Most small business owners and start-up entrepreneurs are well-aware of the power of social media, and upon getting started will rely heavily upon social media to build awareness of their business and their brand.
Among the obvious choices we have when starting out are the following: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And the conventional wisdom is that small businesses should be on all three of these platforms.
However, I submit that there is a fourth social media platform that is a must for anyone getting started with their business, and that platform is Snapchat.
Yes, I said it. Snapchat.
Snapchat is no longer just for high school and college kids, and the wise entrepreneur will be open-minded enough to learn about and understand the power of Snapchat, as well as being fearless in building a presence on the platform so as to harness the power given to Snapchat broadcasters.
Let's look at the numbers. According to a recent article I found on Bloomberg Businessweek:
- As of a year ago there were over 100,000,000 daily active Snapchat users, and 18% of all social media users are on Snapchat, and that is growing exponentially.
- The average time per day a Snapchat user actually uses Snapchat is 30 minutes.
- Percentage of online marketing that occurs on Snapchat is 1%.
- Over 8 billion video clips are shared on Snapchat each day, and over 9000 photos are shared on Snapchat every second.
- It is not uncommon for half of your following to view your content.
From these numbers come the three huge reasons your small business should be on Snapchat. Let's discuss.
1. Snapchat is Personal
People who use social media are hungry for personalized experiences, as opposed to direct, in your face marketing.
And Snapchat is seeing exponential growth as a direct result of that reality.
When you broadcast on Snapchat, if you are doing it correctly, you are providing personalized, behind-the-scenes content that allow your followers a chance to get to know you, your brand, and your mission, in a format, which is made up mostly of video, that they cannot get anywhere else (and that they are not looking for anywhere else).
The content you provide will be much like reality-TV, and that content will only be available for 24 hours before it is gone forever. Both of those realities create an atmosphere of personalization and urgency that drive a desire for more content.
This is why people who use Snapchat effectively and routinely see over half of their entire following consuming each and every “snap” they broadcast.
That seems impossible on any other social media platform.
And unlike Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, where your followers have no control over whether they see your content or not, with Snapchat, they choose to see your content, if they are going to see it at all.
Think about that for a moment. Half of your crowd is choosing to view all of your content. And Snapchat gives you the power to see who is consuming your content, which allows you to interact with those people directly, and in real-time.
By personalizing yourself, your business, and your brand, your followers will feel they have a more intimate relationship with you and your business, and they will reward you for that access.
With my business, Divorce the Workforce, I have only been on Snapchat for about two months. But I work the platform hard, and try to provide relevant, quality content that adds value to their life.
On a daily basis, I see about 50% of my followers watching every bit of content I broadcast.
Additionally, every day I have several private interactions with people who consume my content. These people tend to initiate the interaction, as they will reach out with questions about the content, they thank me for the content, and/or start up a conversation that relates to the content.
I have even had a few people tell me they are “big fans” of my content. Whoa!
The point is that I have never experienced the level or quality of interactions on any other platform that I see on Snapchat, and I think my experience is not unique.
2. People Spend a Lot of Time on Snapchat
People spend a lot of time on social media, in general. It is a reality that will be with us until the end of time.
But people are increasingly spending a lot of time on Snapchat. As stated above, the average daily time spent on Snapchat by Snapchat users is 30 minutes.
A video clip you post to Snapchat is maxed out at 10 seconds.
Think about that. If the average time spent per day is 30 minutes, and if even only 20 minutes per day are spent watching 10 second “snaps,” then the average user is watching 120 snaps per day or more!
Snaps are sorted chronologically with the newest snaps at the top of the unwatched list, so if you are snapping regularly and consistently, your content will have top billing, at least for a few minutes, if not longer. And if it is routine for your content is fun, engaging, and relevant, people will take notice and watch your broadcasts religiously.
Again, that gives you the ability to build a strong relationship with people who are interested in you and your business, which allows you to market your product or service in a fashion that isn't too ‘in your face.'
And they come back for more each and every day.
Regarding my own Snapchat experience, I tend to broadcast throughout the day, with a total of 10 to 20 snaps that vary between 8 or 10 seconds. And I see 50% viewership or more almost always.
That means that people are choosing to consume about 2 minutes per day of my content. That's amazing! And, that is commonplace for those of us who choose to broadcast on Snapchat.
That gives you amazing power to provide a lot of personalized content that give a behind-the-scenes perspective of you and your business that you can depend on being consumed daily. As such, you can occasionally slip in a call-to-action that promotes your business, and you know that people will see it.
3. Snapchat Has Strong Social Engagement
As stated above, people are spending a great deal of time on Snapchat. And by virtue of providing consistent, relevant content, you are becoming more and more familiar by your followers each day.
That familiarity fosters direct engagement between you and your followers. As a small business owner, engagement is exactly what you are looking for out of all of your social media efforts.
Again, it is not uncommon on Snapchat for your followers to reach out to you. In fact, as you build your following on Snapchat, you will find that it becomes a regular occurrence that people among your following reach out to you privately to engage.
The more you interact, the more they will interact. As your interaction with people grows, so will your opportunities.
And these interactions tend to be good, genuine, relevant interactions. These are not just interactions that exist in the form of “likes” that you will experience on Facebook or Instagram.
Instead, these interactions will be conversations. These interactions will include questions and observations. And some of these interactions will include accolades letting you know they appreciate your content.
In my experience, these interactions rarely if ever exist on the other big name social media platforms.
It really cannot get any better for you if you are starting a new business or trying to grow an existing small business.
Quite honestly, based upon my less than two-month dive into Snapchat, I already feel that I could write a book on the subject. And perhaps I will.
But right now, I provide regular, free content about how to work Snapchat, both on my website and on Snapchat (Snapchat user name: DivorceWorkforc).
Snapchat is not easy. Even though I am where I am in two months, I have worked Snapchat and Instagram hard in order to build a following.
My business, Divorce the Workforce, is in it's infancy. But I can clearly see the rewards of embracing this platform and building relationships on it.
I encourage you, as a small business entrepreneur, or start-up entrepreneur, to get busy on Snapchat right away.
I also encourage you to reach out to me in the comments below, on my website, or…on Snapchat!
Talk to you soon!