Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to send photos or videos to those in their network. These visuals are called “snaps,” and there are a variety of filters and effects users can apply—including the option to add text—that adds value to the platform and makes it more entertaining than simply sending the same content via text message. To share snaps, users can send them directly to individuals or groups of contacts. The crux of Snapchat is that each of these regular snaps is deleted by the platform in ten seconds.

Not all snaps are deleted so quickly, though. Individual Snapchat “stories” are compilations of all saved snaps within a 24-hour period. Once a user posts to his/her story, that timeline of photos and videos is visible to their contacts on the platform. After those 24 hours, the stories are deleted just like traditional snaps. Users can view their own story by visiting their profile. They may also view their contacts’ stories by clicking on “recent updates.” In October 2016, Snapchat announced it was adding additional capabilities, adding playlists and the new Discover feature.

Snapchat is a powerful marketing tool for a number of reasons. It’s a popular platform, boasting over 100 million daily users worldwide who snap over 400 million times per day. Besides tapping into that obvious reach, businesses can use Snapchat to post targeted videos to its followers, offer coupons or other promotions, introduce new team members or upcoming products, and host contests. Like fellow social media sites Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Snapchat is a valuable tool for engaging with an audience, building a social following, and further humanizing a brand.

There are many social media marketing tools listed on Martec Showcase designed to help marketers get the most out of the social media marketing and advertising.

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