Guest blogger Lexi Verret is the marketing & communication assistant at LSU First Year Experience, a unit of LSU Division of Student Life & Enrollment that provides resources and support to help first year students succeed at LSU. She is from the small town of Lockport, La., but loves living in the Capital City. She recently graduated from the Manship School of Mass Communication in May 2015 with a concentration in public relations and minors in business administration and history. To connect with Lexi, please click here.

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Lexi Verret, 2015 Graduate of the Manship School

 In the ever-changing world of social media, there is always a new social network that becomes trendy and changes the way brands connect with their audience. Snapchat has easily taken over the social media scene as a popular way to easily share images and videos with followers in real-time. Now followers can experience an event or happening through their phones, and feel as if they are actually present. All social media platforms, no matter how trendy, have pros and cons to utilizing them to connect your brand or organization to its public. Every public relations professional knows it’s not about how trendy a social platform is, it’s about the platform that works best for your brand’s mission and audience. With that being said, let’s take a closer look at using Snapchat for your brand.

Reasons your brand should be on Snapchat:

Your audience primarily uses Snapchat:

This may go without saying, but if a majority of your audience is already avid Snapchat users then its time to embrace the yellow ghost. If a large percentage of your target audience is young adults, also known as millennials, then Snapchat is a great way to connect. Snapchat has quickly become the window to millenials’ souls.

According to a recent report conducted by ComScore, Snapchat was the third most popular social app among millennials, trailing closely behind Facebook and Instagram. This is because millennials love image and video based content. It’s how they consume their information, and Snapchat makes it easy, interesting and fun to share.

Your brand has content that easily translates to images and videos:

If your organization hosts events, interactive programs or has a lot of unique happenings that are easily shared through images and videos without the need for a lot of textual explaining, then Snapchat is definitely a platform to utilize. Live-tweeting an event is a great way to engage with your audience while also creating buzz, but if you throw Snapchat into the mix your audience will feel like they are really there. It also shows a different side of the event that is not as easily captured on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. The popular story feature offered by Snapchat allows you to do what PR pros do best, tell a story. Through the creation of “stories” on Snapchat your audience can see the behind the scenes footage of an event or program, get access to VIP information or be constantly informed on the latest happenings at your organization.

Your followers can screenshot:

While the screenshot feature of Snapchat has been debated, for brands it can be useful. I work in the realm of higher education marketing, so at times the content that I share on my unit’s Snapchat story is a resource or important information for students. Snapchat allows you to see how many of your followers viewed your story, which specific ones viewed it and who/how many took a screenshot. Those features are a useful form of data because it allows you to know that your audience is consuming the information you are putting out and they are keeping that information through a screenshot.

Now that I’ve convinced you that Snapchat is the way to go, here are a couple of tips for establishing your brand’s voice on the app.

Before diving in it is always good to observe how other brands use Snapchat. Here’s a list of a few of the best brands to follow:

The Tonight Show: Starring Jimmy Fallon, Username: fallontonight

The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Username: ellen

Taco Bell, Username: tacobell

The White House, Username: whitehouse

Mashable, Username: mashable

Kate Spade New York, Username: katespadeny

A final tip would be to plan ahead. Add a Snapchat section to your content calendar and start planning the type of information you are going to share with your audience. Planning ahead will help ensure that you always have content to share on Snapchat, while also making sure that the things you are sharing align with your brand’s goals.

As long as you stay true to your brand’s mission and consider your audience’s preferences then you’re sure to be a pro at Snapchatting for your brand.

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