When I first heard about Snapchat, it was a sort of fringe social media app that was used primarily for teens to ‘sext’ each other – but offered more security in the fact that these photo/video posts would self-destruct in seconds (cutting down on revenge porn-type scenarios). In my book, it had the same level of legitimacy as Seeking Arrangement or Backpage.
My first thoughts were something like this:
- What’s up with that yellow and white ghost icon?
- This whole thing seems sketchy
- I have no use for a sexting app
There’s always another social media platform coming out! It is difficult to gauge which will be trendy for five seconds (remember MySpace?), and which will have the longevity of Facebook.
I didn’t really start doing Snapchat until a few months ago (username: sewingreport), after I’d watched this video produced by Casey Neistat:
To learn how to use Snapchat, I did what any thirtysomething would – asked some twentysomething co-workers what the heck I was supposed to do. Since I’ve been using it, I’ve come to really enjoy it. For me, it’s definitely more ‘carefree’ than writing an article or posting an Instagram photo that has to look perfect.
Snapchat puts everyone, more or less, on a level playing field. You have to use a phone or tablet camera to post. There are several filters, but nothing crazy or too complicated. I also love the fact that you can put text, writing, or little stickers over your Snaps.
However, it is more work when you consider the fact that your content only exists for 24 hours. Snapchat users must constantly be posting new material, in order to stay relevant.
This video by Sunny Lenarduzzi is also a terrific resource.
Over 100 MILLION people use Snapchat on a daily basis, with 86 percent of those being between the ages of 13-34.
Why are younger people choosing Snapchat over Facebook?
Because their parents are on Facebook.
I remember being 16… Much like teenagers don’t want to hang out at the same place their folks are – they don’t want to be on the same social media platform either.
Facebook originally was aimed at college students, and you had to have an email address at a select school to be able to create an account. Back in 2004, Facebook opened up to my alma mater DURING FINALS WEEK my senior year. It was such a huge distraction, I don’t even remember what else I did – just wanted to friend people and look up classmates’ accounts. There really wasn’t a news feed, so Facebook was just that – a virtual directory of profiles.
In 2004, I’m sure my own mother Cathy never imagined she would be on Facebook ten years later. By the way, she also has a Snapchat account now!
The majority of the vendors I met and talked with at QuiltCon sounded most interested in attracting the “next-generation” consumer. But they didn’t seem to know exactly how to do that. Let’s get real here – there just aren’t a ton of younger sewists/quilters. According to the Quilting in America 2014 survey, the average age of a quilter is 64. Sewing industry – you may not think you need new customers today, but it’s only a matter of time before it will become a necessity. If you’re unable to capture a new market, you’re dead in the water.
While there’s no way to search Snapchat content, and it lacks formal analytics tracking – I understand that this might not seem lucrative to your business on the surface.
But ask yourself this: Why would you not want to at least have a presence on a platform with 100 MILLION people?
Cutting edge marketing star Gary Vaynerchuk compiled a fantastic resource/guide to Snapchat. Vaynerchuk has such a high grasp on the importance of social media, and how to best use it in your business. If you’re not familiar with him, you NEED to check him out – starting with this. (Yes it’s long, but it is worth EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE.)
Vaynerchuk started a YouTube channel called Wine Library ten years ago, before anybody was using it for marketing purposes. He took his family liquor store business from $3M to $60M in five years using the internet. Dude admits he is not a genius, he just recognizes opportunities in an early phase and does what he calls a “land grab.” (Note: Gary’s language can be on the colorful side, but I admire the fact that he is not willing to change who he is to make a buck)
Shortly after starting to use Snapchat and follow Gary there, I noticed that he actually took the time to look at some of my Snaps! Just that small gesture on his part totally made my day, and solidified his authenticity to me as a consumer of content.
If you’re not comfortable with technology or smartphones in general, I urge you to find someone in your life who is to help you. You are missing out on so many potential new sewists and quilters by relying on the same old advertising avenues. No one intentionally watches commercials, or clicks on a website’s banner ad.
Want to reach hundreds of millions? Do it natively through social media.
There are so, so, so many younger people who have no idea what this sewing world is all about, but might be interested in it once exposed. Businesses – you are not taking away customers from your competitors, because right now nobody has a claim to this HUGE market share of millennials.
I swear, the first company that can figure this out will win the game.
One last thing, there is someone I know who is absolutely killing it on Snapchat: Suzy Williams of Suzy Quilts. (username suzyquilts)
Less than three months ago, I’d posted a link to the Snapchat Murders Facebook video and Suzy happened to see it and created an account THAT DAY. In a matter of hours she went (in her exact words) from “Snapchat?? HELL NO!” to “ok ok let me just see what all these kids are talking about” to “YESS!!!!!”
I’ve known Suzy since her Instagram following @suzyquilts was more in its beginning stages, and the gal is BLOWING UP. She is an amazingly talented quilter, but knows how to market her personal brand in a way I have not seen anyone else come even close to. Her Instagram photos are gorgeous, but tongue-in-cheek, with hilarious captions. Suzy isn’t afraid to show you her best and worst days, dog Scrappy getting into trouble, or quilting fails.
Suzyquilts on Snapchat is even better (is that possible?), with more glances into her personal life and more up-to-the-minute sneak peeks at projects she’s working on.
It’s fairly common for individuals and companies to repurpose the same content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blog. Suzy has found the right balance of leveraging different platforms for material that works for each one specifically. She has created value for you to follow her on multiple avenues.
“You edit NOTHING and HOLD BACK NOTHING. It’s totally uncensored and amazing and fun,” she explained to someone on Instagram when they were worried about how much work it would be to do “more social media.”
Questions? Feel free to comment below and follow sewingreport on Snapchat once you get on there!
See you next time!