All of our agents are starting to settle into something of a rhythm with Snapchat, posting enough to at the very least engage their audience, if not much more. This tells me that they are getting something out of the experiment, even if it’s just personal enjoyment. However, this got me thinking about where this will eventually go…
Allow me to first refer back to the hype curve I discussed in week one:
In my not-expert opinion, Snapchat is rapidly approaching the peak of this curve, meaning there are likely some major changes down the road. The app has proven massively popular with consumers, and that popularity alone has led advertisers to sink huge amounts of money into Snapchat marketing.
However, anyone who has tried using Snapchat for marketing knows how very few reporting features it has. It would seem that the company is focused on raising money and winning as many users as possible while slowly allowing large companies to test out and use marketing features.
If you’re a single user looking to market yourself (like an agent, for instance), it isn’t easy to track engagement. The lack of reporting features means that some brands have to resort to trusting screen shots of engagement and other indirect methods for inferring the success of their campaign.
It is the sheer number of users and rate of growth that is spurring companies to pour money into Snapchat marketing. However, just as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter learned, companies will eventually want an easy way to track ROI.
This is all supposition on my part, but I think it is important to call into question what we are hoping for when we post content on Snapchat. This led me to cut down my typical barrage of questions to just one this week:
How are you measuring success? Is it by new followers, replies to snaps or something else?
Here were the agent’s answers:
“I guess by number of views and number of responses back.. is there a better way?”
“I measure success by the number of people who actually view my snaps. Replies are great too but I’ve noticed that my friends/followers tend to just view what I post and not say anything.”
“I’m measuring success by the numbers of opens rather than followers. I’ve also gotten more follower request from the GhostCodes but they seem like trollers rather than solid followers.”
“Hmm… neither… if I can find a voice that is sustainable and makes sense to continue, that will be a success!”
In other words, we are all using some fairly uninformative metrics to help us decide what to post.
I think it’s important at some point to make a distinction between succeeding on a platform and getting a return on that success. After all, all of the goals stated above, new followers, replies, and views, are only telling us that people are using the app for its intended purpose. But what if I’m using the app in hopes that it helps me eventually sell a listing?
Even if you’re only chasing metrics within the app, I think Snapchat is useful as a branding tool, but only if you’re willing to make it part of a larger social media brand. As has been said many times, Snapchat is about being genuine, so your account has to sell you as much as your product. The hope there is that, if enough people enjoy your presence on social media, word of mouth should eventually get you leads. Of course, much like Snapchat, this is difficult to track effectively. The next year of Snapchat will be an interesting one.