A Snapchat Lesson for Schools, from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Nothing strikes more fear into marketers than new social media platforms — especially those that appeal mostly to youth, and that don’t seem to be disappearing anytime soon.
Namely: Snapchat. This once-deemed flash-in-the-pan platform is quickly cementing itself as the new big social media player. New research shows that:

  • Among 18-34 year olds, Snapchat is now more popular than Twitter
  • 70 percent of U.S. college students now post to Snapchat daily (and only 11 percent do that on Facebook)
  • College students think Snapchat is the social network with the highest level of privacy (35 percent believe it’s the most secure)

Snapchat is here to stay. And while it’s very different than the legacy social media platforms most marketers are used to, it’s also evolving into an extremely interesting storytelling platform.

So students are using Snapchat — but should schools?

The answer is YES … but only if it’s used in the right way. And the “right way” is best exemplified by another pretty formal institution: an art museum. Specifically, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Here are some key lessons schools can learn from LACMA’s Snapchat mastery:
A Snapchat Lesson for Schools, from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

#1. Play with stories and experiences.

LACMA’s Snapchat account (@lacma) is witty and entertaining, effectively blending pop culture with the past.
The core strategy for the account focuses on pairing artistic works with popular phrases, memes or song lyrics. (Think: a seventeenth-century Italian gilded bronze Risen Christ overlaid with quotes from The Breakfast Club). This not only showcases the museum’s collections, but also makes its works appealing within the broader Snapchat experience.
(See some of LACMA’s snaps here.)
The takeaway: Create content in context. Snapchat’s user experience is fun and spirited, with lots of opportunity for creative expression. Use it to your advantage.
A Snapchat Lesson for Schools, from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

#2. Develop a strategy.

While LACMA’s snaps may seem offhand and causal, a ton of planning goes into the story concepts. Stories need to be developed, and just the right art needs to be found in the vast collection. And because Snapchat stories are linear, posting order needs to be thoroughly planned. (Read more about LACMA’s Snapchat strategy.)
The takeaway: Plan your Snapchat stories in an editorial calendar just as you would your regular social media content. It’s still possible to be spontaneous with a plan.

#3. Put your school on the Snapchat map.

LACMA visitors are able to use the museum’s Geofilter to create location-specific snaps. LACMA was even included in Snapchat’s Geofilter unveil video last year:

While businesses cannot apply for a Geofilter, cities, universities, local landmarks, or other public locations can. Check out Snapchat’s guidelines for community Geofilters for more information.
The takeaway: Immerse your school in the Snapchat experience by taking advantage of all the features it has to offer. The more you use, the more authentic your account will seem.

Now I want to know: Is your school on Snapchat?

Share your account name in the comments below, plus some of your favorite tips or lessons learned!

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