Tag Archives: Snapchat

SnapChat for B2B Tech – Say What?

Since its release in 2011, SnapChat has been known as a fun way for young people to goof around and send non-committal messages to their friends. The platform is based on the idea of a 24-hour cycle – no image lasts longer than a day. Nothing you post will last forever, a conundrum that has been a staple of the Internet since its beginning, plaguing those who’ve made poor decisions in the past.  Of course, SnapChat isn’t just for the individual user. Numerous consumer brands use the channel to engage with current and potential customers, using the same tactics that SnapChat was invented for – to have a lot of fun and then move on.

‘Well that makes sense,’ you say, ‘but it’s hardly applicable for serious B2B technology companies looking to build relationships and brand awareness with customers and prospects. Surely vendor companies selling to business audiences are not on SnapChat, right? I mean, why would they bother?’

The SnapChat Difference
Think about this: companies are not people themselves, but they are made up of people. Individuals. SnapChat has over 180 million users every day with 10 billion people having an account on the app at any time. It’s safe to assume that at least some portion of these users work for companies that are clients or potential clients of B2B companies. Bloomberg even claims that SnapChat has more active users than Twitter.

The demographics on SnapChat might, in popular culture, appear to be just teenagers, but research shows that 41% of all 18- to 34-year-olds in the U.S. use SnapChat daily. So while SnapChat’s primary users might be perceived as teens below 18, a large portion of users are older and are starting their careers in a variety of industries.  This is not that different from the Facebook effect where social pass-along or sharing of media coverage by individuals being written about or quoted in the news makes the channel a major amplifier of earned media coverage.

Beyond the numbers game (considering an account is free to create and has the benefit of these high audience numbers), SnapChat offers special features that can improve engagement. With geofilters and the 24-hour rotation, SnapChat is positioned to offer new opportunities for B2B companies. These features can keep companies relevant with trends, able to cycle new posts every day, and be in the know with hot topics from filters that often have nods to pop culture like movies and music festivals.

Making a SnapChat account is easy enough. Knowing how to use it is a whole other beast to tame. Consider three major uses for SnapChat: integrated communications, engagement, and recruiting.

Integrated Communications
This seems like an obvious one, but consider the value from SnapChat when used as part of an integrated campaign. Cross-channel promotion is one of the strongest benefits SnapChat offers. B2B companies can post with tags that lead viewers to other social platforms like Twitter or Facebook.

Building one-on-one conversations with users, regardless of where they are., means B2B companies can engage decision makers and innovative thinkers anytime, anywhere. You can showcase your products, your company, your tech, your people as an individual experience for each viewer.

Demoing your product becomes a personal experience too. SnapChat can offer video demos that aren’t stale. These videos act as live action demos. Users opt in to engage with the demo by way of simply watching it.

Consider the last time your B2B company sent out a press release. It goes out online and reaches reporters and analysts. But it’s a slow go. You have to wait for stories to be written, wait for briefings to happen. SnapChat gives you the chance to fill that time immediately. You can post brief interviews about the press release, share a  video of it officially going over the wire, showcase the product or service or partnership that’s at the center of your release. SnapChat integrates the instant feedback loop of social media with the traditional style of reporter outreach and pitching.

You can even schedule your posts with StoryHeap, just like you’d use Hootsuite for other social. You’ll not only be able to time your posts but you can archive your stories and access analytics like views, screenshots, open rate and complete rate. That means that you can have a social plan that utilizes the quirkiness of SnapChat with the momentum of your brand’s current social campaigns.

SnapChat also excels in providing individual viewers with exclusive access not only to product demos but thought leaders. Take Mark Suster (@msuster on SnapChat), a VC with Upfront Ventures, for example. Suster has invested in a variety of companies and has years of financial and marketing advice in the startup realm to draw from. He uses SnapChat to pass these tips on to an audience of executives, entrepreneurs and anyone who can make a SnapChat account. This one-on-one access provides high level thought leadership in a casual, low-stakes environment. Suster has even kept an archive of his stories at snapstorms.com.

Engagement
Individual potential clients can be a part of the daily operation of a B2B company through exclusive interviews, insider scoops and event or tradeshow video.

Utilizing geofilters from industry events not only provide the audience with a view into where and how the company is engaging with an industry, but also showcases company observations and insights gained at these events, where not everyone can attend in person. Including insider scoops from these events makes SnapChat, users, who could be current or potential customers, feel included and in-the-know while further establishing your company as a thought leader. Take DocuSign’s (@DocuSignInc on SnapChat) custom geofilter at Domain-Specific Modeling in 2016. Attendees were able to simply add the image overlay to their stories and have bought into the brand’s storytelling. Not only did the user engage with DocuSign but every viewer of their stories – their friends on SnapChat – saw the geofilter too.

Bringing these kinds of events directly to SnapChat users can make them feel like a part of the company’s’ activities in real time. They see where you’re going. They see what you value. They understand your brand as more than just a name. Your enterprise and everyone who contributes to it, projects a personality. Doing things like showcasing your employees or your facilities like IBM (@ibm on SnapChat) did in their SnapChat stories, can make your company feel relevant to viewers. In the B2B world, this can differentiate your company from others who may focus relentlessly on products and engineering specs before they engage and build context for a relationship.

Recruiting
By displaying the daily work of a company, SnapChat can help you showcase your employees as real people. Potential employees get to see what it’s really like to work for your company. You can show – versus simply talking about – company perks, culture and philosophy. Professionals in all stages of their careers can see the value in working for your company.  And who doesn’t have a recruiting challenge these days whether it’s for engineers or masterful marketers.

A great example of this is Cisco’s “WeAreCisco tribe.” This recruiting and careers team took over the Cisco company SnapChat (@wearecisco on SnapChat) in 2016. They kicked it off with a blog post to generate awareness and excitement, providing a preview of what viewers might see. Cisco featured employees at annual events, working in the office and exemplifying the Cisco brand. They had one major goal: showcase what it’s like to work at Cisco and encourage others to work there too.

Beyond reaching potential employees, other professionals in your client target industry can see your business environment. Decision makers at companies that buy B2B services can be recruited as new clients simply by seeing how well a company is run (in addition to the product/service demos, of course).

Using SnapChat as a recruiting channel can break through some of the hype found in the tech world, and help establish your company as an authentic voice. Just like the audience, a B2B company is made of individual people – maybe even SnapChat users themselves – that contribute to the philosophy and the quality of the company.

B2B Opportunity Awaits
Going to an industry conference or event? Schedule a fun story about the product you’re showcasing. Post live videos of your travels there. Promote your Twitter page that has links to the full press release. Use a local geofilter to show where you are.

The SnapChat benefit is endless. Even for B2B companies. And if you’re not using it yet, it’s time to join. And if you are, we’d love to hear what working for you and lessons learned.  Of course we’d also love to field any questions you may have.

By Morgan Eisenstot

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Security Never Sleeps- Snapchat, Mobile Security

Snapchat Pays $20,000 for Vulnerable Jenkins Instances

“Tasked to find exploits”

Social media firm Snapchat has rewarded researchers a group of researchers the prize of $20,000 for finding exposed Jenkins instances that allowed arbitrary code execution and provided access to sensitive data. About three months ago, Belgium-based researcher Preben Ver Eecke began to analyze Snapchat’s infrastructure when he discovered a production Jenkins instance that could be accessed with any valid Google account and gave access to sensitive user data or login credentials.

Wanted: Weaponized exploits that hack phones. Will pay top dollar

“Zeroday attack programs in high demand”

Demonstrating the sign of the soaring demand for zeroday attacks that target software that’s becoming increasingly secure, a market-leading broker is offering serious cash for weaponized exploits that work against specific companies. Among them include; Signal, WhatsApp, and other mobile apps that offer confidential messaging or privacy. Zerodium, the Washington, DC-based broker that launched in 2015, announced on Wednesday that it would pay $500,000 for fully functional attacks that work against Signal, WhatsApp, iMessage, Viber, WeChat, and Telegram.

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Inside the Newsroom: Media Talk Tech with VentureBeat, Wired and Fast Company

Organized by PRSA

On July 26, a handful of 10Fold crew members joined the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Chapters of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for the “Inside the Newsroom: Media Talk Tech” panel event with Fast Company, Wired, and VentureBeat.

Panelists included:

 Jason Wilson, Managing Editor, VentureBeat

 David Pierce, Senior Staff Writer, WIRED

 Sean Captain, Tech Editor, Fast Company

Below is a collection of insights, trends, and other interesting thoughts by 10Fold’s own Drew Smith, Jordan Tewell, Webbo Chen, Katrina Cameron and Kyra Tillmans following the event.

Artificial Intelligence, Digital Transformation, Virtual Reality…What’s Next?

These buzzwords are top-of-mind in today’s technology landscape, and it was no surprise that the first panel question regarded these hot topics. When Jason Wilson of VentureBeat called for a show of hands on how many audience members regularly used voice assistance, the number of hands was noticeably few. Despite all the buzz surrounding AI (i.e. in voice assistants, like Siri or Amazon Alexa) there is still a long way to go. The panelists noted that, for example, voice assistance users tend to use those features for only the things they know work well, showcasing the disparity between where the day-to-day benefits of AI voice assistance currently stand and where they could/should be.

Another salient point that David made was the different growth trajectories of augmented reality versus virtual reality. AR will improve quickly, he noted, while VR is more likely to just chug along. This might come as a surprise, as VR is typically viewed as the more “futuristic” innovation.

Trends of the Media-scape

The panelists agreed the intersection of technology and politics is a big trend on everyone’s mind. It was much easier to separate the two in the past, but now reporters who cover cyber security are often times writing about national security too. The intersection of technology and politics matter now more than ever, and we should address this when talking strategy internally and with our clients.

David made an interesting comment about video journalism. At Conde Nast (parent company of Wired), they want to ensure that video isn’t treated as a bolt-on, and they’ve started to consider video as one of the primary channels when they’re determining what goes where during their editorial meetings. Instead of slapping on video at the end of everything, reporters are putting significant thought into which platform is best – i.e. a 2,000-word feature, a photo essay, or maybe even a Snapchat video. It raises the question for PR pros to determine which avenue is best to take for which story and set expectations accordingly. Not everything will be a full-length feature story these days.

Via the Twitter hashtag #MediaTechTalk, attendees posed a question about non-Silicon Valley tech hotbeds. The panel agreed on Pittsburgh as a favorite, which wasn’t wholly surprising, because the Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Tri-State region is becoming widely known as an area of innovation. However, Fargo came as a surprise. And David made a good point of thinking about the world outside of the U.S., because all too often we have proximity bias – especially when you’re based in Silicon Valley like we are!

Tips by the Media for the Media

Sean from Fast Company continually reiterated the importance of clicks/views in judging how successful an article was. He and his editors clearly pay a lot of attention to this in a rapidly changing media landscape. Ultimately, what readers think is most important for both reporters and PR folks alike. Reporters approach stories they’re pitched by gauging whether their readers will care in order to gain as many eyeballs as possible. In tech PR, companies like to focus on news developments and its impact on the broader landscape rather than the personalities behind the tech. Instead of product launch stories, technology reporters are interested to learn about the human side of the story. As an example, David brought up a feature story on employees who were affected by Dropbox dropping AWS. The topic was very dry, and David didn’t expect it to do as well as it did. Yet, by adding in the human element, the story became one of his most popular reads to date.

As PR professionals, we can help orchestrate these stories by doing background interviews with our clients to develop a narrative that will resonate well with readers. Who is the main character in the story? It’s important to remember that if you have interesting execs, you should flesh out their bios/background and occasionally lead with that when approaching media.

As a final takeaway, all the panelists mentioned that they’d love to have more conversations with both PR folks’ clients – and the PR people themselves – that have no agenda whatsoever. Not many PR people would propose a “no agenda briefing” to a journalist – if only because that’s not likely to hook the journalist – but I’d be interested to see the results from the brave PR pro who does this.

Journalists and PR professionals agree that the media landscape is changing actively and dramatically. Events like the Media Tech Talks are a great way to engage with the media, understand their thinking and likewise share your own. A big “thank you” to PRSA for putting it together! 10Fold is looking forward to the next one.

By Kyra Tillmans

(Contributions from Drew Smith, Jordan Tewell, Webbo Chen, and Katrina Cameron)

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