Snapchat is an app that has taken off fast, and it consistently maintains its unique point of view in the vast landscape of social media. The image-messaging app is known for allowing users to send transient pictures and messages that are auto-delete after a short period of time. It is perceived as representing a new direction in social media, with its users wanting a more fleeting and authentic means of expression, instead of an accumulation of ongoing status updates leaving a permanent trail. Against this backdrop, law firms might consider Snapchat to be an immature and unprofessional platform. However, the app continues to broaden its scope, its user base is steadily growing “older,” and more established brands are beginning to take advantage. It also presents some unique opportunities for law firms to market their brand, if used correctly.
Snapchat is no longer limited to the sending of transient “snaps.” Now, the app publishes content via “Stories” and the “Discover” feature. CNN, for example, publishes a mix of content to the app’s Discover feature including international breaking news, entertainment news, and political coverage.
Although the user base is still relatively young (read: Millennials and even Gen Z), Snapchat’s user base is gradually getting older. And Snapchat video views are now greater than Facebook’s, according to a Bloomberg study.
So how can law firms take advantage? One easy way to get started is to purchase a Geofilter. Snapchat allows users to impose filters over their Snaps that show geographic specific text (for example, if a user Snaps something in New York, they can swipe right over the photo, and with each swipe a different “New York” themed image will be super imposed upon the photo.) Some companies purchase filters to advertise their products, for example, movies or television shows playing nationwide, or major sporting events. Geofilters are a powerful way to brand your law firm in specific geographic locations. The cost for purchasing a Geofilter will appear in the top left corner of your account as you go through the process of creating it. On average, in 2017, Snapchat charged between $15 and $20 per day to run a geofilter over a suburban-sized home. This provides law firms with an opportunity to get hyper-local with their advertising, and hyper-granular with their targeting—in a very non-intrusive way. One example of how a firm could utilize geofilters, a DUI law firm could run a filter on weekend nights in a busy downtown nightlife area.
The real commodity with Snapchat in terms of advertising is its ability to allow users to showcase their authenticity. This can be challenging for law firms, as they continue exploring how to harness the power of the app without appearing unprofessional. There is a lot of potential for law firms to get in on the ground floor of this uncharted territory in legal marketing.