So, chances are you’ve heard of snapchat. You know, it’s that app people use to share photos. Well, at the moment that’s what it’s known for, but, it has the potential to be so much more. It could be the next big thing in social media marketing. There are already a handful of brands across North America, the UK and Europe experimenting with the platform as a new way to communicate with their customers. But, as usual, Aussie brands are lagging behind their international counterparts, and so far none have choose to embrace this new marketing opportunity.

At ntegrity we believe that it’s time that changed.

If fact, our director Richenda recently wrote about this exact thing in The Age a couple of weeks ago. In case you missed it, let us lay it out for you.

As ridiculous as it may sound, for a brand to market on an app that, let’s face it, has a less than stellar reputation, the reasons why Aussie brands should consider using snapchat as part of their social media engagement are stacking up. For, unlike other platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, snapchat has shown real potential to allow brands to form “intimate” one-on-one relationships with their customers. Which, for social media marketers like us, is kind of the holy grail.

The value of snapchat lies in its limitations. As a brand can both send and receive private images messages through the platform, in an experience that is akin to texting. The one-on-one nature of this relationship means that snapchat boasts an incredibly high level of interactions between users.

Furthermore, the finite life of this content (snapchats can last for as little as 3 seconds) lends an air of secrecy, exclusivity and immediacy to the message that is difficult (and costly) to manufacture through other platforms.

Plus, the numbers on snapchat are good, really good. It has quickly become the second most popular image sharing app behind Facebook with an estimated 200 million photos shared – and destroyed – every day, across both Android and IOS

snapchat is now the second most popular image sharing site after facebook

And it’s experiencing gigantic levels of growth. Just two months ago this number was 150 million.

Unsurprisingly, snapchat has attracted a significant fan base among 13 to 24 year olds, making it the perfect communication tool if, the often elusive, Gen Y is your target market. Snapchat use is also growing among the over 40s meaning that in the future the platform could offer true cross-generation marketing opportunities.

The title of being the “first” brand to market via snapchat belongs to New York brand 16 Handles Frozen Yoghurt (NY) who, in January this year, held a promotion that offered users discounts of 16%-100% in return for a snapchat of themselves or a friend in store sampling the frozen yoghurt.

16handles snapchat promotion

And it wasn’t long before bigger brands, Taco Bell, Unilever and UK technology company Co-operative Electrical, started to see the potential of snapchat.

Then, in June, MTV UK launched perhaps the most ambitious snap chat campaign to date, as part of its promotion for the newest season of Geordie Shore.

By leveraging snapchat’s slightly lewd reputation, MTV UK engaged users by offering them exclusive content and a glimpse at the “cheekier side” of Geordie Shore cast members, using behind-the-scenes images coupled with premiere date reminders. This proved to be the perfect way for MTV UK to reach its target demographic, with the specially created ‘MTVGeordieShore’ snapchat account gaining thousands of followers within just hours of launching.

The image that launched MTV UK’s snapchat promotion of Geordie Shore

And this is likely to be just the tip of a very large iceberg, as there is potential that as snapchat looks for way to monetize it may do away with the current requirement for brands to know the username of people they want to connect with, and begin to offer ways for brands to buy access to snapchat users.

Of course, this does not mean that you will be able to broadcast generic content; brands will still need to be creative and selective about the content they share on snapchat, otherwise the risk the same apathy and resentment they face on Facebook, and other monetized platforms.

For now, the only thing we can be sure about is that there will be a steady increase in the number of brands using snapchat, including (hopefully soon) some Australian brands. This is certainly not the last you have seen of marketing on snap chat, and that means the days of it being just an app where people share ‘photos’ are definitely numbered.

We’d love to work with any brand interest in taking the plunge into snapchat. Seriously, get in touch.