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Is Snapchat Taking Over Social Media?

As an events industry, the importance of using social media platforms to promote our services and keep up to date with the latest trends and events news is very important. Every day, we are expected to keep up with the social world and use these platforms to engage with our clients and followers, as well as providing a platform to display our creative work.  This blog will give an insight into the benefits of businesses using various social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and how Snapchat could potentially be ‘up and coming’ in our industry.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is an interactive mobile app that allows users to capture real-life videos and photos that self-destruct after 24 hours. Snapchat was created in 2011 and, since its release, it has become a social phenomenon. The app allows the user to record a video from 1 second to 10 seconds, and now with the recent update for iPhone users – and hopefully soon to those on Android – the app allows you to continue your snap journey after the 10 seconds. Subsequently, that content is then history, unless you save it.

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Snapchat is all about interaction. The ability to use an app that showcases Augmented Reality, also known as technology that superimposes a computer-generated image such as ‘filters’. Examples of these AR filters on the app would be the flowered head-band filter, the infamous dog filter and various other animal and nature images. Snapchat has created various types of advertising that appeal to the Generation Z demographic (generation born after the 1990s). These range from Geofilters to Snap Ads, the Discover page, and even the recent Snapchat spectacles where you can record live videos and upload them for your friends to see.

Snapchat vs. Twitter

When it comes to Twitter, it’s a social media platform that allows you to ‘tweet’ posts, use hashtags (#), upload images and GIFs, record live videos, follow your favourite celebrity or industry interest, or interact with other users – with up to 140 characters each time. As the seasons change, Twitter continues to evolve and update its platform.

Over the last few years and months, Twitter has evolved by being able to record live videos via Periscope, a live video streaming app for Android and iPhone users. This has opened endless opportunities for live streaming at live music and sporting events, product launches, conferences, the list goes on…

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So, out of Snapchat and Twitter, which app is best to use for a business, we hear you say? Well, according to the Fast Company staff on their blog ‘Here’s Why Snapchat And Twitter Are Barrelling Toward A Social Media Collision’, Snapchat’s daily active users are nearly 100 million, whereas Twitter has approximately 150 million, which is a big difference. The daily activity on Snapchat is a whopping 700 million, whereas Twitter’s activity, on average, is about 500 million tweets a day. The overall demographic for Snapchat is aimed at 18-24 year-olds, whereas Twitter has an older demographic of 25-35 year-olds.

From these statistics, we can clearly see that Twitter has an older demographic. This could simply be down to businesses using the social platform in a more professional manner, by engaging with their followers – retweeting and liking content within the industry – in contrast to Snapchat, where it can be seen to produce more fun and light-hearted content, possibly not suitable for a business.

Snapchat vs. Facebook

On many of our Facebook timelines we often see people sharing content from other enclosed networks such as Snapchat and WhatsApp. However, Facebook created ‘Facebook Live’ which is a live record setting that gives you the opportunity to showcase any form of event you have recently been to. The feature allows live two-way conversations with the audience, with the ability to reach a greater audience through sharing, liking and commenting.

With Facebook Live, completed videos are published, with no limited time-frame… When it comes to Snapchat however, after 24 hours, content disappears into the unknown. Still, you have the option to save the video.

Within the events industry, the use of live recording on Facebook at an event can appeal to new clients and event profs. Let’s say if a client was to search your social media page, they have the option to scroll down and look at the event you attended, whereas Snapchat doesn’t expose you to that. 

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"The daily activity on Snapchat is a whopping 700 million, whereas Twitter’s activity, on average, is about 500 million tweets a day. "

Snapchat vs. Instagram

As time has now passed, Instagram has incorporated ‘Instagram stories’, where you can upload a video clip for 10 seconds and save it to your story, enabling your followers to see. This also stays live for 24 hours, and you can also put your location or apply filters to the image or video. This feature is a basic mimic of what you can do on Snapchat, but, as an Instagram and Snapchat user myself, I do find it hard to keep up with the times and upload a video to Instagram, whereas I would upload a video straight away to Snapchat, maybe save it and then upload to Instagram, but other views may be different.

Instagram for Businesses is a focal point, and provides an inventory in a visual and creative way, for interacting with its clients and followers. The content produced seems to be more professional and compelling, whereas Snapchat could be a more causal feel, even though the use of a Geofilter at an event could come into play very well. It’s something that, as an industry, we will have to look at and jump on the bandwagon.

Overall, as an industry, we need to ensure that we are utilising the ways in which we use our social media platforms to represent our businesses. It essentially boils down to understanding your customers. All social media channels provide many brilliant features to enhance our customer interaction, but we must choose our inventory of tools carefully.

We need to ensure that we are keeping up with the latest trends these platforms offer. Who knows: in the next 10 years, Snapchat may either be a thing of the past, or it may be next best thing for us as an industry – watch this space.

By Olivia Blackstock – PR & Social Media Executive