I was all ready to start this column off by apologizing for how behind the times I was with Snapchat. I had my excuse ready (I celebrated my third 29th birthday last year, so I just don’t catch on to trends like I used to) and I had my story straight (everyone is using Snapchat, so let’s talk about it).
However, I have since discovered, via conversations with my friends and family, that nobody under 25 is using Snapchat. And, seeing as how our readership tends to be, well, umm, past their third 29th birthday, I actually don’t think I’m as late to the Snapchat party as I once feared.
For all you over-30 readers out there like me, let me explain. Snapchat is a mobile app that lets you send photos and videos to your friends, and then immediately deletes them after they’ve been received. As you may have guessed, its first claim to fame was sexting.
But hold on. Don’t leave yet. I promise the app has since gotten a reputation for much more, shall we say, classier things.
You may have heard about it in 2013 when you watched in shock and horror as the founder of the company turned down a $3-billion dollar cash offer from Facebook, which was looking to buy the app. I confess, I am just as guilty as hearing billion with a b and wondering, “What they heck are they thinking?! Take the MONEY!”
I now admit that I was probably wrong.
I mean, even though I did see how fun the app was for things that didn’t involve X-rated pics, I didn’t understand how Snapchat could possibly make any money on what’s basically glorified text messaging — certainly not billion with a b money.
And honestly, while I still don’t understand how the founders are making any profits, I can now see how they plan to take over the world.
You see, Snapchat has added something called “Stories” that users can share — a sort of “send to all” feature that allows you to post things, which all of your followers can see for 24 hours.
I was forced to start looking at these “stories” when my best friend completely deactivated her Facebook (something about how it’s sort of like a cult and a bad TV show all wrapped into one) and thus started sharing her daily updates of her 1-year-old-boy solely on Snapchat. The kid is too cute to ignore, people. Seriously.
Then I realized, if they’re hooking me, they’re probably hooking others.
Snapchat has also launched something called Snapcash, which lets you transfer money through the app — and not just Bitcoin money either, real-life cash money. As Time explains, it’s “a service that allows friends to send money to each other by simply typing in a dollar amount and pressing send.”
But just in case you’ve started to think that none of this applies to you because you are not a teenager, stop, (Hammer Time). Companies from Taco Bell to the NBA are finding fun ways to use Snapchat, and your brand should be next.
Take the makeup store Sephora (user name: SephoraSnaps) for example. The company uses the app to post photos of new products, behind-the-scenes fun at their stores, and even used it as the sole way of sharing its Black Friday deals last year.
Or, if you’re looking for an even more confectionery-related account, check out Mondelez’s Sour Patch Kids Snapchat (user name: SourPatchSnaps). As FasCoCreate.com reports, “The brand enlisted Vine star Logan Paul to post a Snapchat ‘Story’ to the Sour Patch account (pictured above), incorporating the candy, and the candy's ‘first it's sour/then it's sweet’ device into his usual mix of online bromedy.”
The online magazine goes on to explain why the Snapchat strategy worked for Mondelez.
“The brand has the risk tolerance to try out a partnership with a new form of social celebrity. It also seems to recognize the platform’s unique place in consumers’ digital lives. Farrah Bezner, marketing director of Mondelez’s candy division, says “it’s a very personal way to connect with people and enables the brand to send them content one-on-one.”
So, get out there and set up an account already. If the Sour Patch Kids can do it, so can you.
I mean, from a marketing perspective, people under 25 are probably a target market for you and they’re definitely a target market for Snapchat, which should, in itself, be enough motivation.
But, that’s not even the best reason for starting a Lollipop Snapchat.
Candy companies should be signing up right now because Snapchat is still relatively new — at least compared to social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. So, A. it’s the perfect time to get the username you’ve always wanted, and B. it’s the perfect time to get on the app and experiment without feeling like everyone in the world is watching.
Plus, you’ll likely be among the first brands your users follow, giving you a chance to be more, shall we say, intimate with your fans.
So stop worrying about all those possible risque photos you might get, and create a truffles account already. Best case scenario, you create a whole new fan base for your product. Worst case scenario, well, like the app name implies, your messages get deleted in a snap, and everyone goes on with their lives.
As for Candy Industry Magazine, you know we couldn’t publish a column like this unless we walked the walk and snapped the snap. So, you can now find us at on Snapchat at CandyIndustry (pictured right). Tune in for sweet moments, glimpses of new products we love and live show coverage. And don’t worry, we always follow back.