THE BLOG

Why All Local Businesses Need to Consider Snapchat

02/05/2015 06:57 pm ET | Updated Apr 06, 2015

It is 2015 and millennials are only spending more time on their mobile devices and consequently spending more time on popular social media apps. It's always entertaining to see how older folks perceive newer technology targeted towards teenagers. There always seems to be a disconnect between millennials and older folks in terms of determining the value of these platforms. It's exciting to see local business owners establish Facebook fan pages, Twitter profiles and now even Instagram profiles. Nonetheless the next step of progression for local businesses on social media, especially those targeting millennials, is Snapchat.

Even now when consulting businesses when I mention Snapchat it's still all too common to initially hear "Isn't that the sexting app?" Despite possible reservations towards Snapchat it's hard to believe that a company valued at over $10 billion dollars is just a "sexting app". Snapchat truly has the potential to be a monumental communication tool for local businesses to reach customers, give them an inside look at how the business operates, connect with the people behind the business and showcase deals/promotions.

Let's say for instance there's a local pizza place called Johnny's Pizza. On the store window there's a sticker that says "Add Johnny's Pizza on Snapchat!". Furthermore, with every purchase there's a pamphlet provided that urges customers to follow them on all social media platforms including Snapchat. Over time as Johnny's Pizza begins to accumulate more followers on Snapchat it can begin to take advantage of a few of the premiere features Snapchat has to offer.

One incredible feature Snapchat has is called "My Story" which allows users to post content that disappears in 24 hours. For a significant amount of people, there's a sense of urgency to watch a "My Story" due to the fear of missing out on entertaining, funny or even informative content. So when users or brands post content it's not hard to establish a consistent amount of people who will view it daily. Imagine if Johnny's Pizza posted to its "My Story" engaging videos of daily operations. Or imagine if they posted videos announcing deals/promotions they would offer for a limited amount of time. It would even be entertaining to add videos of the staff that works there including the delivery drivers. Now all of a sudden you have customers who can potentially become invested in the brand and hopefully become ambassadors for your company. Customers are more likely to order from a business that they feel connected to on a more personal level (and more likely to tip). Snapchat makes it easy for customers to know the people behind the brand and helps brands garner support.

Snapchat facilitates direct access to the creator and is authentic because of the limitations in making visual changes to the content like you can on other social media platforms. This authenticity makes users or fans more engaged and interested in content being produced. There's almost no better way for a brand to reach it's millennial fanbase than to use Snapchat and provide content that allows millennials to explore new aspects of a brand beyond just a store transaction. Brands should almost consider making an announcement via Snapchat in addition to email blasts to cater to the millennial demographic. Just like it took time for local businesses to see the value in creating profiles for various social media platforms, it won't be long till they see that it is necessary to have a Snapchat.