Snap Maps, a Snapchat feature that allows you to see where your Snapchat friends are and what they’re doing (unless disabled), is undeniably creepy: sometimes, I have friends text me, “Where are you flying to?” after I’ve boarded a plane… and my bitmoji has boarded her own plane simultaneously, on Snap Maps; or, my brother will text me, “What are you doing at home on a Saturday night, loser,” when he sees my bitmoji chilling on the couch at home, with me. The creepy part is, I don’t need to update anything on Snapchat for Snap Map’s to update itself to my current location–it happens automatically, as long as I’m using the app.
But this also means great things for businesses, and since we’re just at the forefront of this revelation, I think it’s a great way for small businesses to get ahead of the curve. I mean, sure, it’s annoying to know my brother can see what I’m doing every second of the day… but how valuable is it for you, as a small business, to have the same opportunity to see what potential customers are up to… right now?
Sidenote: There are two ways to get the Snap Map information you need… first, you can simply have employees check their own personal Snapchat accounts to see what their friends are doing; or, you can make a Snapchat account for your business, and try to follow as many of your clients/customers as possible (perhaps provide some incentive, like 5% off a purchase if they become friends with you on Snapchat?).
Track Your Customer’s Sleep Times
You can log onto Snap Maps to see which of your friends bitmojis’ are considered “asleep.” Why is this a good thing? (In most realms, it’s probably not). Well, let’s say you’re gearing up to post a Facebook post about your new 24-hour sale at 8 a.m. on Wednesday morning, but then you see your fellow bitmojis are all asleep! Looks like it’s wise to wait until 10 a.m., when you see the bitmojis are up and moving. That’s pretty valuable intel.
Create Actions for Your Customer’s Bitmojis to Complete
Bitmojis can do a variety of actions: they can build sandcastles, hop in a car or on a plane, listen to music, and dance at a festival–but guess what else they might be able to do, using this same technology? Share your brand.
Think about designing an action that any Snapchat user can do when they buy your product or enter your store–for instance, if you own a tennis shop, perhaps you could create a tennis-playing action, so these bitmojis can check out your tennis racquets on Snap Maps while your real customers try them out, as well. Not only will this spread your brand (i.e. if I see my best friend’s bitmoji chilling at a cafe and drinking coffee, I might say, “Hey, where are you right now?”), but it can also create more foot traffic to your store, when bitmojis (and real people) want to get in on the action, too.
Become a Glowing Hotspot
See those eerie glowing spots on your map? Click on one, and you can see local stories from that location, which shows if something interesting or important is happening. If I see hotspots near me, I click on them because I’m curious if it’s something I should know about. So think about how great it would be if your sale, or event, could become a glowing hotspot. Consider creating some sort of user engagement that requires customers who enter your store to post stories about your sale or event to a local Snap Story.
Find out Real-Life Analytics About Your Store
If customers can “check-in” at your location on Snapchat, you can put together the data to figure out when most people are in or near your store–it’s easy enough to give incentive for someone to do this, by creating a point system or giving away prizes if someone checks-in at your location. I mean, the whole point of the map is to be able to see who is near you and what they’re doing, and although in a personal sense, this is borderline-stalker-fuel, in a professional sense, I can’t think of anything more valuable, can you?
At the very least, maybe engaging a little with your customers on Snapchat, and Snap Maps, is an easy way to look accessible, and even “hip,” with a younger demographic… like that cool uncle who understands technology a little before the rest of the family.
Can you think of other ways to use Snapchat, and Snap Maps, for small businesses? Comment below!
As highlighted in this article, knowing a person’s location through Snap Map can indeed contribute to their safety in certain scenarios. However, this has to be weighed up against the many significant personal security and privacy issues associated with sharing this type of information via social media. There are other methods of tracking an individual’s location that may be more appropriate or relevant depending on the circumstances.
How to make Snap Map safer
If you are a Snapchat user, there are a number of ways to increase privacy when using Snap Map:
- Enable Ghost Mode, this allows you to view other’s locations without revealing your own. This will automatically kick in after a couple of hours of inactivity
- Turn off GPS on your handset to stops the application knowing where you are
- When sharing a location, always take care and only select the friends you wish to know your whereabouts
Snapchat recently announced the launch of Snap Map, a new feature that could become very useful among brands looking for new ways to benefit from location marketing.
Snapchat has decided to introduce a “new way to explore the world” with the launch of Snap Map, a feature that allows users to share their location with their friends within the app.
But what makes it really interesting is that users are now also able to access public Snaps from people all over the world.
This could pave the way for a new means of discovering new places and even new happenings all over the world.
About Snap Map
Snapchat describes the new feature as quick and easy and all you have to do is to pinch to zoom out and view the map.
You can check all your friends who decided to share their location by seeing their “Actionmojis” (a type of Bitmoji) on the map. If you don’t want to share your location, however, you can enable something called Ghost Mode.
The latter is important for users concerned about the fact that their location is being made visible to anyone using the app. The security concerns for this issue make it critical for all users to understand that they are not only sharing their location with their friends but also with all Snapchat users.
What this means for marketers
When Snapchat announced the launch of Snap Map, a number of us in the industry saw its potential for new location marketing and advertising opportunities.
Snapchat has clarified that they are not planning to run ads in Snap Map’s Stories, but this doesn’t mean that they can’t change their stance once adoption is more widespread and the feature sees successful uptake.
Even without ads, Snap Map brings several opportunities for marketers:
Snapchat added a search function for Stories, which was the first step towards easier discovery. This can be helpful both for users, but also brands setting out to understand their audience and find new ways of reaching them creatively.
Live updates from across the world
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter already have features that take advantage of live events and the stories that unfold all over the world in real time. Now it’s Snapchat’s turn to facilitate this option with the use of Snap Map.
Brands can benefit from this feature by joining the conversation, promoting their own events and adding relevant branded messages – while being sure to bear context in mind.
The biggest possibility for Snapchat through the introduction of Snap Map is to embrace the power of location marketing. Marketers already realise the potential of marketing a product in the context of location and Snapchat can turn out to be a useful ally to this strategy.
Since the app already has an engaged mobile audience, it becomes easier to reach them once their location is set. It is important to encourage organic engagement and interest and not to intrude into users’ Stories without relevance, but there is still an opportunity to be explored.
Stories that are location-relevant could be the first step for brands, as this could make them more personalized to the target audience. For example, imagine a retail brand using Snap Map to promote a store in a specific area, offering an exclusive offer to the users who happen to be nearby. This grabs their attention and increases the chances for the brand to boost sales in that area.
Moreover, if or when formal paid advertising is introduced, it would also bring more opportunities for brands trying to capitalize on location-based marketing.
It is still quite early to predict how Snapchat plans to use Snap Map to appeal to more marketers, but this is unquestionably a feature that we need to keep an eye on.
It might be an interesting addition that could bring Snapchat closer to the dream of monetization, combining an engaging mobile platform with advertisers who seem to be hungry for innovative ideas to reach a target audience. Location marketing is certainly opening new doors for marketers, and we feel that this will lead to an interesting path for Snapchat.