At 35 years of age, I feel I’ve done a good job at staying current with the ever-changing world of technology. I’ve always been a techie: from my early days playing Nintendo to my late teens making mixed tapes (hey, that took some skill to perfectly fit 90 min of music on a cassette, okay?) to my college years when I was introduced to the iMac. I was also the first in school to have a 256 MB USB drive, and back then, that was huge! I’ve always been drawn to the latest and greatest Silicon Valley was throwing my way.
Being a graphic designer required me to be more diligent about staying up to date on how people communicate. With the introduction of the first iPhone in 2008, the world saw an explosion in the way we connect to each other. Social media had already started this in a certain way, with MySpace and Facebook hitting the internet circa 2003 and 2004 respectively, but you had to be in front of a computer to ‘connect’ with your friends. The handheld made this problem obsolete. All of a sudden, we were always online. Social networks gave us access to more people than we would probably ever meet in our whole lifetime simply by clicking that ‘Add Friend’ button. I was never a fan of MySpace, I had an account but rarely posted anything. The overall look and feel were too chaotic for my taste.
When Facebook came along, I was on there pretty much as I am now: I used it to stay up to date with friends but not a big poster. Today, I mostly use it as my news source and to learn how to make quick meals for my kids! (thank you, Tasty.)
Discovering Snapchat: The Day That I Found Out I Was Old
Some years back while visiting family, I saw my niece, whom I hadn’t seen in a while. She went from a tiny kid to a teenager in the blink of an eye! At twelve, she already had a better Smartphone than my own outdated iPhone 4. I noticed her face was glued to the phone and she was laughing constantly. Intrigued, I had to ask what was so funny.
“It’s this new app” she said.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Snapchat” she said.
“Is it like Facebook?” I enquired.
…And this is when I knew I was the old, out-of-the-loop uncle…
“NO!” she replied in disgust, “That’s for old people”.
With that reaction, and from the little interaction I had with the app, I had no interest in finding out more. I pegged it as the new fad that kids were using, and that it would never catch on.
Six years later, I still haven’t installed it; I’ve never used it and really have no interest in it. But, I started thinking: What is going be the ‘new app’ when my girls are teenagers? And can I afford to be the out-of-the-loop dad when that happens?
Which brings us to now. If you’re with me so far, this is where the post begins to make sense.
Can Your Business Afford To Be Out-Of-The-Loop?
Some companies today are a little like me when it comes to social media: they’re there, but they’re really not there. They post sporadically to gain followers with the hope that they’ll eventually become customers.
In today’s digital world, however, people are way too in-tune with technology, and all of the ways that companies use it to advertise, to know when they’re being lured into a sale. If the interaction is even a bit unauthentic, they will smell it a mile away.
That is what Snapchat offers: Authenticity. Because of the immediacy and short life of any message sent through the app, it’s hard to not be organic.
The principles of advertising will never change. But as advertisers in a digital world, we have to be smart enough to talk to people through the right channels: Their channels.
There are a lot of companies doing just that. Check out our Snapchat “How To” guide for tips on how you can stay in the loop and incorporate this innovative app into your life.
Coca-Cola put Santa back to work. Working with Snapchat, Coca-Cola revived the Christmas card for Millennials. Filtered cards were sent approximately 26 times every second on Christmas Eve 2015, and garnered over 70 million views.
Wendy’s partnered with Snapchat to make a difference through selfies. With a code provided on their beverage containers, customers could unlock fun filters to use. When the photo or video was shared with friends, Wendy’s donated $5 to the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption® to support children in foster care.
Brawny put Snapchat Spectacles on toddlers to capture what being a mom is like. They used this in their Mother’s Day commercial as part of their Stay Giant Campaign. Not only effective use of VR, but also a really sweet commercial.
Note to Self: Try Some Snapchat Filters On… What’s The Worst That Can Happen?
If you’re like some of the examples above, hats off to you. That means you’re fishing where the fish are. If you’re not, I hope this post helps you as it helped me in researching and writing it, and that is to realize that you can’t afford to be the out-of-the-loop business any more than I can afford to be the out-of-the-loop dad.
Technology is changing constantly, and staying up-to-date with it will make it easier for you to connect with your customers in an organic and authentic way. Speaking the same language will make conversations a lot more frequent and fruitful.
This virtual or augmented reality is, well, a reality.
From Snapchat filters to the recent craze of Pokémon Go, and now with Facebook announcing their own Social VR, it’s going to be hard to ignore. If you don’t plan on diving headfirst into the VR scene, at least know enough to be in the loop.
That’s what I’m going to do, at least. And here’s proof: