If I were asked to describe the typical Snapchat user, would I - or any of my friends for that matter - associate the user with a PGA tournament attendee? Odds are, probably not. I couldn't envision someone like my golf fanatic father, gathering with his buddies to snap a quick video. However, this past weekend, the two worlds collided at the PGA Waste Management Open in Phoenix, Arizona when Snapchat gave event spectators the opportunity to post a live story from the event. The main attraction: The infamous 16th hole.
For those unfamiliar with the structure of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, spectators at the 16th hole are not held to the rigorous rules set at other holes. The tournament has dubbed the 16th hole the "party" or "rowdy" hole, allowing the crowd to drink, cheer and get loud, attracting a younger demographic. And, although Snapchat allowed attendees to post from wherever they pleased, it seemed that most snaps were taken from this boisterous area. Snaps included videos of loud fans, cheering, drinking and even mud sliding down a slippery hill.
While this was a singular occurrence, it is interesting to observe how Snapchat has begun to infiltrate more traditional events. One would expect Snapchat to be present at a college or NFL football game, but its presence at a PGA tournament shows the platform's growth potential and ability to reach new audiences. Marketing professionals, take note. Snapchat's ever adapting features are making it a practical advertising platform.
"Once viewed as a young person-to-person platform, Snapchat has extended beyond its original make-up. With a constant stream of new features, such as My Story and the Live section, users are given the ability to broadcast content from virtually anywhere," said Maggie Murphy, social media expert at Didit. "This platform is not to be overlooked. Events, such as this recent golf tournament, prove that Snapchat will be a player in the social media marketing-sphere moving forward."
In January 2015, Snapchat introduced its Discover feature, which allows users to quickly stream news stories within the application and cut out the "middle man." In its January 27th blog announcement, Snapchat stated: "Social media companies tell us what to read based on what's most recent or most popular. We see it differently. We count on editors and artists, not clicks and shares, to determine what's important."
"Discover is a complete game-changer," added Murphy. "This feature opens the Snapchat world to brands and companies that wish to reach a younger demographic in record time. It's live, it promotes your brand's voice, and it promises a completely unique form of engagement with your customers."
The 16th hole at the Waste Management Open is just the tip of the iceberg. Snapchat's instantaneous broadcasting ability, coupled with its brevity, creates a platform conducive to sending a quick, effective message. Like it or not, Snapchat is here to play and here to stay. Get your thinking cap on marketing professionals; this new terrain is worth a chat at your next brainstorm