I know exactly what you’re thinking. “Eric, you’re being completely ridiculous and —“ quite frankly —“ a little creepy, because Snapchat is for 13-year-old girls! Don’t you know?”
Admittedly, I poked, prodded, teased and ridiculed a young pond builder in his 20s by the name of Eric Twigg from Aquatic Sphere Construction back in 2013 about his love for the Snapchat Ghost. Today, I eat crow.
Allow me to explain how I use Snapchat on a daily basis to engage my clients, family, personal friends and a community of people who are passionate about ponds. What started as a racy smartphone app for teenagers back in 2011, is set to explode onto the scene in 2016.
Reach Out & Touch Someone
We have clients across the country, and Snapchat allows me to stay up-close and personal with them in a way that is much more intimate than a phone call or text could ever be.
I see some of my clients daily, and they happen to live on the other side of the country. Sometimes I feel like I’m more familiar with their faces than I am with my own mother’s, because I see them face-to-face via Snapchat almost every single day.
I’ve been dabbling with Snapchat since 2012, but I have to tell you about the day it blew my mind, when I truly began to understand the magic behind the app.
At the same expo, I met with pond guys and gals with whom I hadn’t “snapped” during our time apart, and I sensed an emotional distance that time had created between us. The difference between my connection with those I was snapping and those I wasn’t snapping was —“ in a word — heavy!
Easier than Texting
When you have 15 seconds at a stoplight, and you want to remind a recent customer to add bacteria to his pond, send a quick snap. It’s so fast and easy, you can repeat it again and again for your all of your customers who are constantly glued to their smartphones.
Imagine if your doctor offered to snap you daily to take your vitamins in the morning. Would you want him to do it? Of course you would! And your clients will want it, too. Talk about customer loyalty — they will be astonished that you found the time in your busy schedule to think of them, and they will love you for it!
No Tone Is Lost
People often complain they can’t understand the tone of a text. Was that a joke? Was he serious? Was that sarcastic? Who knows? In Snapchat, it’s all you, baby! They’ll get you, loud and clear. A short video can convey your intended tone by facial expression, a certain look, a smile (or frown) or other body language. There’s simply no room for confusion with Snapchat.
Tell a Story
When I’m having one of those epic days that I dig sharing, I can involve my clients by putting content on the “My Story” feature. They can review my story at their leisure and see snippets of my day, showing them the highlights that apply to them.
If I’m doing a build that a pending client is interested in, I can send them snaps throughout the process, showing them exactly what I’ll be doing in their yard while I’m doing it in someone else’s.
Statistics show that 90 percent of your Snapchat followers will open your story, as opposed to the 25 percent of your mailing list who will open your emails, on average.
Behind the Scenes
If you are filming content for a video, you can send quick, behind-the-scenes videos to clients who are itching for more. I put my Snapchat name on my Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites for my fans and clients to follow.Followers and fans can be unbelievably happy when you send them an update on a new video in their favorite video series.
I recently connected with an up-and-coming goldfish expert. We took a field trip to his facility to shoot some YouTube videos, and throughout the day, I kept many of my loyal YouTube followers up-to-date with exclusive, behind-the-scenes secrets and fun on Snapchat.
Staying on the Cutting Edge
When it first came out, many people thought Snapchat was merely a way for teenagers to create racy content that left no evidence — after the video is watched, it’s gone forever.
However, as more adults are joining Snapchat and learning the benefits of the personal and business connections it creates, it has become an exciting, new social media site, shedding its former bad reputation and becoming cutting-edge.
There is a massive audience of people between the ages of 24 and 40 using Snapchat, and 71 percent are millennials under the age of 34. With 100 million active users uploading 800 million photos and videos daily, this platform has secured the most focused attention of the masses during the past decade, even compared to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Periscope and YouTube.
Immediate, Live Response
Got a pertinent question that you need answered, right now? You’d love to FaceTime with your employee, but he has an Android, and you have an iPhone. Snapchat solves this issue with a new, live-talking feature.
During the snap, if the camera in the upper right corner is blue, you can touch and hold it to start a live video conversation via Snapchat. Ain’t technology grand!
To be completely transparent, I do have friends on Snapchat to whom I send rambling, ridiculous (sometimes alcohol-influenced) snaps on late weekend nights. Celebrating your favorite football team’s close-call playoff victory with a close personal friend 500 miles away by screaming and dancing on Snapchat can be a ton of fun!
Looking Ahead: Ghost or Die
We are all familiar with the phrase, “If you are not growing, you are dying.”
This has never been more true than it is in social media today. The number of people who are exposed to advertising via radio, print media and television is declining more quickly than ever. Social media has made these former “Kings of Media” irrelevant.
My oldest daughter is 28 years old and never listens to the radio, watches TV or reads a newspaper. The new generation of buyers in the marketplace simply cannot be influenced by these old platforms. If you want to compete in the marketplace with the big boys, you need to “skate to where the puck is going.” It’s headed to Snapchat.
Don’t die — grow!