At this point, you are probably feeling pretty confident about how to use various social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in your inbound marketing efforts.
What about Snapchat?
Snapchat is an app that can be downloaded to an iPhone or android device. The user can then chat with friends through pictures, images and captions. Kind of like texting but with pictures and video. And it’s spread like wildfire.
As of April 2016, according to Comscore, Snapchat is being used by 69% of all smartphone users between the ages of 18-24. What’s more is that it is also gaining popularity with adults--nearly 38% of smartphone users between the ages of 25-34 are also using the app.
So, how exactly, you might ask, is a video and image chat app useful for recruiting?
Remember how today’s students are interested in first-hand accounts of living on campus and going to class? Well, with Snapchat, students can see the day-to-day activities of students on any given campus. And, according to NBC News, with features tailor-made to reflect a specific school’s mascot and school logos that users can overlay on their pictures, it’s a perfect recruiting tool.
Another interesting feature of the app is that Snapchat posts “disappear” after 24-hours so there is urgency behind the posts and many students check Snapchat hourly. This can be appealing to marketers since they have a higher likelihood of their post being seen in the moment.
Here’s how you can use Snapchat:
- Enlist current students to post on behalf of the university
By using actual students rather than your marketing team, you can truly capture various aspects of campus life. Emily Truax, a social media manager for Boston University points out on snapchat strategy.com that that the marketing staff can’t be everywhere, but an intern can attend that 10pm event on a Friday and snapchat some images out. Just make sure you use a student you can trust!
- Create a contest
This is similar to above, but with a contest, you are going to get all kinds of posts from all different aspects and locations on campus. What better way to show how diverse life on your campus can be? Institutions can design a specific geo-filter with a school logo or mascot, set up some guidelines and let students loose on it. Baruch College ran a contest in 2015. See their guidelines here.
- Use it to personalize athletic recruitment
According to Time magazine, college athletic recruiters from The University of Kansas and Eastern Washington University also use Snapchat to communicate with prospective students. When you send a message on Facebook or Twitter, it is broadcast to the public, with Snapchat, the message is sent directly to you, and athletes see it as a personal and prestigious communication.
- To advertise events at your university
Snapchat’s versatility can even go beyond just reaching prospective students. Colleges are using it to get the word out about concerts, athletic events and more to students on campus. USA Today reports that a survey from Sumpto revealed that 77% of college students use SnapChat at least once a day, so it’s the perfect way to spread even last minute news.
So how long with Snapchat be popular before the next big thing takes over? There is no way to tell. But some industry insiders predict it could be around for a while, becoming as prolific as Facebook. In fact, according to Bloomberg, advertisers from all types of industries are using the $16 billion app to reach that elusive under 30 group. Are you using Snapchat in recruiting? If not, better get snapping.
For further reading:
Librarian Enumerations: 5 Universities Killing it on Snapchat
Time: Snapchat Grows Up: How College Officials are Using the App
Unsure of whether your marketing efforts are having any results?