“Hey cuz, do you Snap?” That’s the question my millennial client asked me a couple of years ago via text message. My response was probably not very different from yours would have been at that time and probably is still: ‘Isn’t Snapchat just for teens sending each other questionable videos?’
Similar things were initially said about text messaging, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Most social media experts have said that Facebook is so full of baby boomers and Generation X that millennials aren’t using it nearly as much as they used to. Recent reports have even shown that the same thing is now happening with Twitter.
If the natural progression for millennials and Generation Z is to quickly migrate to whatever the newest cutting-edge social platform is when prior generations finally catch on, then why wouldn’t you want to market on a platform that currently consists of a younger demographic? After all, recent history has proven that the migration from one generation to another on new social platforms happens fairly quickly. With that in mind, I’m convinced that Snapchat will evolve to Generation X and even baby boomers at some point in the near future.
If we’re going to help boost your enrollment participation and millennial recruiting, then we must talk ‘geofilters.’ What’s that, you ask? With your smartphone’s location services and filters enabled, a geofilter is a fun and engaging way for a Snapchat user to share where they are, or what they’re up to, by simply swiping left or right on their device and adding what’s known as an ‘overlay’ to their Snapchat message.
These geofilters appear at thousands of places around the world. For instance, while I’m at the ballpark, I can swipe and see a geofilter that adds a fun Oriole Park at Camden Yards overlay to show my Snap followers that I’m at the game. Or, if I keep swiping, I can see overlays from the various cities in Baltimore near the stadium, or even a sponsored overlay from Starbucks reminding me that it’s the first day of fall.
The key with geofilters is that Snapchat won’t let you design them as true “advertising” with any call to action buttons or messages, so you’ve got to be creative. Overlays should be fun and engaging and make users desire your product or service. For example, the Starbucks overlay is very simple, clean and non-intrusive, and on a chilly autumn evening, makes me crave a piping hot cup of pumpkin spiced coffee.
Pro tip: If you’re not the creative type, consider hiring a social media designer to make your geofilter and overlay for you. It’s not hard to find creative freelancers to help you for about $10-$20 dollars per project.
Translating geofilters into higher enrollment engagement and participation
Let’s say you have a 500-employee enrollment where most of the employees are in the same location throughout the day. You can design a simple Snapchat geofilter that covers the geographic square footage of the company’s building for a set timeframe during your enrollment. Don’t worry; Snapchat geofilters are very affordable ways to market right now. The last time I checked, you could cover nearly 200,000 square feet for about 10 hours for less than $40 dollars.
Imagine how useful this could be to boost your enrollment engagement if you knew the demographic of your client happened to be heavily dominated by millennials, who are more likely to be using Snapchat these days than any other social platform. Be creative and make your Geofilter something they want to use and you could ‘go viral’ (that’s a good thing) at your enrollment. Worse case, even if your target audience doesn’t use your filter, it was a small investment to serve as an on-demand reminder that it’s open enrollment time for your client and all of their employees.
Translating geofilters into new recruits
Similar to the enrollment example used earlier — but let’s change the enrollment location to a college internship and career fair — talk about the right demographic to implement Snapchat geofilters. I’ve personally participated in hundreds of internship and career fairs to recruit college kids, and I can assure you that students are never lined up in droves to speak with me or any other insurance company at the fair. Let’s face it, just as I wrote in my June 3, 2015 article, internships and careers in insurance just aren’t very sexy, and if you’re like me, you never dreamed of working in insurance any more than your peers did or these students do now.
Snapchat to the rescue. Here, you have hundreds or even thousands of millennials who will likely be using Snapchat geofilters all day long with their friends. Creating a unique and fun geofilter for your benefits company is an excellent use of your firm’s investment dollars that when done properly, will generate a tremendous ROI in the form of higher engagement levels at your booth. Once they’re at your booth, that’s your problem!
The use of Snapchat to engage and recruit millennials not only shows that you and your company are with the times, but moreover, it makes you more attractive to them as opposed to the non-appealing and boring insurance company that they already perceive and stereotype you as.
Pro tip: Try blanketing a college campus or in the least, near the college dorms, with your custom-made geofilter and overlay. I recommend it at the very beginning of a semester for a couple of set days and times and then again at the end of a semester. I can tell you from years of college recruiting that college kids are typically looking for internships when the semester starts and always looking for internships, and definitely career opportunities, when the semester ends, since they usually have no idea what they’re doing next.
My goal was never to educate you on everything there is to know about Snapchat — heck, we didn’t even discuss creating your own Snapchat ‘Lenses’ that morph your face into various crazy and wacky shapes. Bottom line: Plan your marketing well in advance of your next enrollment and career fair, strategically implement Snapchat with a heavy dose of creativity, and you’ll be watching your profitability soar. Happy Snapping!
Have a question or comment about Snapchat or adding Snapchat to your benefits business? Contact me directly using any of the boring old communication methods you’re accustomed to or why not just Snap me? Snapchat user name: “dsdaddio.” (My Gen-Z daughter helped me pick it and Snapchat doesn’t allow user names to be changed.)
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