This blog post is to highlight certain social innovations and how you may be able to implement these developments into your future growth and marketing plans, whether you are a marketer, small business owner or part of a large multi-national.
It seems that Snapchat is a social platform businesses and marketers are afraid to take on… not unlike Facebook in times gone by.
In June, reports indicated that Snapchat had approximately 150 million daily users and, as most people would guess, since then the numbers have grown. The Evan Spiegel-led company has continued to make strides in adding functionality which users are adopting. A good illustration of how successful they have been in these implementations is the consistent attempts by Instagram, and therefore Facebook, to reproduce counterfeit Snapchat functionality.
Instagram have implemented their Snapchat-esque functionality seamlessly into their already brilliant platform. Something that would not have been difficult to do. Between Facebook’s talent pool of engineers and a ‘template’ to work off, the only major issue would have been to stay out of any legal issues. Those in Snapchat driving product development are the leaders in the US social tech industry at the moment.
Here are a couple of Snapchat innovations to keep an eye on…
To put it simply, Bitmoji’s are digital stickers which allow you to create an avatar. They come across as quirky, cute and fun. However, with Snapchat willing to pay $100 million in cash and stock to acquire the parent company behind them, these ‘quirky, cute and fun’ stickers will look to drive engagement far beyond the price of their receipt. “Both companies were working to make mobile communication more human and more fun so we’re incredibly excited to be joining the fast-moving and innovative team over at Snapchat,” Bitstrips founder Ba Blackstock said recently. It will be interesting to see how these digital stickers develop as a tool to drive and engage users and in turn have an impact on how businesses and brand can utilise them.
Geofilters, on the other hand are further along than Bitmoji in terms of the impact they can have for businesses and brands. It seems to be the first legitimate innovation that Snapchat has introduced which will be able to benefit not just businesses with large budgets but also small businesses looking to target their local area. Unfortunately, as I am in Dublin where these filters have not become available yet, I have not been able to play around with them. A good case study for the use of these location based filters was shared by Gary Vaynerchuk of VaynerMedia about the young man behind Kickster.
Chris Hall, founder of Kickster, an app revolved around release dates for new shoes, made the plan to drive exposure and hype about his app surrounding big sneaker releases. It allowed Kickster to announce itself to a like-minded audience, illustrating their same passion for sneakers.
Here is a hypothetical example: Geofilter marketing could allow a local sports shop to illustrate its support for a local team on a given day i.e. cup final day where there may be a larger audience. This helps to increase the awareness of their brand and improve its local reputation. The same ideology could be taken by large brands looking to promote themselves in a creative way at an event, or by mass marketing on a certain day e.g. a music festival.
It is important to note that Snapchat as a company has now rebranded. Their parent company is now called Snap Inc, not dissimilar to developments at Google and their parent company Alphabet. This will allow them to innovate further and continue to develop their products and platform e.g. Snapchat glasses, sponsored lenses etc.
Take this following comparison with a pinch of salt if you want, as they are very different platforms. However, think of what Facebook was like in 2009, 5 years after it was founded. Now think of where Facebook has come since then.
Snapchat was created 5 years ago. It is vastly different to what it started off as and it begs the question, what will it be like in 5 years time? These are questions I can’t answer, but even if the platform develops at a percentage of what Facebook has then Snapchat is going to be one of the most important social tools of our lifetime.
Social media platform innovations are going to have a huge impact on business, and it will reward those who take note.