Snapchat engages with consumers to reach the hearts of over 100 million daily active users. Snapchat an application launched in 2011 by Evan Spiegel a Stanford University graduate scored a win. Snapchat is a real competitor in the social media world. You might ask how big of a competitor is Snapchat? Well, the real answer to that question would lie within the offer of three billion dollars, an offer received from Facebook the current largest social media site. Snapchat is a real threat to the social media industry. The app connects with users directly. Allowing companies to deliver their brand’s message in a new innovative way. Just take for example Taco Bell’s campaign, the fast food company launched a Cinco de Mayo Snapchat lens, 224 million views later this campaign would go down as the most successful in the the app’s history.

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Gaining access to Snapchat is simple just download the free application on your smartphone. After the quick and effortless download, you will be guided through a simple account creation. You will need to provide your email address and password. After you complete your profile, learning the application is simple. However, I must warn you the geo filters within Snapchat make you feel like a kid again. With a quick and easy press on the screen, you can be a variety of things. From a frog to a baby anything goes on Snapchat. Now you may be wondering, what can I send on Snapchat? Well Snapchat is simple to use, you can record a 10-second story, a fun way to interact with your friends and family around the world. Want to connect with a celebrity or brand’s story? No problem, just add the user on Snapchat and they will be by your side all day providing you with the latest and greatest video feeds. You can skip or exit any story. Snapchat makes it easy to connect with others, if you want to make a phone or video call, with a press of a button Snapchat has your back. You can message anyone in real-time within the application. With fun stickers and a new innovative way forward Snapchat controls social media with users aged 13-24 who account for 81 percent of the users on the application.

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Snapchat can have a real impact on any organization looking to advertise to a teenage or young adult demographic. Only 1 percent of advertisers are currently using the application to promote their brand. According to Business of Apps, 45 percent of Snapchat college users would view Snapchat stories of a brand they didn’t know previously. Snapchat is proving to be the perfect medium for a new or established brand. However before getting your hopes up as a brand keep in mind that the advertisement does not come cheap. Brands are charged $750,000 per day for new ads according to Adweek. We may ask ourselves, does the hefty price tag pay for itself? Well taking a look at brands using Snapchat prove the application is valuable.

Just what are companies doing to take advantage of Snapchat. Besides generating awareness and interest in their brand, companies are using Snapchat to provide their audiences around the world with content using Snapchat stories. Yes, stories are being used by McDonalds the national fast food chain was the first company to pay snapchat to run a geo filter advertising campaign. McDonalds Snapchat campaign is a new way forward for the brand. McDonalds gained several thousand followers in a couple of days, allowing the brand to connect with users in a personal manner. McDonalds created a simple 36 second Snapchat story featuring basketball player, Lebron James. The brand was able to connect with users cheaply, by posting their story McDonalds reached their followers easily and promoted their brand. Besides short stories on Snapchat,  McDonalds takes advantage of geo filters. You can become a McDonald’s burger with a simple press of your screen. McDonalds isn’t the only brand reaching out to the young demographic. Other brands such as Seventeen Magazine see the bright path at the end of the tunnel. Want to be the magazine’s friend on Snapchat, don’t freak out you might just get a snap from a celebrity. An offer that is hard to resist.

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Brands such as bareMinerals are also taking advantage of the social media platform. Snapchat and bareMinerals launched a campaign to hit reach Snapchatters when they are having the worst dreadful moment. That moment when a “Zit Happens.” The company promotes Blemish Remedy, with a large female teen and millennial demographic, Snapchat is the brand’s fundamental social media tool for success. “Zit Happens” ads are being placed on the companies story in addition to their channel. A channel is a network within Snapchat where fans can engage directly with the brand. Also, the brand has created tutorials within their Snapchat to encourage their followers to use their products. One simple swipe on your smartphone and you can be applying Blemish Remedy in minutes. Below are some numbers involving this campaign, as you will notice user engagement is happening at an extraordinary level.

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All brands from small businesses to large corporations are jumping on board for the soon to be Snapchat evolution. NetHosting claims more than 400 million snaps are being sent per day. This is a number hard to resist for any company looking to reach a broad demographic. Recently Snapchat announced it would offer small business and individuals an on-demand geo filter. The starting price for these geo filters will be $5 and up based on the square feet of coverage. It is now easier than ever for any company to advertise using the application. From local family shops to national brands such as KFC, there is no better way to engage with your audience than a direct filter that connects the user with the brand. Many current Snapchat users might wonder, just how does Snapchat connect geo filters to my location? Well, the answer is simple, Yext a location company gathers information nationwide from applications such as the map application on your phone. In context, Yext can figure out your latitude and longitude coordinates all based on your phone’s applications. Snapchat also acquired Seene, a computer vision startup that would allow mobile users to make 3D selfies.

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Whether you are a user or a brand looking to expand your presence on social media. Snapchat proves to be an effective method to reach a broad audience. From large brands to local bloggers, Snapchat hits home when it comes to engagement.  Snapchat is the new fun innovative way forward for social media. Watch out Silicon Valley Snapchat is coming to take the title for the most creative social media application to date.

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References
Smith, C. (2016). 80 Amazing Snapchat Statistics. Retrieved September 29, 2016, from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/snapchat-statistics/

Crook, J., & Escher, A. (2015). A brief history of Snapchat. Retrieved September 29, 2016, from https://techcrunch.com/gallery/a-brief-history-of-snapchat/

Freier, A. (2015). Snapchat usage statistics and revenue – App Industry Insights. Retrieved September 29, 2016, from http://www.businessofapps.com/snapchat-usage-statistics-and-revenue/

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