Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 16 seconds

snapshat logoSnapchat is building up some traction in the nonprofit community. If you are unfamiliar with it, Snapchat, launched in 2011, is a messaging app that allows users to share images and videos.  While it hasn’t been around for that long, it is popular. Currently, it has over 100 million users worldwide that share 400 million images every day.


As with any marketing or social media channel you have to decide if Snapchat is right for your organization. In terms of demographics, Snapchat skews young. It is most popular with 13-25 year olds, but of course there are users of every age on it. And, as it gains in popularity its demographics will change. Keep in mind that Snapchat is making a concerted effort to increase its viability as a marketing and digital payment processing tool. So, it might be a good idea to become familiar with the app, and its potential down the road.

But, wait isn’t Snapchat that platform that deletes pictures? How does that work? Yes, Snapchat is designed to be ephemeral. Any image that you share will self delete after a predetermined, set by you, time (anywhere from 1-10 seconds).

Snapchat isn’t just about pictures, it is about what you do to enhance those images. Snapchat offers a full range of lenses, filters, speed overlays, stickers and other enhancements. In addition, you can add current time, weather, geo-tagging, you name it they have it.  

There is also a feature called stories that lets you create a compilation of snaps that are available for 24 hours, and in essence tell a story.

With Snapchat you can’t think advertising, you must think engagement. If you relentlessly market yourself on Snapchat you won’t get followers or engagement, but if you use it to show behind the scenes shots and other images that add authenticity to your organization, you will.

Use Snapchat to show that you aren’t just a faceless entity, you are a collection of people working towards a common goal. In doing so, you become real and approachable, which is something younger donors look for in an organization before they donate.

Determining if your Snapchat campaign is effective is harder on Snapchat. On Snapchat you don’t get likes or resnaps. You can see friends who’ve left story replies and you can see who has viewed your story, but that is it for statistics.

Some ideas on how to use Snapchat effectively:
  • Run campaign teasers and give your audience exclusive content
  • Share candid photos and behind the scenes images
  • Show promotional videos for upcoming campaigns or events
  • Give your organization a voice/face
  • Use the images to excite your audience. Show your friends the great things your organization is doing
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