• Thanks to the internet, conversations have more power today than ever before, primarily because we have more access to people, information and experiences.
  • We used to own every part of our brand. The days of benefiting from a built-in captive audience are over.
  • Snapchat is a conduit to improve your communication and a channel to help you stay visible in a crowded business.

Some people reading this right now don’t believe that Snapchat can help them develop a strong personal brand, generate an actual real estate transaction or teach them about modern marketing.

You don’t have to believe something for it to be true.

I’m about to make a very bold statement: Snapchat is not a social media platform, and it’s not just a messaging app. In my opinion, Snapchat is the single most powerful conversation pipeline available today.

It’s a relationship-accelerator and personal branding engine.

The chatty consumer

Thanks to the internet, conversations have more power today than ever before, primarily because we have more access to people, information and experiences.

Today’s consumer has a lot to say about, well, everything — and that includes confirming whether your intended brand message matches up with their perception. As we all know, perception is reality.

Mutual or forced “collaboration” happens every time a consumer “likes” your posts or publishes a one-star review on Yelp. Whether you like it or not, you’re brand is being co-created.

Say goodbye to interruption marketing

Branding for 2017 should be centered on creating a human connection — an authentic experience that’s consumer-led. Interruption marketing is a thing of the past as we fast-forward through commercials or even pay for ad-free viewing.

We used to own every part of our brand. Mad Men’s (in)famous creative director, Don Draper, never inquired about consumer opinion because he didn’t have to — he enjoyed the privilege of a built-in captive audience that didn’t have big data, ad blockers or an enormous array of viewing options.

Snapchat can help you build a unique personal brand while teaching you how to authentically engage with an audience in real time because of these two marketing trends: 1) shared, real-time experiences and 2) social media becoming TV.

Instant expression: Shared, real-time experiences

Snapchat co-founder, Evan Spiegel said that we’ve transitioned from a world of “accumulation” to “instant expression.”

A few years ago, we could only share experiences on social media that had already occurred. We posted photos and recorded videos on Facebook or Instagram so other people we cared about (sort of) could participate, but that experience only existed in the past.

Now, with social streaming apps like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Periscope and Snapchat, we’ve moved from a place of accumulation, or past events, to a world of instant expression.

Real time marketing is becoming the status quo, like having a website was 10 years ago.

Even more powerful: Marketers are finding that when you leverage “real time” content that disappears, your audience really starts paying attention.

The result: deeper connections and higher engagement than most other platforms currently offer.

The National Association of Realtors‘ 2016 generational report states that millennials will make up the largest pool of homebuyers over the next decade. And the no. 1 thing that they are looking for in a real estate professional is trustworthiness.

How do you build trust? By showing people who you really are.

Shared human experiences accelerate trust.

Social media television — when video rules the world

In five years, Facebook content will be mostly video. Over the last year, Snapchat has earned 10 billion video views (a 350 percent increase from 2015).

It may seem unusual imagining yourself as the star of your own reality show, but so was ordering an Uber six years ago. The Snapchat app opens to a camera, a silent but powerful psychological call to action. We are being trained to accept video as a preferred method of communication.

It’s never been easier to create visual content with a recording studio in your pocket and built-in editing software that you can navigate on the fly. Quite frankly, there is no excuse not to be creating videos when it’s completely free and this accessible.

Now, even you can compete with Fortune 500 companies that boast healthy marketing budgets. Live streaming is the great equalizer that empowers both the average individual and the largest corporation with the ability to reach relevant audiences on a monumental scale.

Gary Vaynerchuk wrote in The Thank You Economy that “everything has changed except for human nature.”

Technology isn’t making us obsolete or encouraging millennials to shun human connectivity. On the contrary, as tech evolves, we will value human relationships even more. Your marketing campaigns must become live, continuous interactions.

What 2017 demands

Branding is about creating a memory in another person’s brain.

When people see your content, your videos and your posts, each one leaves a small impression. This memory-building becomes a mental shortcut, so that when the time comes to make a decision, the consumer naturally reaches out to you. You build a brand through delivering consistent content in the right context.

Snapchat is a medium that will train you to communicate with consumers in the way that a 2017 world demands. The platform is a conduit to improve your communication and a channel to help you stay relevant and visible in a crowded business.

See — once you know something, you can’t un-know it.

snapcode-chelseaAdd me on Snapchat: @Chelsea.Peitz

Chelsea Peitz is the AVP, director of marketing of Fidelity National Title. Follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

Email Chelsea Peitz.

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