The title of this blog is a common question being asked by painting contractors around the country. In order to answer this big question, we are going to have to answer 3 more basic questions about SnapChat.
1. What is SnapChat?
SnapChat is a mobile messaging app that allows users to take pictures or videos called ‘snaps’. Users can then apply a wide range of animations, text, filters, and special effects to a snap.
Snaps can then be sent directly to other users on your friends list who can only open them once before they disappear. Users can also post snaps to their ‘story’ where their followers can watch it for the next 24 hours before it disappears.
2. Who is using SnapChat?
SnapChat has been the fastest social media site of the past 12 months and it boasts over 150 million daily active users. 7 out of 10 users are between the ages of 18 and 34 and SnapChat claims they reach 41% of this key demographic in the United States on a daily basis.
SnapChat has become an extremely popular channel for celebrities, athletes, brands, and news outlets to connect with their fans.
3. How do companies advertise on SnapChat?
Advertisers can leverage SnapChat to market brands, products, and events in two unique ways. First, they can create custom filters that users can put on their own SnapChats. Second, they can create 10 second videos that play in between SnapChats as small commercials.
For example, wanting to let everyone experience the feeling of winning a Super Bowl, Gatorade launched a unique custom filter for the big game. Users could take their own picture and then put an animation of a bucket being dumped over their head on top of it. See Gatorade’s advertising idea, along with others, here.
So, should my painting business be marketing on SnapChat?
In the short term, Alta Vista is advising our clients in the painting industry not to invest time or financial resources into SnapChat. Our position is based on three major factors:
1. It is unclear how a painting contractor can best leverage the platform to drive leads
2. The typical buyer of painting services is outside SnapChat’s core demographic
3. No data exists to prove advertising with SnapChat works for painting contractors
What about posting business stories on SnapChat to engage my followers/community/customers?
SnapChat is just like other forms of social media. Your content—in this case ‘stories’ or ‘snaps’—will only reach other users who choose to follow you. The question for us becomes, how do you get customers and prospects to follow you on SnapChat? Why would someone want to follow a local painting contractor?
These are two questions we struggle with answering when evaluating SnapChat as a marketing tool. Until they are answered, we would not advise investing significant time posting on SnapChat for your painting business.
What should my painting business do?
Marketing on any social media platform has a learning curve. Our advice is to keep a close eye on SnapChat and see how it evolves over time. Let others figure it out and prove the model before investing large marketing resources into SnapChat.
This article was contributed by Aaron Hockel, Vice President of Digital Marketing at AltaVista Strategic Partners, a PDCA Associate and marketing firm that specializes in building and executing marketing plans for commercial and residential contractors. Aaron can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 443-960-4004, or you can follow him on twitter @aaronhockel.