I began a quest a while back to understand how Indie Authors such as myself can leverage the seemingly incomprehensible (at least to an old dud like me) yet immensely popular messaging app called Snapchat.
To be honest, I gave up any hope of me ever using the app as part of my publishing platform right after giving it a very brief whirl of a befuddling go during the time I wrote the first post it.
However, I haven’t given up on trying to understand how it and other apps like it can help others promote their work, especially the younger Indie Authors who best fit the apps’ demographic. So, I’ve kept my eye open for anything relatively relative about it…
And what do you know… I happened to stumble across (as opposed to StumbleUpon) recently a highly relative Editor&Publisher article entitled Publishers Find New Audiences Through Messaging Apps.
How about that?
It seems that industry folks much smarter than myself are beginning to get a handle on how to use it, Snapchat, and other similar messaging apps such as Viber, Line (neither of which I’ve heard of), WhatsApp, and WeChat (all four of which I’ve never used) to market content.
The article was written around a study entitled Guide to Messaging Apps, which was conducted by the Columbia Journalism School’s TOW CENTER For Digital Journalism.
Yeah, this is hardcore stuff and far too wonky for me so I’m not gonna lie to you and tell you that I read it all (or even most of it). I’ll just kindly redirect you back to the crux of the study that was condensed into manageable chunks in the Editor&Publisher article (which itself is hardly a tweet-of-read):
We argue that to devise a successful messaging app strategy, publishers must understand regional strongholds, user demographics, and popular features of each app.
Advantages to the chat ecosystem include huge, untapped audiences; high engagement through push notifications; unique products like stickers and ‘chatbots;’ and the opportunity to build community through chat rooms and crowdsourced storytelling.
(I know, I’m shameless… I summarized a quote from an article that summarized a study’s Executive Summary. So it goes, I guess, as a more successful Kurt, may he rest in writerly peace, used to like to remind us.)
It really is a fantastic article (yes! I read it completely!), especially how it draws knowledge from three journalists, one from the Wall Street Journal, one from BBC, and and one from ESPN, on how they’ve been able to use the messaging apps to share their content so as to better engage and build out their audiences.
Last year, the [Wall Street] Journal began experimenting with WhatsApp when it launched its ex-pats section. “We thought maybe it would be interesting to take a small yet very engaged audience and build an ex-pats community,” said Zanoni. She said that the community likes to receive one to two curated articles per week, which it learned by asking for feedback in a Facebook Group.
Well, I gotta say… this is far more knowledge than I’d ever thought I would (or wanted to) gain about messaging apps when I wrote the first post asking for feedback.
The irony* of it all is, I no longer have much of a need for so much of it.
But I do hope you can find some use for some or all of it; particularly in finding news ways to create and expand your reading audience.
It’s a brave new snapping and chatting writing world out there, my friends…
Steady as you go.
*That is irony, right? I’ll never get that stuff figured out…
And btw, yes I know the gifs are getting annoying, but they are so much fun to make. And, c’mon, you gotta admit that’s a rockin’ header up top, no?