Friday, January 31, 2014

Should brands be on Snapchat?

Snapchat's the next big thing - brands are jumping on the network as fast as they can hire teens to run it for them. But should they even BE on it?

I came across Snapchat sometime last year, when my BFF asked me to get on the network after she moved away, so we could communicate in a 'fun' way. I did, and it was delightful. It isn't my favourite mobile app, and it's far from my most used (mostly because barely any of my friends are on it), but it's a great (and fun) way to stay in touch with far away friends.

I wonder, however, why brands need to be on the network. As social media matures, brands are ever asking the question, "What's the ROI?" And what IS the ROI, exactly? There aren't many metrics that you can tag to Snapchat, and it's notorious for not being metric-friendly, so why be on it?

You want to actively engage your audience
Your consumers are heavy users of social media, and you're looking for ways to get to them. Snapchat's wonderful for one-to-one engagement, and, as this article puts it, viewers of your snap have just one chance to do so - so they're definitely paying attention. If they've added you, they want to see what you've got to say, and they're going to open that snap. 

You've got great content to share
As a brand on Snapchat, you've got to be committed to content. This is true of all visual social media platforms these days. If you've got something to say and you want to be heard, it has to be something good. They don't say, 'your content needs to inform, inspire and engage people', for nothing - if it isn't interesting to you audience, it isn't going anywhere.

You have something to give to your fans
In general, people do not want to be privately messaged by someone they don't know - particularly if that 'someone' is a brand who just wants to talk about itself. It's the 'dinner guest' analogy all over again - no one wants that jerk who talks about themselves all the time at the dinner table. One of the top 3 reasons that people follow brands on social media is to know about discounts, sales, and offers through the channels. This is particularly true for a network like Snapchat, that is infinitely more personal than Facebook or Twitter. Keep this in mind, and remember - if you're a brand, and you message me directly, I want there to be something in it for me.

In short, yes, brands should be on Snapchat. Which brands, though? Brands that can add to consumers' lives, and are willing/want to reward engaged consumers. Brands like these.

Monday, January 20, 2014


My name is Sarika, and I'm a millennial. I think I have a different way of viewing the world - particularly the way the world of digital is expanding and evolving - and so I'm going to write about it. I'm currently a social media executive at a public relations firm, and all opinions expressed in this blog are mine and mine alone.

Three fun facts about me:
1. I'm a mixed kid - half Indian, half Argentine. People think I'm exotic, but it just leaves me confused.  I'm American, but I spent many years in India, and then Singapore. So I'm a... fifth culture kid?
2. I'm passionate - like, truly passionate - about digital/social media. I make people uncomfortable when I'm geeking out about social media stuff.
3. I love cats (so smart, so cute), chocolate (can't live without it) and all things 90s/early 00s (particularly pre-comeback Britney Spears).