Influencing Tomorrow Through Snapchat

by Staff Writer

Posted by Dan Chichester, Martha Maranzani, and Brandie Linfante

Snapchat has begun to reclaim its next-gen social star with new subscribers and new momentum that includes bold appeals to health care marketers.

Since Snaps are shared among close friends, Snapchatters don’t feel the need to curate their best life, which promotes more real content sharing. Snap suggests that this elevates their platform for conversations around high-risk health conditions not openly discussed on Facebook or Instagram.

By evolution or design, Snapchat’s environment compels serious consideration for social marketing and engagement:

  • No page or profile required to advertise means a low barrier to entry
  • Commenting is off by default, and no vanity metrics enables pharma to target consumers one-on-one
  • Videos up to 180 seconds can be a good fit for branded ISI
  • 41% of Snapchatters ask for personal advice on the platform, implying a more empathetic place to serve brand messaging

Snapchat positions itself as the friendlier social network, reaching a younger demographic of actively engaged millennials and centennials. Its age demo (34% are 18-24 years of age; 26% are 25-34 years of age) may be ripe for content on topics like birth control, vaccinations, HIV, and STDs. Additionally, Snapchatters over-index on several conditions, including skin, migraines, and asthma. Ultimately, it’s the specialness of this population that represents the greatest opportunities.

Many millennials and all centennials (of age to market to) are ONLY on Snapchat. If pharma isn’t reaching them through Snapchat, they aren’t being reached. At the same time, a pharma brand providing positive education and messaging on Snapchat now establishes a future state of influence (aka ROI) for those centennials as they age into caring more about health care. One challenge will be for pharma brands, often formal in tone, to find a voice in sync with the hanging out spirit of Snapchat.

All social media has influencers. But Snapchat’s unique appeal may prove particularly effective for pharma to influence the health choices of today and tomorrow.