For the majority of Generation Z, Snapchat is a vital part of daily life.
The generation dubbed ‘millennials on steroids’ use the platform to message friends and most importantly, get that Snap score to an all-time high.
However, for SMEs, the business of Snapchat can be appealing for slightly different reasons.
But, when you’ve got Twitter and Facebook to worry about, is it worth setting up a Snapchat account too?
For those of you who are considering it, here are some key points to help you decide.
What is Snapchat?
Before you set up your account and start snapping away, you should first make sure you know just what Snapchat can do.
However, pinning it down to a singular function is easier said than done.
Once a predominantly ephemeral-photo sending app, Snapchat’s chat feature has crossed it into the WhatsApp arena, become largely used as a messaging platform rather than a social media network.
While the Stories feature boosted Snapchat into the sphere of social networking, leaked analytics tell a different story. According to the statistics, users were 64% more likely to send snaps to individuals, rather than to Stories. This suggests that as a business, if you create a story, there’s a large chance it won’t get looked at.
What the leaked stats say
The Daily Beast recently leaked unseen statistics on Snapchat, which tell us that if you’re looking to sign up to a social media platform to help grow your user base, Snapchat might not be the one to bet on.
Taylor Lorenz has exposed both the leaked statistics as well as a culture of secrecy within Snapchat HQ.
While how Snapchat runs their business may not seem to affect how your small business operates on the platform in the short term, it’s worth considering what the future will have in store for Snapchat – and if all your hard work building a Snapchat following will be worth it.
Instagram vs Snapchat
Snapchat’s main competitor is Instagram, which clearly defines itself as a social networking app, rather than an amalgamation between camera, messaging app and social network.
There are disadvantages and advantages to both platforms, which will be specific to your business’ needs.
The main competition between the two platforms is the Stories feature.
Originally Snapchat’s creation, Stories allow all your followers to view what you post – for 24 hours. After this time the story disappears.
There’s little difference between the functions of both versions of Stories, but when it comes to reach it’s a different matter.
Instagram Stories can be seen by anyone who follows your business, and depending on how you manage your account, such as with sponsored posts, frequency in posting and quality pictures, getting seen more follows can be relatively straightforward.
However, on Snapchat it’s a slightly different story.
There isn’t as high of a reach on Snapchat as it’s not the same kind of social network as Instagram. This means that you need to put a lot more effort into getting seen by your target audience.
No matter how great your Stories are, they’re less likely to be seen on Snapchat.
It’s also worth noting that on within Instagram is the added bonus of being able to sponsor normal posts and couple your Stories with an overall Instagram marketing strategy.
On the other hand, Snapchat offers businesses the opportunity to advertise on Snapchat Discover.
On the same page as Stories, Discover is the place where users are able to keep up to date on current events and news, as well as see what businesses are up to.
However, The Daily Beast’s leaked stats also reported an average of 20% Snapchat users consuming content from a ‘Discover Edition daily’. Discover is also considerably more expensive than Instagram’s sponsored posts, which work in a similar way to Facebook’s.
The right social platform for your small business will depend entirely on the industry you’re in. For those personable, informal businesses, Snapchat could be the right choice.
However, for the majority of small businesses, Snapchat’s latest figures suggest that there will be better platforms for you to invest your time and effort into.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest have a clearer selling point for businesses, with a path for you to take in order to get seen by potential customers.
On the other hand, Snapchat’s clumsy business features don’t offer the same promises, which means you could be better spending your money on Facebook Ads.
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