This is a guest post from TBS member and course creator, Amanda Williams of A Dangerous Business.
Snapchat: The hot social media network that is no longer just the domain of inappropriate photos sent between friends. The social network launched in 2011 but has grown by leaps and bounds in the past year alone. Today, Snapchat reports more than 150 million daily active users, making it a more popular social network than Twitter.
In case you’re not familiar with Snapchat, here’s the basic gist: You can take photo and video “snaps,” add doodles and emojis, and then either send them directly to friends or add them to what Snapchat calls “My Story.” Your story is a collection of all your snaps from the last 24 hours. You can add clips of up to 10 seconds long to this story to… well, tell a story!
You’ll find many travel bloggers on Snapchat for a variety of reasons. Below you’ll find the top five reasons why travel bloggers are using Snapchat (and why you should consider it, too).
Reasons travel bloggers should be on Snapchat
1. It has a huge, active community
According to Bloomberg, Snapchat now surpasses Twitter in terms of daily active users. More than 150 million people log in to the app each day, and they are watching more than 10 billion videos – higher than the number of videos that are viewed on Facebook each day.
A large percentage of this active community falls in the younger generation, too. In fact, Snapchat itself says that “on any given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year-olds in the United States.” Which means that if your primary audience falls into the 18-34 age range, chances are a good portion of your readers are using Snapchat, too.
Travel bloggers on Snapchat will find a big, active audience that is ready to connect to you and your brand.
2. All the big brands are using it
If you’ve ever logged into Snapchat out of curiosity, you’ve probably noticed stories from major brands like ESPN, People magazine, Mashable, National Geographic, and more. (You can head over to the “Discover” section to check out all the huge brands with ongoing snap stories.)
Marketers have recognized the potential of Snapchat, and you’ll find all the big brands and celebrities using it these days. This goes for the travel industry, too. You can follow everyone from Travel + Leisure to Matador Network to Lonely Planet.
Just because lots of brands are using it doesn’t mean you have to, of course. But the quick adoption of Snapchat by so many brands proves that it’s seen as a valuable social network to be part of.
3. It’s quick and easy
The appealing thing about Snapchat is that it’s made to be an unfiltered, unedited medium. You aren’t expected to (or even really supposed to) spend time carefully editing and curating the content you post to your Snapchat story; it’s meant to be raw and in-the-moment.
This makes it one of the quickest and easiest social networks to use when you’re on the road. Instead of carefully editing photos for Instagram or video clips for YouTube, you can just relax and be yourself on Snapchat.
4. Connect with your audience on a more personal level
Because Snapchat is meant to be quick and current, it gives you an opportunity to connect with your audience on a very personal level. Not only can you connect with them one-on-one by asking questions and having them send you snaps directly, but you can also give them a behind-the-scenes look at your life (either on the road or at home). You don’t have to be as polished on Snapchat, meaning you can let your audience see you as a real person instead of just an online persona.
And, since Snapchat users are extremely active in the app, you can also get a lot more feedback and interaction from your audience than you might on other networks like Twitter or Facebook.
5. The opportunity for creativity is endless
Whether you decide to curate fun trivia like the travelfacts account, host giveaways, or have your followers vote on places you should go, there’s a lot of opportunity for creativity as Snapchat continues to grow and evolve.
Some bloggers, like TBS’s own Cailin O’Neil, are even adding Snapchat takeovers to the list of things they offer to brands during partnerships. (To read an interview with Cailin about how to do this, check out our Bloggers, Brands and Tourism Boards: A Guide to Successful Partnerships course!)
One reason bloggers shouldn’t be on Snapchat
If it’s just not for you…
As with everything in the world of travel blogging, not everything is going to work for every blogger. If your audience isn’t using Snapchat, or if you’re not comfortable talking to your phone at random in public, or if you just can’t handle yet another social network, then maybe Snapchat isn’t for you.
I would still suggest giving it a try if you haven’t. But don’t feel like you have to fall in love with it, just because other people are.
If you’d like some further reading about Snapchat, check out these posts:
And don’t forget to check out Travel Blog Success’ course, Bloggers, Brands, and Tourism Boards. This comprehensive resource on pitching partnerships and executing campaigns now also features advice from Snapchat pro, Cailin O’Neil.