Snapchat, as anyone in the digital world knows, is taking over the younger generation like wildfire. The average age demographic is 13-24, which clearly poses as a setback for most adult digital marketers, unless you are fresh out of college at this very moment. But with Snapchat having 100 million active monthly users, and 65% of those users contributing content regularly, Snapchat has one of the highest user engagement rates of all social media platforms. Based on that statistic alone, we would be remis to not do our best to understand the ins and outs of this seemingly very valuable app.
However, regardless of how popular Snapchat has become, we've wondered if maybe we're just too far behind the learning curve to truly "get it." There are lots of questions we have asked to try and justify the reasoning behind Snapchat. What do users feel they are accomplishing by "snapping"? If a picture is important enough to send, why not just text it so you can view it again later? If there's value in growing your audience so large that you get paid to share content, wouldn't Instagram where users can actually interact and revisit your content make more sense? Do people really actually care to see your utterly random "snaps" throughout the day? Why does the younger generation feel so compelled to share so many details of their lives with others? As digital marketers, these are questions we need to be able to not just answer, but actually understand. And even if the app isn't a part of our generation, it's still a part of another huge generation that will soon enough probably be your target audience. By refusing to learn the latest "trends", even if we personally don't invest in them, we are only hurting ourselves.
To get a better idea of where others around us were on the Snapchat fad, we asked some of our coworkers what their thoughts on the popular app were. Interestingly enough, the responses were generally what we expected them to be.
Our younger coworkers, specifically the interns under age 25, vocalized that they use snapchat regularly, essentially as a means of staying connected with friends 24/7.
Our coworkers between the ages of 25-30 were familiar with snapchat, used it on occasion, had a few friends who used it, but didn't feel very strongly either way, just enough to keep it installed on their phone essentially.
Our coworkers above age 30, were pretty distinctly anti-snapchat, either because they simply don't have time for it, feel the "need" for it, or really "get it".
Here are a few questions we asked, and a handful of responses. It should be obvious what age category most responses fall under.
Do you use Snapchat on a regular basis? Is so, why? If not, why not?
"I use Snapchat on a daily basis; its a quick and easy way to communicate."
"No. Texting keeps me busy…I never think about snapchat"
"Pretty regularly. I mainly use it to communicate with close friends."
"It’s probably an age thing but I don’t use it."
"My kids use Snapchat, I never have."
"I’ve never used snapchat in my life."
"Haven't had a need to try it. My current forms of communication seem to be working for me."
"So I have snapchat and use it pretty regularly, but I absolutely hate it! I know that sounds weird but the only reason I use it is because friends have it and send me snaps."
"Yes! I love snapchat."
"I downloaded Snapchat because I thought it was the cool thing to do. Apparently, I’m not cool enough (and neither are my friends) because the only snaps I ever get are from Snapchat. It’s a lonely, lonely world."
"Don’t use it cause I’m old and out of touch."
What is your general impression of Snapchat? What do you think is "the point" of Snapchat?
"The point… eehhh. I think it is just to communicate and relay funny messages or a quick update to friends. A lot of my friends use snapchat, but my circle of friends is definitely the smallest on snapchat (as opposed to Instagram or Facebook)."
"Seems to be a great way to have conversations with your friends without your parents being able to snoop on your phone."
"It's fun to use but can easily be abused obnoxiously. Much like Facebook, not everything belongs on social media. "
"I did not sign up for snapchat for the longest time, because I thought it was an app that people used to cheat on their spouses."
"I honestly see no point in Snapchat especially in the messaging feature. To me if you are going to write someone why not just text them the regular way. And if you want to send someone a picture why not just text it to them or post it on the countless other social media platforms."
"I think it can be used as a great marketing tool. Just another way to connect with your audience on a different platform."
"When it first started, I didn't really understand why people were using it but it has grown on me. Now that I've graduated college and don't get to see as many of my friends on a regular basis, Snapchat is way for me to keep up with where they are now and what they are up to."
Do you share content or just follow people?
"I share content occasionally but I mainly follow people."
"I check it occasionally and hardly every snap people. Maybe 2x ever."
"I don’t usually post a story. Most of my snaps are to a select group of friends, but I follow other people’s days."
"I share content by posting things to my Story and sometimes sending them directly to friends, and follow other people’s stories. But I don’t want to follow random people’s stories, just my close friends and family."
If you don't use Snapchat, what is your preferred social media channel?
"I’m sticking with FB as a way to communicate for now and can just wait for Snapchat to be replaced by the Next Big Thing in a few months."
"I’m old so I use Facebook and that’s about it. I have a Twitter account…last I looked I had 3 followers."
"Prefer anything visual, so Instagram, then maybe FB."
"As far as social medias that I use I prefer Instagram and Facebook.Facebook for more of my friends/family, articles, and news posts. While Instagram I have friends on their and I post my whereabouts and cool things but also to connect and follow a lot of fitness trainers, clothing boutiques, singers, actors, and other celebrities."
"Even though I have Snapchat, my preferred social media channel is Instagram."
Needless to say, learning about and understanding a current fad or new technology can be essential to understanding your audience. As we all get older, there are always going to be new forms of marketing we aren't traditionally accustomed to, or "believe in." But, it's up to us to seek them out and stay informed. We are always trying to stay on top of what the Next Big Thing is, and encourage you to do the same.