Young smiling woman taking pictures with a mobile touch screen phone

A Fireside (Snap)Chat

During the 1930’s and 40’s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt lead a series of nationwide radio broadcasted talks entitled Fireside Chats. During these chats, he spoke about a number of difficult subjects from the recession to World War II. These broadcasts were incredibly influential during Roosevelt’s presidency not only in building rapport with the American public during uncertain and desperate times, but also in lifting American morale, dispelling political rumors and explaining his own policies comprehensibly.

And while I’m sure you’re all very impressed with our extensive knowledge of American history, there is also a part of you that’s thinking “…ok, but what does that have to do with social media, Snapchat (the social app with the fastest growing user base) and most importantly, what does it have to do with me and my business?”

Everything, my friends. And here is why. President Roosevelt wasn’t just a fantastic radio communicator. He didn’t just happen to stumble upon this gold mine means of immediate personal connection to the American people. Roosevelt was, very simply, an interpersonal innovator of his time. He harnessed the media in a way that had never before been utilized to present his programs and ideas directly to the American public and in doing so, redefined his relationship with his listeners, the American people.

Social media has presented businesses with a similar, if not even more advanced fireside chat model. For the first time, companies have the ability to reach beyond the anonymity of a one-dimensional, one-sided advertisement and connect with your customers directly. Socially.

You are more than the products you deliver or the services you sell. Your customers can get to know your personality, sense of humor, knowledge of your particular trade (and so on and so forth).

Snapchat in particular boasts over 100 million daily users. Of those 100 million, a massive percentage are under the age of 25. While Facebook’s age median continues to rise, Generation Z is moving to Snapchat, and if you want to follow in the footsteps of President Roosevelt, here’s where you really need to pay attention. Snapchat’s model of quick several second videos and pictures mirror the attention span of the next generation’s tolerance for your business’s advertising.

So right now you might be thinking “Snapchat is fun for marketing experimentation and all, but how do I convert these viewers into actual customers?”

Let us stop you right there for a second. Innovative marketing happens before the mass majority adopts it into their standard business practices. If you want to do what everyone else is doing in an over-saturated industry, then think with the masses. If you want to be an innovative marketing communicator, you need to do what the mass majority hasn’t.

At one point, Facebook was nothing but a silly way to connect with college coeds and stalk your ex-boyfriend. Now, it’s one of the biggest companies in the world. It’s power and reach for your business, as well as its ability to adapt and grow as a platform, are virtually limitless. Instagram was once merely an app to share silly pictures of your latest meal and that particularly pretty sunset. Now with Facebook’s new advertising platform, it’s not only your brand’s visual voice but also a potential lead generator using Instagram’s image-based marketing and Facebook’s analytical reporting.

Snapchat may have started out as a simple way to share a several second #selfie, but it’s quickly becoming a platform where users go to digest news, culture and social media in real time. Making customers feel connected to your brand while also offering exclusive time-sensitive content is what sets this particular platform apart from any other. You have the ability to tell your brand’s story, showcase company culture, introduce a new product, give a behind-the-scenes tour, and above all, allow your customers an inside look at who your brand is personally.

And if you can find a way to make your audience listen and allow them to connect with you on Snapchat’s interpersonally innovative platform, you not only will have a dedicated fanbase but also a brand new set of loyal customers who will just keep coming back for more.