Can You Really Use Snapchat for SEO?

Written by: Jason Bayless | February 22, 2017

As one of the most promising social networks in 2016, Snapchat has been capturing the imagination of search engine optimization professionals, and it is easy to understand why. According to statistics released by corporate in February 2016, the network recorded nearly 10 billion video views on a daily basis.

For SEO practitioners and online marketers, Snapchat seems like the right network to tap; however, this is not a traditional social media channel. Unlike Facebook, Twitter and other social networks that are naturally inclined towards promoting websites, it exists in a world where the web is only secondary to its native mobile app.

The marketing and business potential of Snapchat is considerable, but it requires a certain strategic approach. Here is what you need to know about Snapchat from an online marketing point of view.

Snapchat Audiences

Your average Snapchat users tends to be very young and married to his or her mobile device. There are about 500 million Snapchat stories being created on the network on a daily basis, and the rate of active monthly users is about 200 million.

The most important statistic that you need to remember is that 30 percent of American Millennials are on this network. If your brand, product or service does not meet the interests of this young population, Snapchat is not going to be a good marketing platform for you.

The good news for marketers is that the average Snapchat user feels very comfortable with online transactions, particularly with regard to purchasing digital goods, ordering local services and making online payments.

How Snapchat Works for Marketing

Anonymity was an initial allure of Snapchat, but that has largely subsided over the years; users are now visible and can be identified so that they can join groups, make friends and interact with each other. The content is still ephemeral if you want it to be; pictures, videos, audio, and even chat messages do not stick around in the network for more than a day.

The ephemeral nature of content on Snapchat is one of the attractive features of the network because it invites creativity and allows content producers to gauge the immediate impact of their creations.

Snapchat does not shy away from marketing and advertising; however, traditional SEO will not work on this channel. Businesses that uses for marketing are interested in the following achievements:

Audience Engagement and Brand Awareness

The most common strategy being used by major brands such as General Electric and the New York Times is to publish Snapchat Stories that push the content duration limits and can be seen for 24 hours. This is akin to a television commercial; in fact, content can be recycled but it is not a very good idea to showcase it often.

Simply sharing Stories on Snapchat is not a smart strategy because this is not a social network to be treated as an echo chamber. You really have to be a good neighbor and try to engage with your audience. If you operate a website that sells digital downloads, you need to be prepared to field questions and respond to comments about the Stories you share; if you are featuring a new game, you can certainly expect to see requests to share screenshots.

Social Outreach

Communications on Snapchat tend to be very casual and human; this makes it an ideal platform for social outreach. If you are the principal of a law firm that was recently engaged on a charitable project, that is exactly what Snapchat audiences would be interested in. If you are a dressmaker, a good idea would be to share Snapchat Stories about social events where your creations have been worn.

The Snapchat Bottom Line

In the end, you might not be able to attract direct traffic to a website via Snapchat marketing campaigns; however, you will be able to offer discounts, flash coupons, showcase exclusive content, and be friendly to your prospects and existing customers.