Here are some stories for you.
Ian (@ianxcarlos) is working on a new book. He’s drinking iced coffee to help stay up and edit his latest chapter. From the looks of the strategically-placed princess emoji, the coffee is royalty to him. The next morning, he eats scrambled eggs with ketchup and pancakes with strawberries on the side.
Ellie (@elliciarose) just had a baby. His name is Ezra. “She can’t even” when she sees her partner holding the baby for the first time. I “can’t even” because that was the name I suggested! I haven’t gotten him a baby gift yet, but I am now eternalizing him in a blog post about Snapchat. When he’s 16, that will be even cooler than the dinosaur onesie I’m considering buying for him.
Snapchat user @ianxcarlos
Stephanie (@heylookitskibbe) has a new summer Thursday ritual: visiting the ice cream truck outside of her Midtown NYC office during her lunch break. Her coworkers don’t look like they approve. She got herself a giant chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich and it looks EPIC. The panorama of the truck on the street made me momentarily homesick for NYC. Moreover: it makes me want to walk around the corner to Little Man Ice Cream and get myself a cookie sandwich!
These are just a few snippets from the “Stories” section of Snapchat, the popular app millennials are using to share daily updates about their lives . They’re stories created by friends of mine from college or growing up or grad school. These are friends I may not necessarily talk to daily, weekly, or even monthly. We may or may not be friends on Facebook, even. But I still feel connected to them through these little insights into the (sometimes mundane, sometimes exciting) moments of their days. Did I mention that any individual photo or video in a story is only visible for 24 hours? The ephemeral nature of these stories gives them a sense of urgency and emotional weight.
Creating stories like this is useful for more than just keeping in touch with friends. Brands are using this feature as an opportunity to connect with their fanbase on an even more personal level. Present followers with a story and then they connect that to their own lives. Folks love “behind the scenes” snippets. They love connecting faces and people to brands. This sort of marketing works.
I followed the live feed from Coachella on Snapchat the weekend of April 18. (40 million other people did, too!) The feed was hosted by Snapchat, but possibly sponsored by Coachella itself. Hundreds of “our stories” images and videos were presented on a curated channel of user-submitted content from all around the big event. They did it again at Electric Daisy Carnival, and again in early May when a live feed from the UK’s election was featured. I watched 230 seconds of people explaining why they voted, where they were from, or just snaps from walking up to the polling station. I wasn’t there. I’m not even on the same continent. But I felt completely connected to those people and excited that they, too, were participating in their civic duties. This geo-targeted storytelling means that Snapchat users are engaged with content that’s branded and personal, lively, and in-the-moment. Right now, Berlin and Nairobi are featured cities. I was just able to be inside of Berlin’s subway and then listening to the Berlin Orchestra within 30 seconds—incredible!
With Snapchat giving us the tools to market in a different, more personal fashion, we’re making recommendations on how to use the platform to reach particular target audiences. We’re excited to use the app to drive more awareness, more interactions, and, of course, more website traffic and revenue for our clients.
Want to learn more? Here are some resources for your reading pleasure:
Snapchat Murders Facebook (Organized Wonder)
The Secret Psychology of Snapchat (Nir Eyal)
How to explain Snapchat to your parents (The Verge)
—by Sara Grossman
Sara Grossman is a Floridian-New Yorker now residing in Denver and the newest member of the WideFoc.us team. When she isn’t busy thinking in spurts of 140 characters, you can find Sara enjoying live music, planning her next travel adventure, and trying to make her Mini Schnauzer (pictured in a Snapchat above) famous on Instagram!