Should I join or skip Snapchat?

Answer

I must admit, it is hard to ignore the statistics:

  • An estimated 200 million monthly users.
  • 500 million new Snapchat Stories uploaded daily.
  • A reach of approximately 11 percent of all digitally connected Americans.
  • 76 percent of Snapchat users identify as frequent online buyers.

(Source: mediakix.com)

These numbers have certainly piqued the interest of internet marketing gurus looking for new branding channels. However, as I have followed the growth and popularity of Snapchat over time, I simply cannot bring myself to use it.

Here’s why:

The benefit of Snapchat is having user messages, pictures, videos, and other stories disappear. The longest any content will last on Snapchat is 24 hours. Individual posts have a lifespan of just seconds. Once a viewer sees a new Snapchat entry, it will vanish in 10 seconds or less, never to be seen again. Considering that roughly two-thirds of Snapchat’s user base is younger than 35 and a significant chunk of that is under 18, it makes sense that they would flock to a site where content is not permanent. Should they post something they might later regret, it will self-destruct on its own.

From an internet marketing perspective, I just can’t wrap my head around the concept of handing someone a business card and saying, “Here you go, but do something with it within 24 hours or the card will dissolve, never to be seen again.” It’s ultimately great for the intended target market, and as a social media site, it is certainly revolutionary. But, as a sales-boosting small business necessity? Not so much. The reality is if your products and services are not aimed primarily at millennials and younger generations, Snapchat is not ideal for you as a business-marketing tool. 

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