Even if you don’t fall into the ‘Millennial’ category, you’ve probably heard of Snapchat. It’s not new in the slightest, but brands, and more relevantly for here, sports organisations, are still in the infancy of adopting the platform as part of their regular social media activity.
— Dunfermline Athletic (@officialdafc) May 8, 2015
If you aren’t quite sure of what Snapchat is all about yet, it’s a messaging app that focuses on moments. Users can take a photo or a video, add a caption or emoji to it, and choose what friends to send it to, or upload it to their ‘story’ to share it with all of them. You can choose for each individual photo or video to appear for a maximum of 10 seconds, but once your selected time frame is over, that snap disappears (that is, if you haven’t taken a screenshot of it). Snapchat is the epitome of the current short form video trend sweeping through marketing.
If it’s numbers you want, according to Overtime‘s Snapchat in Sport eBook, there are 7 billion daily video views and 100 million daily active users on Snapchat. The opportunity is there to be capitalised on but there seems to be an apprehension of the platform amongst brands. In 2015, Snapchat appeared on just 2% of company’s marketing strategies. Looking at this from a Scottish sport perspective, it seems as though many share these apprehensions. Aside from the SFA and Dunfermline Athletic, no other major Scottish sport organisations are active on Snapchat. After an in-depth look at recommendations for Snapchat successes, and what a selection sports organisations are currently doing on the platform, some of those perceptions may change.
Football on Snapchat
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) December 16, 2013
As you can see above, Southampton became the first English Premier League club on Snapchat, just over two years ago. The Saints were called out in a recent Overtime webinar as one of the best accounts to follow on the platform.
The club used the platform as part of their kit launch for the 2014/15 season. Fans could take part in a treasure hunt across the city, with the clues being posted on Snapchat, with the chance to win the new kit before it was launched.
The Snapchat story feature, which enables users to upload numerous Snaps and collates them all, is being used as a key component of Snapchat’s growth. A story featuring English Premier League clubs was first spotted last March for the Liverpool Manchester United match at Anfield (pictured below) and what’s believed to be the first official story featuring Premier League clubs appeared in the recent 3-3 draw between Newcastle and Manchester United at St James’ Park.
Keep it Light
Words that are constantly used to describe Snapchat are fun, genuine and humour. It’s not the platform to adopt if you want to send out serious communications, LinkedIn or Facebook it is not. As you can probably imagine, clubs, and leagues for that matter, in the United States have rapidly adopted the use of Snapchat. SportsGeek have handily put together a list of every team’s details here, if you want to check any of them out specifically.
The example to the left is from NASCAR’s Snapchat account. It lighthearted and shows that they don’t take themselves too seriously. They’ve completely understood the nature of the platform, and there’s plenty of other examples from their account of them displaying their humorous side.
The NASCAR example also shows off the opportunities available to get creative on the platform. Yes, you can knock something together and post it to Twitter, but Snapchat just enables that little bit more freedom, as opposed to being ‘on brand’ on other social media platforms. This sort of opportunity should be an exciting one for clubs.
Give an Exclusive Insight
Arguably the best and most important feature of Snapchat, is having the opportunity to give a real ‘behind the scenes’ experience to fans. Clubs can show them what’s happening away from the cameras, at times when they would never have been able to previously have an idea of what was happening.
Arsenal let their fans in when Egyptian midfielder, Mohamed Elneny, signed for the club in January. The above images are taken from their Snapchat story, with Elneny being shown around the stadium and revealing his squad number with a Snap from the changing room. The fear of missing out theory also comes into thinking here. Fans will see other fans enthusing about what they’ve seen from the club on Snapchat, and they’ll then want to see it for themselves first hand.
Tim Atkins, Marketing and Communications Exec at Reading, provided the example to your left below on Twitter. Fans of the club on Snapchat are able to see a signed photo from the man of the match after every match. Although it was originally deemed as a faux pas and I’m sure you can maybe guess why, but Snapchat also gives users the ability to screenshot anything they see. Who needs to stand outside in the rain after a match waiting for the players, when you can get their autograph straight to your phone. One of the latest clubs to join Snapchat, Juventus, posted the example to your right below. Giving fans the low down on what was going to be covered on the Juve social channels for the day ahead of the clubs Champions League tie against Bayern Munich.
No Ads Please
Snapchat users are savvy. They won’t respond to straight up, traditional ads on the platform. They know what you’re trying to do and this isn’t the place for that kind of thing.
However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t advertise. With a bit of thought and creativity, the opportunity is there to sell to your fans. Ads can be ‘hidden’, products or services can be promoted in a non-disruptive way. The Snap below is from Nike. They know they can’t just post a photo of a new product, so they enlist the help of one of the best players in the world to help them. Fans are much more likely to have a positive affinity with a player as opposed to a brand.
If you skimmed over it earlier, the numbers using the platform really speak for themselves here. 7 billion views of videos, and 100 million active users every day. Not just that though, it gives clubs the opportunity to engage with a difference audience. A high proportion of users fall into the 25 and under demographic, which I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you, is the future of your organisation. It’s these tech-minded, digitally-savvy fans, that clubs across Scottish sport need to target, engage with and retain in the long term.
Individuals working in the marketing or digital departments across Scottish sports organisations shouldn’t be put off by the platforms inability to provide meaningful and measurable metrics. It might be tricky to pitch the platform without having numbers to back up your effort, but how can the chance to truly engage with your fans and involve them in the narrative be ignored. Or is it simply a lack of resources available that’s putting them off?
As a fan-owned club, Dunfermline sees Snapchat as vital for them to continue to involve the fans in all aspects of the club. The club have been one of the success stories on social over the past year or so, and they strive to use all the channels available to them ‘to listen to the fans, and more importantly, engage with them’. According to Mikey Mlotkiewicz, who runs the clubs social channels, Snapchat enables them to ‘show exactly what goes on when the floodlights fade’.
What do you think is preventing clubs across Scotland from creating an account? As fans, would you like to see the club you support active on Snapchat? Let us know by leaving a comment below or by Tweeting us @sportsmarketsco