With more than 150 million active users, Snapchat is the in-vogue video-messaging app where users share images and clips that disappear after being watched. If Twitter is the best platform for taking the pulse on recent events and breaking news, Snapchat excels at showing viewers an unrehearsed, behind-the-scenes peek into day-to-day life.

Marketers should note that nearly 50 percent of users watch brands’ Snap Stories on a daily basis, according to a 2016 study conducted by Variety. With 18-to-24 year olds composing the bulk of its user base, Snapchat represents a bridge to connect with the young, hard-to-reach audience in a cost-effective and highly personal way.


Brand recognition, Great for specials or discounts

Target Demographic:

Teens and Millennials

Snapchat 101

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In 2011 Snapchat launched as a niche messaging service, but it has quickly grown into one of the go-to social media apps for teens and Millennials. The core functionality is to share “snaps,” which are self-destructing photos or short videos (maximum of 10 seconds) equipped with various filters and editing features to add text as well as drawings. The images then disappear within seconds.

While most people use the app to chat with friends, the Live Stories and Discover features are on the rise.  Like Vine and videos, Snapchat Stories comprise a series of video snippets spliced together to form a narrative, whether funny, entertaining or inspiring. The difference between the platforms though is Snapchat Stories expire after 24 hours.

The Discover feature offers young audiences a unique way to consume news and complex current events problems such as the 2016 elections. Nearly 25 percent of users surveyed said they use the brand features and celebrity content as much as messaging.

Key Draws

Snapchat pioneered ephemeral messaging, and the short lifespan remains the main selling point since it liberates users from the social pressure of content being hyper-scrutinized. Thus, raw, candid material gains the most traction, while polished content thrives on Facebook and Twitter. There’s no rough drafts folder either, so everything has to published immediately.

“Candid moments are prized above staged shots,”  news assistant and web producer, Valeriya Safronova, told The New York Times.

Another perk is Snapchat is not as glaringly public as other platforms. You can share snaps privately with as little as one person or broadcast stories for all your followers to watch. The content will disappear within seconds.


Brands seeking teenagers and Millennials would be wise to add Snapchat to their digital marketing mix, as a total of 45 percent of Snapchat users are aged between 18 and 24. With such a young user base, brands across all industries — from Gatorade to General Electric to GrubHub — have joined the app.

Young women in particular tend to be the most voracious consumers of Snapchat, with roughly 70 percent of Snapchat users being female.

For influencer partnerships, Snapchat is an engaging and highly personal way to interact with millennial audiences.

Important Metrics

There may not be any likes on Snapchat, but other metrics serve to monitor engagement rates.

Views are arguably the most crucial analytic because they indicate consumption of content. Each snap has corresponding view count, and unlike YouTube videos where a single user can bolster views by rewatching, Snapchat puts a cap so one person will only equal one view.

Story Views


  • number of unique views for first snap in story
  • initial buzz influencer is able to generate


  • audience screenshots specific photo/video in story
  • clear pinpoint to what resonates with viewership
Completion Rate

(Audience Retention)

  • views of last snap in story divided by views of first snap in percentage
  • ability of influencer to hold attention over time

Screenshots, the loophole in the disappearing act that saves a photo to your phone, doubles as an engagement metric. In fact, top Snapchat influencers encourage screenshots as a type of call to action, prompting followers to share it on the Internet or draw on top of it. In this way, screenshots are an engagement metric similar to shares or retweets on Facebook and Twitter. (Note: When a screenshot is taken of a snap, the Snapchat influencer is notified.)

To launch a branded campaign on Snapchat, click here to contact Trending Family!