Snapchatjust for fun or your brands next social marketing tool

From its recent security breach, fast growing audience and underlying taboo, Snapchat has been making quite a buzz for itself lately.[1] If you’re unfamiliar, Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to send photo and video messages that automatically erase after 10 seconds of being viewed. It’s quick and zippy architecture makes sending photos and videos very easy, an attractive app quality for the high school and college-aged audience.[2] Gaining rapid popularity since its launch in 2011, Snapchat is now being considered by marketers as another platform (like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) that can be used to reach audiences in a new social way. In the graph below, TechCrunch compares the daily number of photos uploaded and shared on select social media platforms, which displays Snapchat’s large presence.[3]


Brands like Taco Bell, Acura and Wet Seal, are already experimenting with Snapchat and have found that it offers the unique ability to produce a personalized connection between consumers and brand for promotional messages and special offers.[4] Wet Seal recently leveraged a 16-year-old blogger’s network, by working with her to send snaps promoting their clothing and sales.[5] According to AdAge her outreach garnered 9,000 new followers and 6,000 views for the teen-centric clothing brand.[6] While this example seems attractive from a marketing perspective, there are still some setbacks that need to be considered before making a larger investment in the current model of the app. 

We sat down with our resident Snapchat experts to pick their brains on the use of Snapchat for brands. One common concern was that the current model does not provide a substantial method of analytics that would display consistent engagement. As Jackie Bonifant, one of our Media Planners, commented, “I wouldn’t recommend Snapchat to a client currently since there aren’t any viable metrics to measure engagement or interest beyond opens and screenshots.” Lindsay Khouri, a member of our digital team, also said that, “As it stands right now, Snapchat works for building brand awareness. I would only recommend it to clients that are invested and engaged in social media already, Snapchat could serve as an additional touch point to reach their audience.” In order to measure engagement with Snapchat, most analytics have to be tracked manually, which can be very consuming for companies, large or small.


While we won’t deny that the future of Snapchat marketing holds great possibilities for brands, we don’t believe that current version of the app provides enough insight into content and target audience to support making a big investment.Therefore, we’ve drawn up a wish list!

Dear Snapchat, our marketing wish list includes an analytics driven back end for brands to measure their content and engagement against. We’d love to know what the post screen grab behavior looks like, and how far the photo traveled. Did the photo convert the snapper into a purchaser? These insights would greatly improve our ability to understand the effectiveness of our outreach and the resulting consumer behavior. Until then, we think Snaps are for fun.