Should Brands Jump on All New Social Networks?
SnapChat is aggressively pursuing brands right now, according to a new pitch deck that has been making the rounds on social media this week. The deck is a succinct educational piece, explaining what SnapChat is, providing recent user stats, showing brands can leverage it and giving examples of other brands doing it well.
To me, SnapChat makes sense for some brands, assuming they have the right target audience (13-17 year olds in North America) and access to compelling imagery. But there are several other up and coming social apps that are not meant for brands, and yet they continue to try to force their way in. Secret and Yo are two such apps.
SnapChat stats revealed in their new pitch deck for businesses.
A recent article on Venture Beat showcased some brands that tried Secret but flopped because they completely missed the point of the anonymous site. And I was recently contacted by ClickZ to comment on a note they’d received from a well-known restaurant chain, announcing that they’d recently joined Yo and viewed it as a social innovation opportunity.
It all got me thinking, how far is too far for brands? Is it desperate and gimmicky to join social networks that aren’t yet established and essentially don’t want you? Or is it my job as a marketer to figure out how to use these channels without coming off as contrived?
I can think of use cases for most social channels and apps. Secret could be great for a well-planned leak, gradually posting vague and interesting messages that lead up to a larger product, service or other announcement or launch. And for Yo, well, that is a little harder for me to accept. What value do consumers get from receiving “yo” from PizzaHut, Nike or any other big brand? I don’t see much.
This not-so Secret post is from The Gap, which they copped to shortly after posting it.
The Word Cup used Yo to send fans a Yo for every goal. What is the real value to fans?
Ultimately, this is the conclusion I land at—if you meet the following three criteria, you should at least test the platforms:
- Your customers are on the channel;
- You can provide some value to those customers through information, education, discounts and/or simply humor; and
- You can track and measure performance
Taco Bell, MTV and GrubHub are just a few brands that have figured this out on SnapChat. The real challenge is the third criteria—showing value and measuring performance. But through unique discount codes and hashtags, brands are finding ways to track it and tie it back to engagement and even sales numbers.
GrubHub uses discount codes on SnapChat to provide value to uses and track usage.