Intro and Background Information
In this past Thursday’s class our fellow classmate, Bruce, had an interesting presentation/idea on Wright State possibly using SnapChat as a new social media channel. Like him, I had a lot of questions on not only the workings of SnapChat, but how could a small business or university use it in an effective manner? So over the past couple of days I have done some research on how exactly using SnapChat would be beneficial to a smaller business and to universities looking to connect with their students and future students.
Using SnapChat for Small Businesses
When researching possible strategies for a small business wanting to use SnapChat, I found a couple different basic ideas to follow; because of his, I found one that more or less summarized all of them and decided to go with it. According to Forbes.com, there are four basic ideals to follow/strive for, which are the following:
– Going Behind the Scenes: This ideal is interesting because it allows your clients/customers to see the inner workings of your business. You can also use this to give them a sneak peek into what your company is doing or planning on doing.
– Empowering Your Employees & Influencers: While making an effective post with SnapChat can take some time, it can be important to delegate the task of using SnapChat to certain employee(s). If the business can get to a point, they can even hire out companies or allow bloggers or professionals within their fields “take-over” their SnapChat account for a period of time.
– Keep It Disney: Basically, you want your posting to be appropriate and not taken out of context. Luckily, as of right now, SnapChat messages are private and there are no tools to effectively re-share the sent messages.
– Keep It Short: SnapChat messages are only 1-10 seconds – and thus you want to keep your messages simple and to the point. Adding complexity will only make your message confusing and hard to understand.
In conclusion, using SnapChat could be very beneficial for a small business to connect with customers/clients. It can be an effective social media channel as long as you following the right strategy.
Using SnapChat for Universities
When researching how using SnapChat could be effective for universities I found a lot of the success stories that were presented by Bruce in class. I also found that when using SnapChat, all universities are reaching three audiences: current students, prospective students and prospective athletes. I also found that as of right now, there aren’t any different audiences that schools are trying to target and I don’t really see the need for them to target anyone else other than possibly alumni. When targeting current students, collegeexpress.com explains that schools are trying to engage the students and keep them informed on what’s going down on campus. This could be anywhere from doing fun little “snap us a picture of blank” to reporting on campus events. I find it interesting that one day students could actually rely on SnapChat as a primary way to get their campus news and events schedule.
When targeting both prospective students and prospective athletes, College Express explains how Tennessee Wesleyan College used SnapChat to create a scavenger hunt for interested students. They pictured their mascot at different spots on campus and asked interested students exactly where on campus he was. College Express also cites the University of Kansas for doing “mock” interviews with their athletes on their SnapChat account and how they showed a lot of the behind the scenes (remember that from the small business section?) of what goes on at sporting events. In a way, it basically shows the fun highlights of being at this University.
Conclusion and Questions
In closing, I found that while using SnapChat could be effective, it really depends on what your target audience is on whether you should use it or not. For small businesses, that could be challenging if you don’t quite have that grasp on the younger generation that primarily uses SnapChat. For universities, if you have a lot of engagement already on social media channels, I don’t see why you shouldn’t use SnapChat as a means to not only connect and engage your current students, but as a way to draw future students to your school. Finally, I found that there are some similar strategies and ideals to follow when using SnapChat. For example, when using SnapChat both for small business and as a university, you want to give your following a behind the scenes look of what you do. You also want to engage and connect with your audience(s). However, with this being said I still have a few questions:
How exactly would a SnapChat account for a small business or University work?
– In specific, would there have to be a generic phone or tablet that “housed” the account?
Will there be future benefits that would be user-friendly to these small businesses and universities?
– Is SnapChat looking to explore adding a “business account” feature?
Are they looking to expand on the maximum ten second long video?
– Will they give an option (possibly pay-for) to make the video message longer?
What questions do YOU the reader have about SnapChat?
– Also, anything I missed when doing research that you would like to bring up?