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Why We Launched A Snapchat Account and How We’ll Measure Success

Editor’s Note: AIDS.gov is learning about Snapchat and today we share how other organizations are using this new tool and measuring impact. Here’s how the Human Rights Campaign Exit Disclaimer is using Snapchat: “As one of the first nonprofits to launch on Snapchat, the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) civil rights organization, has an established presence that not only allows us to reach a broader and younger audience, but it has also provided us with a unique platform with which we can engage with users.” – Emily Simeral Roberts, Digital Media Specialist, Human Rights Campaign.

Yesterday, we shared our Snapchat account with the public. After weeks of testing the tool to iron out kinks and determine how we’d make content accessible, we were excited to go public when the official government-friendly terms of service were signed.

USAgov Snapchat blog imageSo now you may be asking, why is the U.S. government using Snapchat and what will it be sharing?

Here are our top three reasons for using Snapchat.
  1. Explosive growth and audience potential. According to the White House blog, 60 percent of Americans ages 13-34 are on Snapchat. There are more than 100 million daily active users. With an engaged audience that large, it was time for us to adopt the platform.
  2. Meeting our audience where they are. Snapchat is the go-to platform for a younger generation. Right now we know our general user demographic trends older, and we struggle to connect with the younger demographic through our current social media channels. But millennials also need government benefits and services (getting a license, registering to vote, understanding and applying for federal student aid). We want to meet them where they are.
  3. Putting a human face to USAGov. The government can seem like a big bureaucracy to many people who interact with it. We want to use Snapchat to give the government more of a human face. We’ll be showing behind-the-scenes looks at the people and places that make our government run and help deliver services and benefits to the public. If you want historical fun facts, insider peeks at our national monuments and even the occasional helpful hint, make sure to follow us on Snapchat by searching for USAGov.
How we plan to measure success

We never launch on a new platform without first thinking through how we’ll measure whether we’re successful.

Snapchat provides some very basic information that we’ll be using to track our success:

  • Followers: We’ll measure our audience size after six months and assess growth. Are we seeing new followers being added or are people unfollowing us?
  • Views/Completion Rate: Snapchat lets you see how many people are watching your story and where they drop off in the process. We’ll measure those numbers to determine if people are watching the whole story or giving up halfway through. We’ll also analyze what kind of content performs best so that we can deliver more of what our audience wants.
  • Engagement: We’ll look at the number of people who send Snaps back to us to help determine how engaging our content is.
  • Screenshots: Snapchat notifies you when someone takes a screenshot of your content. We’ll use screenshots to help us determine if we’re sharing important information that our audience thinks is worth keeping. We’ll look at what kind of content is screenshotted the most to learn what’s important to our followers.

To see how we’re using Snapchat make sure to follow us and snap us with your feedback!

This post was originally published on the USAgov blog by Jessica Milcetich, who manages social media for USAGov.