Snap To It

One minor thing has changed since our post last week… ok make that major – FOOTBALL SEASON! Whether its college (go TarHeels! – Savannah) or professional (go Panthers! – Caroline), football fanatics love game day – and so does social media. I challenge you to find a news feed any weekend this fall that isn’t buzzing with up to the second scores, bets on who’s going to win, tailgate selfies, and field photos. And with the opening of the season, you may have actually noticed something different about one of your social media platforms this past weekend – Snapchat and its live college football stream. And while the feed was focused only on the Oregon Ducks, what the platform is doing, and has done, with the concept of live marketing is touchdown worthy.

It is more than evident the changes technology has induced in the marketing field within the past decade. With nearly every device now being “smart”, the amount of time consumers spend connected to the Internet, their apps, and their “friends”, it is no surprise that digital marketing is holding the reigns in the technology age. Using the Internet as its core promotional tactic, digital marketing engages consumers by allowing them to interact with the brand through digital mediums.

And from the digital mediums that exist, it is hard to argue that the social ones aren’t the most popular. With such, from digital marketing, has developed an even further specified category of marketing – social media marketing.

And as marketers have quickly noticed, the best thing about social media marketing, it allows for LIVE marketing – engaging consumers in real time either in person or through broadcast or social mediums.

Think about the last time you went to an event – you probably updated your status on Facebook, sent out a tweet – hashtaged the event, then used Instagram to upload a picture or video while you there – again more hashtags, and then used Snapchat to send more pictures and video throughout the night. Through all this, you were actively live marketing. Now think about all the other people who did the same thing, not to mention all the updates the brand itself promoted throughout the event.

Many social networks are particularly conducive for live marketing. Twitter is well known for its live commentary on events. Facebook continually host events on its Facebook Live feature.

However, one platform, Snapchat is changing the way people interact with digital live marketing. As Josh Constine describes in his blog’s title, Snapchat’s “Our Story” Is A Genius, Collaborative, Reinvention Of The Livestream. We have to agree. There is something this network is doing that makes live streaming much cooler for its users. If your new to the social media platform Snapchat, read an older post Caroline wrote to learn more about the platform and why it has become so special for certain marketers.

One key foundational difference between Snapchat and competing social networks is that the majority of other networks focus on making it possible for content to be available for everyone (included in your privacy settings) to see…forever. However, Snapchat has been built upon the idea of being privately social— the act of sharing content for a limited time to an individual or smaller group of individuals.

According to research on the platform, conducted by Sumpto (a marketing company that helps brands connect with college students), thirty-five percent of college students felt Snapchat gave them the most privacy. While Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram visibly keep everything you post, Snapchat deletes content after a period of time, and notifies you if people save an image or message you send. This feature takes away the accountability and social implications one might feel when posting to Facebook or Instagram.

This privacy aspect also encourages hyper usage of the network. Sumpto found 70% of college students reported posting on Snapchat at least once a day, while only 11% reported posting on Facebook with the same frequency.

When writing the last post on Snapchat, neither of us suspected the platform would give way to live streaming. However, this summer, the platform introduced a new feature called “Our Story”. You probably saw it on your Snapchat My Friends page labeled EDC Live (Electric Daisy Carnival) and the Rio Live 2014 (Football World Cup) events.

snapchatrio2014live

As seen above from the World Cup, soccer fans in the area were able to share their photos, helping to create a user collaborative live stream that those not in the direct area could watch around the world.

How does the “Our Story” work? The feature uses geo-location to identify users in the area and then allows them to share their pictures or videos, rather anonymously (no identification of their username or personal information), in a collective and public album. Snapchat comments, “We built Our Story so that Snapchatters who are at the same event location can contribute Snaps to the same Story. If you can’t make it to an event, watching Our Story makes you feel like you’re right there!”

If you are like us, you have probably already watched the live feeds that appeared yesterday, but if you haven’t, visit your Snapchat account right now to view the live streams. They were created for the Apple revealing and the NYC Fashion Week. In them you will find glimpses of the new Apple Watch and inside looks at the fall fashion collections. Oh, and in the NYC feed you will find a quick surprise appearance from Ryan Seacrest and two of the Jonas Brothers!

snapchat livestream NYFW and Cup

Snapchat’s turn to collaborative live streaming is a gold mine for marketers looking for opportunities to reach millennials. A marketer can now share their brand by sending their own snaps of the events to the live feeds, as well as learn more about the young audience attending the events.

So, what will we see from Snapchat in the future? I’m sure it will be out of the box. Until their next revealing, what events do you think Snapchat will deem stream worthy? Have you been at any of the events thus far where you have been able to stream your own snaps? Do you think Snapchat will give us the ability to create our own live streams in the future? Let us know in a comment below.

-Caroline Robinson & Savannah Valade

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