PR Tips: Jumping into Snapchat in 2017? You’ll Need to Do Research First

PR Tips: Jumping into Snapchat in 2017? You’ll Need to Do Research First

Meg Hari Prasad
10 February 2017

Snapchat is probably the hottest social media platform right now. But the demographics and atmosphere are so unique that not every brand can break into it.

Some brands feel Snapchat is a waste of time. Others make accounts there but fail to make an impact and reach their target audience.

Are you intimidated by the thought of Snapchat? Do you fear failure on the platform? Don’t fret.

Here’s an in-depth plan to get you started.

Don’t Dive in Without Testing the Waters First

You need to look before you leap.

Snapchat is primarily a video social media platform, so you’re dealing with people who are very unabashed. They aren’t shy. They like to play around with the camera, decorate their pictures, make themselves look silly and have fun. Now, how are you going to harness that?

You need to look around first.

Create a test account–as yourself. Don’t try to advertise anything. Don’t tell anyone who you work for. Just wade in, start following people and watch what they do.

Studying requires observation, so you need to take some time to study this new platform. Don’t just take a couple of days. You need to do it for at least a month–two months is preferred. This will get you used to use the platform, and it will give you plenty of time to know who you’re going to target and why.

How to Research Your New Platform

Here’s a list of questions you’ll need to answer before you develop a marketing plan:

  • Who are you targeting?
  • How old are they?
  • What do they love?
  • What do they hate?
  • What do they want?
  • What kind of hobbies do they have?
  • What kind of slang do they use?
  • What is their education level?
  • What is your competitor doing on the platform?
  • What aren’t they doing?

It’s important for you to make a profile of your customer before you proceed to answer the last two questions. If you don’t know who you’re targeting, you’re not going to be effective at marketing.

Marketing firms that work with big brands do this exact same thing. They create a profile, then interact with them to learn exactly how they behave. Then they use what they learn to create a marketing plan that appeals to them.

As for the last two questions, this is where you’ll make your brand stand out. Being unique on Snapchat is going to be a combination of what you learned about your audience and what your competitor is or isn’t doing.

For example, Snapchat has a feature called Sponsored Lenses. Perhaps you can create a Sponsored Lens that reflects something that is important to the people you’re targeting. It doesn’t have to be anything big. If you’re an art company, create a lens that allows people to look like an artist. If you’re a company that sells organic food, make a lens that turns someone into a food, like a carrot or a peanut.

You can also use Snap ads. These are ads that appear native to the platform. People are going to see your ads while they’re looking through other products. As this is a video platform, the ads must be video as well. But this gives you a chance to speak to your audience in a way that they can relate to. This is why it’s important that you learn everything you can about them. If you make an authentic Snap ad, it will do wonders for your brand.

Take It Slow

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One thing you should never, ever do is just jump on the platform, create your brand account and start advertising. Don’t assume that Snapchatters are going to accept you because your product is perfect for them. You don’t know that. You have to present your product in a way that appeals to them, and makes interacting with them fun.

This is another reason why you need to do your research first. If, after your test period, you realize Snapchat isn’t for you or your brand, you haven’t really wasted any money. But if you just jump in and start throwing money at advertising, you’ll wind up losing money. That was money that could have been spent elsewhere. So tread carefully.

This article was written by Brian Rashid from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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