Snapchat is the hot channel. Young people love it. While there are benefits there are also risks. So the pioneering Young Scot charity have developed a Snapchat film to help combat those risks.
by Kirsten Urquhart
Snapchat is often associated with a nifty filter and people having fun. But can it be used to communicate with a young audience about more difficult and sensitive issues?
At Young Scot we believe it can and working with Scottish Government Marketing Team and the Leith Agency we co-produced a Snapchat Movie called ‘Bad Romance’ as part of their Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) See the Signs awareness campaign.
To help young people become more aware of the signs of sexual exploitation, over 18 ten-second snaps, ‘Bad Romance’ told the story of two teenagers snapchatting about the seemingly innocent beginning to the troubled end of an exploitative relationship.
This approach was one of the first of its kind worldwide and delivered great results in terms of engagement and feedback, showing that sensitive issues can be communicated effectively via Snapchat.
We believe that used in the right way social networks can provide information for young people on a wide variety of issues.
Snapchat is just the latest platform we have used and we have some top tips that will make you ‘snap happy’:
1. Think about your audience – Think about the services you as an organisation offer to your audience. The appeal of Snapchat is that it’s all about the moment, the latest thing, and the latest trends. Before undertaking a campaign ask yourself is your subject area or is your approach relevant enough to the lives of the young people you are trying to reach?
2. Involve young people – The Bad Romance campaign would never have worked with a “talking head” approach. By using young actors we were who were able to use the Snapchat in an authentic way the message was far more powerful. Think about how you can work with young people to tell your story.
3. Live in the moment – Snapchat has just introduced the function to upload previously capture footage as snaps. While this might be easier for you, the platform marks the footage with the date and time of recording. Use this sparingly or you will lose the respect of your audience.
4. Encourage engagement – Get young people to screen shot their favourite snap from your campaign. This makes them feel like they’re involved plus it lets you know what is working and what isn’t.
5. Collaborate – If your organisation doesn’t have the right audience or you need to do a one off campaign then look for a partnership such as Young Scot. Snapchat, like all social networks, is an investment and needs to nurture.
6. Don’t overdo it – No one enjoys looking through a Snapchat story that lasts for over 200 seconds. Do this regularly and you’re guaranteed to lose followers.
While Snapchat is new(ish) and continues to grow at a lighting pace, as communicators the same principles of excellence still apply. However whilst striving for excellence you should never be afraid to be creative in trying to communicate with your audience in new and exciting ways.
- Young Scot is the national youth information and citizenship agency for Scotland, and currently has a membership of over 650,000 young people across Scotland.
- Young Scot provides all young people in Scotland aged 11-26 with information, ideas and incentives to enable them to make informed decisions and choices, turn their ideas into action and take advantage of opportunities available throughout Scotland and Europe. The national youth information portal is here and the corporate website is here.
Kirsten Urquhart is information services director at Young Scot.
Picture credit: barnimages.com / flickr