The Pros and Cons of the New Snapchat Locations Feature

Last week the internet blew up with articles about the new Snapchat locations feature. “Snap Map” now allows Snapchat users to share their location with one another.

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What does this mean for marketers using Snapchat to promote your business and engage with your audience? While there is already buzz about what the new Snapchat location feature can add to your marketing campaigns, you may want to proceed with caution.

Let’s explore the pros and cons of Snap Map.

Benefits of the New Snapchat Locations Feature

Snap Map is about finding out where you want to go. You can use this new feature to find out where your friends are hanging out. In other words, what’s the most popular destination for your Friday night out? But what does this have to do with marketing your business?

This new Snapchat location feature can help you reach the younger generation. Millennials and Post-millennial consumers are not as likely to see your Facebook or Twitter promotions, but they likely jump on Snapchat several times a day. According to Business Insider, Snapchat advertisers are reaching far more 18-34 year-olds than TV ads.

While the jury is out on how limited the scope of using Snap Map for marketing will be, here are a few ideas of how you can use this feature to boost your business:

  1. Sometimes all it takes is a Reminder. Encourage this type of sharing by posting a sign at your business asking your visitors or customers to post to Snapchat. The point of Snap Map is to encourage friends to meet up and enjoy one another’s company in person. Why not give them a push to flock to your biz?
  2. Spread the excitement about a promotion. The Snapchat generation is passionate and excitable. If you get one person excited about a promotion, they are likely to share this with their friends.  If a post-millennial sees their friend taking advantage of said promotion, they are likely to want the same experience! Again, encourage this type of sharing by posting signs and talking about it with customers.
  3. Use Snap Map to find popular gathering places on the map. If your products or services are relative to these events or gatherings, send someone out in the field to work the crowds and gain new business. Or use this information to gauge where advertising dollars might be best spent.

These are just a few of the possibilities for marketers to begin to use the new Snap Map feature to promote your business. As the feature grows in popularity, it is likely that more new and exciting marketing possibilities will emerge.

What’s the Downside of Snap Map for Marketing?

As you explore the new Snapchat Location feature and the ways you can use it to promote your business as a hotspot for gatherings, consider the following:

  1. It’s already being referred to as a “stalker-like” feature. Anytime technology is used to track location, this ugly word rears its head and for good reason. Stalking is a real danger. And these people are just as creative as marketers when targeting people. As a marketer, you don’t ever want to be looked at as a stalker – even for a second. When using Snap Map to promote your business, always consider the ethics and best practices for marketing. Try not to single anyone out based on their location and always think about your actions carefully and whether they could be considered as stalking behavior.
  2. Ghost-mode. Because of the growing number of privacy concerns revolving around geo-targeting through technology, many users will default to ghost-mode. Ghost mode allows you to hide your location when you want to or all the time if you do not wish to use Snap Map at all. This could make it difficult to get an accurate idea of just how popular a destination is for gathering.

Proceed with Caution

Only time will tell if Snap Map truly offers a way for businesses to better reach and engage a target audience. If you are a business owner or marketer looking to explore new ways to use technology for business, you will likely want to explore the possibilities. Just proceed with caution and be mindful of best practices and ethical use of location tracking for marketing.  

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