With an app that boasted 186 million active daily users in 2018, it’s no surprise that marketers have flocked to Snapchat to increase their brand awareness. According to Snap Inc., average users (the 13-34-year-olds) are spending upwards of 30 minutes on the app every day. In terms of those interested in pursuing this specific target market, universities often rank top of the list.
But if you haven’t jumped on the Snapchat bandwagon yet, there are four important questions your marketing team should ask before you hit “download”:
1. Are my university’s other social channels performing well?
If you’re getting a Snapchat because your Facebook and Instagram are doing poorly, and you think adding another platform to the mix is a good idea—it’s not.
If your current and future students and alumni are disregarding your current channels, what makes you think they will be more receptive on another? Make sure your content on Facebook and Instagram is performing to your standards before you consider adding more platforms to the mix. If they’re not performing as well as you’d like, start by creating quality content that will draw your target market towards you.
Start small and limit yourself to just a few social network sites and work on growing an audience there first. Why put all your eggs into these baskets? You should be using these more established platforms to drive people to take action where you want them to: your website. Ultimately, this is how you increase a following to get what you really want: more conversions.
2. Am I prepared to deploy a Snapchat content strategy?
Like we previously mentioned, you should be using high-scaled platforms, like Instagram and Facebook, as a strategy to link your Snapchat to increase your university’s following. But you also have to think about the specific “content” in the content strategy.
Snapchat is all about timing, creating and sharing highly visual photo, video, and audio content pieces, with the hope of capturing attention. Many marketers want to use Snapchat because it does just that: holds a prospect’s attention because the prospect knows that the content will disappear.
But regardless of the content you are creating that holds your prospect’s attention, make sure that it is not just entertaining, but also valuable and that you're still incorporating CTAs and other opportunities that will allow them to find your school or access your content after they’ve viewed your Snap. Remember, the process of inbound is still important here and there are still solid opportunities to attract, engage, and delight your prospective students.
3. Am I planning on including and entrusting students with this account?
It’s time to take a good look at your marketing team and ask: do we have the talent and skill to create high-quality content that will resonate with our target audience on Snapchat? Sure, it might be a harsh question, but if the answer is “no,” you have to consider if including and entrusting a student intern or employee with your University’s Snapchat will enhance or tarnish your school’s image.
An important question to ask because having the talent to draw people in to your Snapchat means understanding the rules of the platform and knowing how to communicate using video and pictures will be crucial in your success—who knows that better than the upcoming generation of Gen Z'er's themselves? BUT, on the other hand, you have to consider if entrusting a student with distributing messages across your University’s account runs the risk of tarnishing your image.
If you choose to go this route, pick a student or group of students who you can trust with pushing relevant, valuable, and effective content for videos, school stories, and other content that utilizes Snapchat’s features.
4. Do I know how to use the features like Geofilters or stories?
Students like to show their friends what they’re doing in real-time—so using a Geofilter based on your university’s location is an opportune way for current and potential students to say, “Hey, going to an event at [YOUR] University!” or, “Campus visit at [YOUR] University!”
It’s possible that potential student’s story will spark another potential student’s interest… followed by another student… you get where we are going with this.
Word-of-mouth marketing is at its finest with the use of these features. Anyone can pay Snapchat to create their own customized Geofilter for their location, for a certain amount of time, and for a certain price. On the bright side, the Geofilters aren’t crazy expensive—yet anyway.
So, if you are going to jump on board Snapchat, we’d say jump on Geofilters too and educate yourself on the other features Snapchat offers to see what best resonates with your target audience.
Snapchat is huge right now. And we certainly think university’s should be utilizing its features because of the very specific demographic that lives on Snapchat—but, ask yourself these important questions before you decide to jump in. Are you setting yourself up for success to increase conversions in the long run?