Your Job Is To Get People Into The Story
February 17, 2015
There's no doubt one of the many challenges for brands today is reaching the younger end of the audience. In the social space, Millennials and Gen Zers don't operate in the same way as older generations. They have grown up armed with smartphones, making them very much an app generation.
And perhaps that's why they are into what is known as "dark social," defined as "sharing that occurs in private digital communication tools." Email is something considered "dark social" as it is not publicly shared. But for younger Millennials and Generation Z, their world of "dark social" isn't email -- it's photo/video/instant messaging apps.
And one app that is the epitome of "dark social" is Snapchat, the social platform that continues to earn the attention of 13-25 year-olds.
While we still don't know as much about Snapchat user stats as we do other social outlets, Snapchat lays claim to over 700 million snaps shared per day on the service, which makes it the most used photo-sharing app in the world — ahead of Facebook, WhatsApp, and others.
So if you're trying to nail the "app generation's" voice, I recommend test driving Snapchat to study why people enjoy this app and how your brand or your personality fits in.
There are plenty of examples of creative Snapchat usage, but I like what "Saturday Night Live" did in honor of their 40th anniversary party. They created what's called a "story" on Snapchat, using video and photos that bring fans into the moment.
Here are just a few screen shots I took from the story they shared with fans on Snapchat. It really was a cool video to watch:
While there were more videos and photos in their Snapchat story than the examples above, what was noticeable is that SNL pulled off a really great moment socially without the crutch of prize wheels, station vans parked by tents, or posters telling me to "WATCH NOW." The entire Snapchat story made you feel like you were backstage.
And that's the key.
The more visual that social communication becomes, it's less about you being wherever you are and more about communicating what it feels like to be there.
If I could link you to a few radio colleagues so you could see what they're doing -- I would. But that's the beauty of this "dark social" platform -- there are no links.
If you download Snapchat, check out "markkaye," "christytime," "lindsayyonair," and "kristinaonair" just to name a few. They amaze me at their use of this app. And then there are other colleagues like "robrobertspd," and "robinsonradio" where we just randomly snap each other (I'm "lorilewis") and stay in touch that way.
Every snap makes me laugh. They're funny, yes, but there's something very cool about "dark social."
Finding your way on smaller platforms, like Snapchat, is a great way to build on the believability that your traditional brand can also be a true social brand. The audience gives you credit for recognizing where they are when you venture out into their preferred platform.
I know the social outlets are mounting, and there's only so much time in the day to be effective with all of them.
But it's a new world -- and these crazy days require a new way of thinking, innovating, and connecting. Social is a critical part of a brand today and it goes beyond Facebook.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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