Should a School Bother With Snapchat?

Should a School Bother With Snapchat?

During a recent conversation with a good friend, I was sharing a weakness of mine as it relates to trying new technology, whether the technology is hardware, software as a service (Saas), or anything from Apple Computer. The problem is that I tend to jump from tool to tool and forget to focus on the original task that the tool was created to solve or complete. So rather than worrying about creating and sending lead nurturing emails, I will research and test different email providers and not finish writing those emails. In the end, I’ve learned that I need to pay attention to the goal that I’m trying to accomplish and focus on getting that done as opposed to trying out new technology.

When it comes to social media for schools, I feel a lot of school marketers share the same weakness that I have for technology. When a new social media network is introduced, they launch the channel for their school without focusing on that tool fits into their larger marketing goals.

Snapchat is one of those social networks and to answer my question above, a school should NOT bother with Snapchat for their school marketing efforts.

But What About The Statistics

You might be saying, “But Brendan, what about all of the statistics surrounding the growth of Snapchat?”

I know.

I’ve read them as well.

According to the Convince and Convert blog, Snapchat has the following incredible numbers:

  • Snapchat is better known than Pinterest or LinkedIn.
  • Snapchat has more users than Twitter or Pinterest or Linkedin.
  • Snapchat is incredibly popular among young Americans¬†12-24 years old.

My Four Reasons

While those statistics are impressive here are my four reasons not to use Snapchat to market your school.

1. Not Target Demographic

If you look closely at the statistics in the Convince and Convert blog post, you’ll notice that the largest usage and growth is with children starting at age 12. My point is that I’m not trying to convince middle school, or even high school, students, to come to my school. I’m still trying to focus on their parents and convince them to learn more about my school and to send their children there.

2. No Way To Convert

This is probably the biggest problem I have with Snapchat; there is no easy way to convert an anonymous prospective family into an inquiry. As a result, I think you should spend your social media time with other networks. And while it is hard to convert a person on social media into an inquiry there really is no easy way on Snapchat to “drive” that person to one of your web assets where it is easier to convert them.

3. Posts Don’t Keep Working

One of the benefits of social networks like Facebook, Pinterest, and even Twitter, is that once a post is seen by one individual the post keeps “working” because there is an opportunity for it to be seen by other prospective families. This feature simply doesn’t exist on Snapchat.

4. Focus On Low Hanging Fruit

My final reason for not using Snapchat for your school is that there are other social networks that will serve your marketing efforts better. To start, if you’re not on Facebook for your school, you should be. To continue, if your school is on Facebook are you doing everything you can. As I’m fond of saying, “Choose one social network and do it well before you launch another social network for your school.”

On The Record

Finally, I do want to go on the record to say that I’m not against Snapchat. I use it and enjoy it and think it has a place in the marketer’s toolbox but what I’m saying is that there are many other social networks that you should consider first before launching your school’s Snapchat account.

Question: Do you agree with me? If you don’t, I would love to hear why in the comments section below. Thanks!
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