2015 was the year social media marketing finally started to mature. Advertisers really started investing in Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms paying close attention to best practices. By the end of the third quarter, Facebook’s advertising revenue had jumped 45% year on year to $4.3 billion, Twitter’s was up 60% to $513 million and Snapchat is already on-track to generate 100 million in revenue. From convincing publishers to set up Snapchat-specific newsrooms to charging brands as much as $750,000 for ephemeral vertical ads, Snapchat is holistically breaking new ground every day.
The #LastSelfie Snapchat campaign for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) pulled on the heartstrings of animal lovers everywhere. WWF used Denmark agency, UncleGrey, and Turkish agency, 41? 29!, to create and run this Snapchat campaign and won a 2015 Webby Award for their efforts. WWF used the idea that selfies disappear off Snapchat after 10 seconds to illustrate the disappearance of endangered species around the world. This increased WWF worldwide branding substantially and sharing that led to more donations for the month in just a few short days.
Politicians Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, John Kasich, and more took to Snapchat in 2015 to reach younger voters. Sanders used a “Snapshot,” Clinton was “just chilling,” and Ohio Governor John Kasich released a Snapchat ad mentioning his “awesome” ness. While other politicians have used social media to promote themselves, this is the first election cycle where politicians are marketing themselves through Snapchat. In October, Sony Pictures became the first brand to purchase its own standalone Discover channel to promote its James Bond: Spectre film. Victoria’s Secret unclasped fans’ excitement for its December annual fashion show by asking Snapchat followers to draw their own fantasy bra with the photo-sharing application’s doodle features.
As you can see from my examples above, Snapchat’s growth seems inevitable. The reasoning behind this growth is that Snapchat is seen more like messaging and less like marketing-- it evangelizes 2-way conversations, it’s authentic and its customer service capabilities appear endless. Coca Cola is a great example of this and uses Snapchat very successfully by tailoring its add content to the messaging app. I will be the first one to admit there is no taking over Facebook and Twitter, but it looks like these social media giants may have to make room for a third new and differentiated platform in the marketing arena.