapchat Stories” in October as a step in that direction.
The marketing chatter on Snapchat resembles the marketing chatter in each of the social networks that have come along. Ridicule is eventually followed by a marketing stampede.
Last week, I met Gary Vaynerchuk while we was in the Bay Area to promote his new book on social media, Jab Jab Jab Right Hook. I was struck by two of Gary’s general social media insights that I think are relevant to Snapchat.
First, when leaping into a social media, brands are often too heavy-handed with the right hook (making a sales pitch) to create value in the relationship. Brands that barge into Snapchat with too much of a promotion orientation will fall flat.
Second, every social network operates by a unique set of rules. People use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. for different reasons and in different ways. Trying to engage audiences the same way in each network is a missed opportunity. One size fits none. Brands will have to embrace the ephemeral nature of Snapchat communication if they want to resonate in Snapchat.
Snapchat won’t be a good fit for every brand. But brands ultimately want to be where their consumers are spending time. When they join the conversation, they need to remember to bring value to that conversation, wherever that conversation lives.
(Marketoonist Monday: I’m giving away a signed print of this week’s cartoon. Just share an insightful comment to this week’s post by 5:00 PST on Monday. Thanks!)