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Snapchat challenges sexting reputation

Snapchat challenges sexting reputation June 14, 2015Leave a comment

In this edition of Digital Clinic, our resident digital strategist Campbell X explores how Snapchat is countering its unsavoury image as a sexting platform, and gives five top tips to on using it to build your audience, brand and business.

Snapchat has a reputation that doesn’t make it a likely candidate for social media marketing.

It is a mobile phone app that causes parents anxiety and is more commonly known for the sharing of sexually explicit material. Recently it has updated its guidelines to counteract this “dodgy” reputation.

Research has shown that only 1.6 per cent of people on Snapchat have used it primarily for sexting, though 14.2 per cent have used it for this purpose at some time.

Snapchat is the most popular medium for sending images and videos and its appeal is that it is ephemeral. The videos or images last for only one to 10 seconds, and videos can only be viewed when you keep pressing ‘play’.

After the recipient has viewed the ‘Snap’, Snapchat claims they are deleted from its servers. Snapchat recently included ‘Stories’ in an attempt, I think, to attract marketeers. Stories last for 24 hours so have some traction in the way Snaps did not.

Snapchat has now attracted more marketeers with the ‘Discover’ feature where people on the app can discover stories from global brands. This also generates ad revenue for Snapchat.

All these global brands are interested in Snapchat because it is the only social media app that is majorly skewed to a teenage demographic, and millenials dominate: 45 per cent are between 18 to 24 years old. In addition 70 per cent of its users are women.

article template - Digital Clinic Snapchat

One of Snapchat’s qualities which appeals to marketeers is that authenticity is more valuable than slickness. So if you are not a global brand, how can Snapchat work for you?
Five ways you can use Snapchat to engage with your audience

1. Tell a visual story

You can tell a story in 15 seconds on a video or in a montage of photographs.


2. Engage your audience

You can ask your audience to send Snaps/Stories of them using your product, or even telling their own Stories based on your work.

3. Run competitions

Set up a contest on Snapchat to get your audience or customers to engage with your content. Think of really cool prizes that will appeal to them.


4. Keep it live

If you have a live event, you can create stories for that event on the day and encourage participants to do the same, creating a conversation about the event.


5. Backstage access

Create stories or videos from behind the scenes at an event, or your film project or any other project that you are working on, and share the creative process as it happens to your audience.

Snapchat image credit: Wikimedia
author_template - Campbell XCampbell has been a web producer and social media strategist/analyst for 15 years. She has worked on award-winning campaigns and with clients such as the National Theatre, Channel 4 TV, St Martins School of Art and LUX. Find out more about Campbell X at or on Twitter: @powwowsocial

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