The other night I got a reminder of how old I am and the speed in which smart phone applications have hit the market and become successful with certain age groups. I was speaking with my college freshman daughter and somehow got on the topic of Facebook. I could hear her eyes roll over the phone.
“Dad! Facebook is for old people. If you want to know what my generation is looking at, check out Snapchat.”
I have heard murmurings of this application but really didn’t know much about it. So after a little research I found that Snapchat certainly has a huge following, maintaining an audience of more than 100 million users along with more than 350 million snaps sent per day.
Snapchat is a photo messaging application developed by Stanford University students. Using the app, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. These sent photographs and videos are known as “Snaps”. Users set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps (1 to 10 seconds), after which they will be hidden from the recipient’s device and deleted from the Snapchat server.
So is Snapchat something for your mobile food business? Here are a few things to consider before adding this app to your marketing tool belt:
- Snapchat works for food trucks that aren’t scared of engagement. Sure it’s a new and exciting to have more personal-feeling communication with customers, but the flip side is the potential for negative backlash.
- Snapchat is really best leveraged by food trucks that already have a strong social media following. How else to promote a new social media audience than through the current?
- Food trucks should only use Snapchat when they have real news. Don’t test whether or not people care through Snapchat–be sure they do before you Snap.
A few other content tips:
- Share exclusive sneak peeks: It may seem counterintuitive, but keep some news exclusive to a particular outlet–your outlet-specific fan base will become that much more loyal.
- Showcase contests or promotions: Test a few giveaway concepts to see what works best for your particular brand.
- Distribute discount codes and special dining offers: Leverage Snapchat’s time-sensitive nature with limited time promotions.
One thing I have learned, with its growing user base and trend-setting mode of photo sharing, Snapchat isn’t going to disappear anytime soon. So if you are looking to gain a foothold into millennial consumers, it’s time for your food truck to get on board with Snapchat.