SnapChat has certainly made a name for itself over the past few years and has set industry trends by creating a platform with new features. Facebook and Instagram now boast prominent Story features on the top of their applications and both give the user the ability to send and share private messages – a feature that SnapChat is notorious for creating. SnapChat’s creativity and ability to connect with a younger audience has never been questioned, but how they will develop their advertising platform for companies who want to pour money into their network to reach targeted audiences has.
We are beginning to see signs of how SnapChat’s advertising platform is developing with a new addition announced on April 20th, 2017 called “Snap to Store.” Recently brick-and-mortar stores have had fun creating geofilters that users can apply to images and videos when in their store or very nearby within the designated geo-fence. But trying to quantify how that actually impacts sales and bringing in customers is difficult – Snap to Store is helping to bridge that gap.
When a user visits a store and applies a geofilter to their snap and then sends it to friends or posts to Stories, SnapChat will track the number of users who have seen the snap and then keep a tracking on those users to see if they visit the same location within 7 days. It will also measure whether that user’s friends visit the same location, even if they did not see the original snap with the geofilter.
There is a setback to SnapChat’s new feature – Snap to Store does not work if the user is not at the brick-and-mortar location at the time they send out a snap to their friends or post to Stories. This matters because you have to always consider human behavior in the advertising equation. If two women are shopping at a makeup store, they may love the products they are buying, but there is a great chance they could send a snap to their friends once they are home trying out the products they bought – not while in the store. Is one advertising better than the other? Not necessarily, in fact if the women showcase their new products at home and it may even be more engaging content because they are more likely to show their true personality in a private setting versus in the actual store. However, the downfall is now the makeup store cannot measure the impact of this free promotion!
To combat this, if you are a brick-and-mortar business and you are using SnapChat or ‘Snap to Store’ as an advertising channel – make sure you promote the use of SnapChat in your store, so customers know it is encouraged. Having your own geofilter as well will certainly help the cause!
The larger picture however is that SnapChat continues to evolve new ways to give advertisers insight on the impact of user’s snaps. If you think SnapChat is a playful “just for fun” platform – you are missing the mark. SnapChat has 150 million daily users with an average time spent on the app of 25-30 minutes and was valued in September 2016 as being worth 18 billion dollars! SnapChat advertising is real, there are plenty of potential customers on the platform and marketers need to pay attention to new releases and trends in the social space to put their brand in the best position to succeed.