If you've ever shared a self destructing picture or video with a friend, then you've probably used Snapchat. The now publicly traded company (Snap Inc.) had 150 million active users in June of 2016 and is still growing. But, did you know that Snapchat user watch 10 Billion videos (with a B) per day and share 9,000 photos per second? That's a lot of eye balls!
The early adopters in the app scene are the millennials. I myself fall into this category, although just barely being born in the early 80's. However, I do use Snapchat, both personally and for business. It's a fun and engaging way to share photos, tell stories, and create brand awareness. The nice part is that the photos and videos don't get stored on my mobile device and take up space, because they self destruct.
Marketing to millennials is all the rage. There's a lot of us and we like to buy stuff. Mostly, because it's so easy these days. I can search on my Amazon app and have just about anything I want delivered to my home the next day in a single click. Yet, like most people, we don't like ads just as much as the next person. So when it comes to marketing to millennials, you have to provide value.
Snapchat on the other hand, is more about creating brand awareness. Yes, they do have ads that get strategically placed in your friends stories, as well as sponsored content and filters. But as a Realtor, I find it much more effective to just be myself. If people like what I'm sharing, then they'll want to work with me.
However, I do use one cool trick to create brand awareness through their paid Geofilter platform. Basically, a Geofilter is an image overlay that appears in a defined area for a specific amount of time. Therefore, it works really well for anything event related. The cool part is, you don't have to be there for it to show up. In fact, for only $5 you can target a 500k square foot area just about anywhere for several hours.
Let me give you an example. Last weekend I sponsored an event called Wine on the Water. I paid for an ad in the program, and used a custom landing page in the call to action. Over the course of the weekend I received one unique visitor to that page on my website! I also created a custom Snapchat Geofilter which was available on Saturday for 5 hours, anywhere on the grounds. This cost me $5 and about 10 minutes to design.
My filter was "swiped" 154 times. Which means 154 people at the event took a photo or video and considered using my filter as an overlay. Out of those people 52 people thought it was good enough to use, so they selected it and shared it with their friends. The photo or video they sent to their friends combined to reach a total of 2,500 people! Pretty impressive considering I could have done with without showing up. Not to mention, there were only 1,400 people in attendance that day.
So what is my return on investment? It's hard to tell when you're talking about brand recognition. My intent was to create something cool enough that people would want to use it and share it. The benefit is that they see my logo and Bitmoji avatar. Will they every hunt me down when it's time to buy a house? Hard to say, but probably not.
I do believe brand recognition is important in the real estate industry. There are a ton of us Realtors out there. How we differentiate ourselves is ultimately what makes someone want to work with us or not. We live in a time where anyone can become a celebrity by posting a video online. And I believe those who aren't making an effort to create more visibility for themselves are going to be left behind.