Snapchat: The mobile social picture sharing tool that has established a huge user network based on sending images that appear on a recipient’s screen for 1 to 9 seconds, based on the sender’s discretion. The service has found a niche between friends who want to quickly share in-the-moment photos of their daily lives, but can businesses and brands take advantage of the service? Major League Baseball thinks so.
The League has started a Snapchat account to accompany its 2014 spring training. The goal is not to release new stories or directly sell tickets or merchandise but to build the brand of the MLB;
“When creating a strategy, we wanted to apply how we use it personally, and how we think our fans use it. We snap as if we were just another friend (who happens to have great access to baseball players). MLB doesn’t break news on Snapchat, or take the most artistic photos — we try to create lighthearted, in-the-moment photos or videos that show off the personality of our players and the game.”
Therein lies the potential magic. Businesses looking to Snapchat as way to generate direct sales will never see the point or the potential. BUT, businesses looking to cultivate their relationship with existing fans will use Snapchat as a way to spark or respark the love affair. These fans will have baseball on their minds more frequently, will talk about it more and will be the ones to drag their friends and family out to watch the games (read: ticket sales).
“[Snapchat] gives sports brands a completely new way to create connections with fans. We see how Snapchat is changing the way our fans communicate and if our fans are there, then we want to be there, too.”
Worth mentioning; Snapchat’s young user-base is also a demographically valuable factor. The more the Major League can connect with its young fans, the higher potential for “Customer Lifetime Value,” or the value in sales that a fan will bring over their lifetime. Don’t ever say I didn’t learn something in Marketing 101…
Quotes courtesy of MLB’s social-media producer, Hali Stark