No hiding from Snap Map feature

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I admit: I have little to no interest in Snapchat. I’m 37; I’m too old, right? Well, apparently not. According to studies of Snapchat usage, users are ‘primarily millennials’. Technically, I just scrape in – just! Although I still maintain I have far too many grey hairs to be sticking bunny ears and cat whiskers on my selfies.


Despite my personal lack of interest (I should reassure you that I do cover all other social media bases), I find the app intriguing from a professional point of view. In the space of five years, it has hit 10 billion daily video views and 166 million daily active users. If you’re a brand that’s targeting millennials (me included!), you should ignore Snapchat at your peril.


There’s now even more reason to embrace the bright yellow ghost. Snapchat has recently upped its game by adding a ‘Snap Map’ feature – in a nutshell, it allows users to find out what their friends are up to and where. By pinching the main screen, you can access the Snap Map which has ‘ActionMoji’ versions of your contacts laid out on a map screen. It tells you what they’re posting from various locations, allowing you to start a conversation with them right there.


Yes, it’s essentially become a social GPS, which has understandably sent certain quarters into a spin. Surprisingly, the fallback setting is what they’re calling ‘Ghost Mode’, meaning you have to switch the Snap Map on to allow people to see where you are when you’re posting image and video content – opting in, rather than opting out. But, while it does raise valid questions about personal security, for those brands that have chosen to embrace the world of Snapchat, it provides a wealth of opportunity to reach the millennial market and gain valid insight into their behaviour – something that marketers would pay good money for.


So, how can you capitalise on Snap Map? Firstly, you can use it to learn more about your Snapchat audience. Building in-depth customer personas is a vital part of a comprehensive comms and content strategy. If you don’t know who you’re speaking to, how on earth are you supposed to engage with them in a meaningful way? The new heat map allows you to see the highest concentration of activity which, if monitored, can inform on the best places for offline activity, as well as helping you decide where to place geofilters – special overlays that communicate the “where and when” of a snap in a fun way. There’s more: Snap Map gives you the chance to perform basic geo-located listening. For example, if you’re a retailer you can find out if people are snapping in store. In addition, you can find out whether competitors are getting more snaps than you; what kind of demographic is in store snapping; and how your brand is being perceived when they’re posting a snap. Priceless analysis.


Persona development and analytics aside, brands can also use the feature to enable fans to see where they are, while allowing them to encourage fans and influencers to use the feature when they’re engaging with the brand (i.e. a launch event). What’s not to love about Snap Map from a marketing perspective?


Okay, as a parent I’ll be making sure the fallback mode is permanently switched on (I admit she’s only two, but the sentiment is there); however, as a professional, I’ll be mining this feature for all it’s worth to help inform digital and non-digital activity for relevant clients. Snapchat has spoken. Facebook, it’s over to you.


If you’d like to map out your social strategy, drop us a line on 0161 941 4252, or email us at [email protected]