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Lessons learned from politicians on Snapchat

Lessons learned from politicians on Snapchat

Friday 5 August, 2016
Snapchat is no longer just for moody millennials, as politicians here and abroad perfecting the art of electronic self promotion.
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With more than 100 million daily users, Snapchat is the place to be for businesses wanting to make an impression in the millennial marketplace. With these statistics it is surprising that more businesses aren’t rushing to take advantage of all the platform can offer.

It’s undeniable that since its launch Snapchat has evolved and now has a huge market impact. There are clear and undeniable benefits in businesses using the platform in their marketing mix. The key is knowing how to use the platform, because as we have seen with other social media platforms such as Twitter, misunderstanding the market can really hurt a campaign.

When I want to fine-tune my social media marketing, I turn to the most popular feeds to see what’s working – and what isn’t. Right now, I’ve been looking at the Snapchat feeds of politicians around the world to try and learn something new.

With political parties here and abroad taking to Snapchat to engage young voters, it pays to take some notes. Here are my three biggest takeaways on what we can learn when politics meets Snapchat.

 

Sponsored pictures can create lots of hype – if done right

Snapchat’s geofilter feature can be a great way to promote your brand to specific audiences. Based on advanced GPS technology, the geofilter gives users the option of displaying branded messages over their photos, as long as they’re in a certain location or attending an event.

An example of the geofilter in action springs to mind right away. During July’s federal election, the Australian Labor Party set up a sponsored geofilter at the campaign launch of Liberal competitor Malcolm Turnbull. Anyone attending the launch could choose to overlay his or her snaps with a pro-Labor, save Medicare message.

Although it might have upset a few conservative supporters, it was a clever way of using Snapchat’s geo-location features to spread their brand message. It just goes to show: a considered strategy can work wonders for your audience.

 

Add a bit of personality to your marketing

No-one likes a brand that’s devoid of emotion, and nowhere is that more important than in politics.

With the US elections in full swing, no-one knows this more than Hillary Clinton, who has been criticised for her robotic, emotionless demeanour. The US Presidential campaigns are fast heating up, the Clinton campaign knows that it needs to portray a warmer public image before the nation takes to the polls in November.

Clinton’s campaign has embraced Snapchat as a key element of her strategy, by sending 10-second behind the scenes updates of the campaign to her followers they are able to send control messages and share a different side to the Clinton. By using Snapchat, the campaign is able to present her in a warmer light and remove the angles and biases that mainstream press might impart.

So what can businesses learn from this? For one, it pays to be a little more open and show your audience things they’ve never seen before. Use Snapchat to give an insider view of your company. This approach works wonders.

Your campaign can backfire if you don’t choose your audience wisely

It is important to remember that using social media is not without risk! Social media audiences are volatile. Sometimes, your audience might not react to your filter in the way you expect and your hard work could fall flat. As with any successful marketing campaign, it’s important to consider the risks before you hit publish.

Yes, Labor had great success with their Snapchat debut but this doesn’t mean it will work for all parties – especially political parties that traditionally attract older voters.

The Liberal Party didn’t have much luck with their “Vote Liberal” filter, which was met with derision from young, tech-savvy social media users. As soon as the Liberals launched the filter, people started making fun of this attempt. Some scrawled the word “last” under the plea “vote Liberal”; others used the filter with a picture of Bill Shorten’s face. Either way, the Snapchat campaign didn’t succeed and was heavily critised. The Liberals misunderstood the audience and would have had greater success on a platform that could appeal to their traditional voter base.

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