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Snapchat for Marketing and Customer Engagement .pdf

Original filename: Snapchat for Marketing and Customer Engagement.pdf
Author: Bhavesh Rami

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How Travel Brands can use Snapchat for Marketing and
Customer Engagement

A gazillion people using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. every
day proves that social media is not a fad. With the whole world using it, why should the
travel industry miss out, as it’s impossible to not be impacted by the social media
phenomenon. Direct mail, trade shows, website updates, Facebook and Twitter posts
may have been the best steps to market your travel company according to you, but the
world has moved on!
The humongous effect of social media marketing on the tourism industry cannot be
denied. It should definitely be an essential part of any travel company’s marketing
strategy. While, a lot of companies have been using tools like Facebook, Twitter and

Instagram, there is another less-talked about tool that has great potential for businesses
– Snapchat.

What is Snapchat?
If you are unfamiliar with this app, here is a brief: Snapchat is a mobile messaging
application that is widely used to share text, videos, photos, drawings etc. The messages
self-destruct within a couple of seconds. Snapchat Stories, on the other hand, is a
compilation of videos or images which last for 24 hours and thus can be viewed for
more than one time. Regardless of its brevity, Snapchat’s attributes have attracted
many leisure as well as business travellers to share their travel stories on this platform.
This is why travel brands have started experimenting with this app.
Although it is not as popular as Facebook or Twitter yet, it’s growing fast. Travel
marketers should be mindful of it as it would help keep a track of consumer behaviour
which in turn shapes future media consumption trends as well as marketing

Reinventing travel marketing
With 120 million active users using this downloadable app, Snapchat is one of the
fastest growing phone applications. The ‘laptop lifestyle’ almost forced the millennials
to embrace the social platforms over the last couple of years. Thus, the young
professionals are more interested in revamping the travel-agency business through
creative ways which challenges the traditional marketing model.

A new way to communicate with your customers
‘Our Story’ launched in July 2014, allows the Snapchat users to submit the photos and
videos within any geographically defined area. The curated snaps can then be created
into a montage which can be viewed by everyone on Snapchat. Be it Holiday festivities
or the World Cup opening ceremony, ‘Our Story’ has been used to share the moments.

These slice-of-life shares over an audio visual medium definitely create more impact
than theoretical explanations.
Content sharing through Snapchat comes much naturally to the travel industry owing to
its visual nature. Thanks to the Our Story feature, the interactions between the app and
the travel industry marketing are likely to increase. The geo-filtering ability of the app
makes it relevant for mega-events.
It is easy to evaluate what kind of content is being accepted and what’s not on Snapchat
and thus can be easily changed as and when required. Both B2C and B2B travel brands
have started exploring Snapchat as a new means to target potential customers on social

Fast-paced content creation
Marketing campaigns for social media need to go through the rigmarole of approval and
similar issues before publishing which is not the case with Snapchat. The content
withers away in 24 hours which gives way to the scope for creating new content. As a
travel agent, you can thus share multiple events, promotional offers etc every day while
keeping your customers engaged. In fact, even if something wrongly gets posted on
Snapchat unintentionally, it will get deleted in 24 hours, which is why creating
promotional or exclusive content is by no means expensive. Moreover, given the brevity
of the snaps and videos, you do not need to invest too much time in creating high
quality content.
If you want to deliver “social first” content”, for instance, while showcasing a
destination or an event, Snapchat is a very useful app.

What makes Snapchat tick?

There are a few psychological factors behind the explosion
of Snapchat. Curiosity is a strong factor that engages
Snapchat users. The notifications in the app automatically
arouse curiosity. In Snapchat, you have to get engaged in
order to see the notification which eventually helps to build
a relationship with the user. This comes from the fear of
missing out as the snaps or videos are not available forever
unlike the other social media options.
Knowing that something interesting or new might be missed
if not checked in time, drives the users towards increased
engagement on Snapchat. Operant conditioning which is
basically a type of positive reinforcement creates a certain feeling of happiness or
excitement and this makes them wait eagerly for the next notification.

6 smart tips for using Snapchat from TravelCarma:
1. Give a brief sneak peak of your new products/services
2. Reward travellers with coupons
3. Include last minute offers for attracting more travellers
4. Release exclusive videos like “behind the scenes”
5. Time out your posts strategically
6. Run interesting prizes or sweepstakes

The flipside
Travel marketers must evaluate before starting their promotion on Snapchat. It is not
always necessary that all travel agencies will find this app an effective way to target
consumers. As this app skews young audience, the marketing strategy of the travel
agents should thus very specifically look into the overall digital strategy to create a
meaningful online presence on Snapchat.

Many users still find Snapchat a new concept to follow and it makes it difficult for those
users to find the brands on the same. Cross promotion, thus is an essential part of
Snapchat handling if you need to create a strong audience base.
Moreover, as the app collects only the age, email and telephone contact number of the
customer, the advertising targeting capabilities becomes restricted unlike the other
social media platforms which gather much more information. Adding to this, the toolset
for analyzing the limited data is not an intuitive interface. However, all this should
improve in the future as the app is relatively new and is evolving. Remember Facebook
in its early years?

Wrapping up
Snapchat is a comparatively young social platform which still entails some obstacles.
Interestingly, the core audience is young, engaged and believes in global connectivity.
Brands like Naritiv, Marriott, Disneyland etc. are very much active on the app and their
stories matter.
Although not all travel brands are using it, they are monitoring Snapchat’s evolution as it
could be a very promising platform for paid advertisement. With live events shown from
the perspective of the tourists, yet not being a mass media, Snapchat is sure to influence
the travel marketing and travel agency trends in near future.
If you have young travel customers, they are likely to be on Snapchat. And if you target
Millennials, Snapchat is definitely worth a shot!
TravelCarma is an experienced Travel Technology
brand powering 200+ Travel Companies worldwide
with B2C/B2B Online Reservation Systems, BackOffice, Mid-Office and Access to Global
Inventory. Visit our website or get in touch with us
on sales@travelcarma.com to find out how we can help your travel business.

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