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Using Snap Chat to Market Effectively to Millennials

It’s no secret that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are driving forces in social-media marketing initiatives. While they are still important players in building brand awareness, we cannot ignore new opportunities for communicating.

I probably wasn’t the only one who initially viewed Snap Chat as a juvenile app, but the reality is that almost 20% of all iPhone owners use Snap Chat regularly. With 71% of users under the age of 25, Snap Chat provides the perfect medium for brands that target a younger audience.

As a millennial who is relatively active on Snap Chat, I believe that marketers need to be wary of entering the app’s disappearing snap-shot interface. Many of us have become increasingly frustrated when we see a sponsored ad interrupt our Twitter feed, and because Snap Chat is typically a more personal conversation, branding needs to be as non-invasive as possible. For example, the Snap Chat itself probably should not be more than one screen because Millennials are hyper-sensitive to branding and won’t bother with the rest of the chat once they realize that it’s a marketing effort.

It has been shown many times that for Millennials to appreciate branding, they must get something out of it, so the way to use Snap Chat effectively and to build a following is to keep messages short and beneficial to the audience. For example, Dunkin Donuts utilizes snap chat to produce fun, creative images that highlight a special or promotional message. One screen with a soft image and short caption is non-invasive and something that young people can appreciate, as long as it’s not amidst a sea of excessive postings.

In short, Snap Chat is gold mine for marketers looking to reach a younger audience, specifically a younger female audience, but most brands are not taking advantage of it. It is more difficult to build a brand image on Snap Chat than on, say, Facebook but I believe it can be done and at the very least can show a brand’s ability to adapt to current social-media trends.

 Elizabeth Manley, Team Providence Intern

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