Written by Luke Charalambous
Snapchat should be an inspiration to all across the creative industry. A small up-starter that resisted the money and might of Facebook, Snapchat continues to exceed the expectations of almost everyone.
Facebook has even introduced a number of features including scannable profiles and disappearing messages that some would argue are similar to Snapchat’s offering. However, many of these have fallen by the wayside whilst Snapchat has grown from strength to strength.
As Facebook launches yet another attempt to compete with the app-that-got-away, what lessons can we learn from the photo-sharing platform that continues to contend with the reigning king of social media?
The first lesson is establishing your own space, voice and brand – and sticking to it. Snapchat may now be somewhat of a lone island bobbing in a Mark Zuckerberg ocean, but by sticking to its core values, ideas and ambitions, it has thrived.
For a communications or marketing agency, this should ring especially true. Have a brilliant idea? Keep with it regardless of what the competition are doing. Creative ideas will cut through the noise for your client, and perseverance and belief could be the key to Snapchat-esque success.
Secondly, Snapchat is strategic in its communications. It is not constantly in your face, but instead creates a bang when and where it needs to. This makes its offering continually fresh, rather than Facebook which saturates the media and the internet at large. For a rather rudimental analogy – Snapchat is the understated yet widely popular George Clooney, whilst Facebook takes on a role more comparable to Kim Kardashian. Snapchat is excellent at picking its moments and using subtle but effective tactics – for example, Miranda Kerr, girlfriend of Snapchat CEO Evan Speigel, documenting a state dinner at the Whitehouse on – you guessed it – Snapchat.
The final point to take is the value of continual creativity. Of course, originality is not isolated to just Snapchat. Facebook is built on a foundation of innovation and new ways of thinking much like most players in the social media space.
But, considering the fairly simplistic nature of Snapchat when it first launched, it has continually added features that have captured and retained the imaginations of millions. Take its filters for example, you can’t spend a second on the internet without seeing some form of horrifying Snapchat face swap – and numerous brands and apps are jumping on the bandwagon.
Snapchat now boasts 10 billion daily video views and even the UK Government is a fan, spending £70,000 on Snapchat filters. Ultimately, it sticks to its guns, picks its moments, and keeps its offering continually fresh. And applying a similar approach to a creative campaign could be just as fruitful. It is clear that Snapchat is doing something right, and we would all be wise to take note.