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Snapchat losing steam with influencers—90% are using it less

by | May 4, 2018 | Public Relations

Despite Snapchat’s best efforts to appeal to influencers by offering verified accounts and better ways to measure data, it hasn’t worked just yet. A whopping 87 percent of marketers and 89 percent of influencers both report using Snapchat less for influencer campaigns than they did last year, new research from influencer marketing network ACTIVATE finds.

But this decreased interest in the specific platform is not indicative of the health of the influencer marketing industry overall as the majority (61 percent) of marketers who participated in the research say they’re increasing their influencer budgets for 2018.

These findings, from the firm’s State of Influencer Marketing: Brand & Influencer Collaboration in 2018 report, also point to the fact that influencer marketing continues to grow as a key marketing tool, with nearly 50 percent of marketers now working with influencers for six months or longer.

“Platform Wars” heat up, with Instagram leading the pack

Instagram has emerged as the platform of choice for marketers and influencers alike, but not only are these parties using the platform for social media campaigns, they’re beginning to use Instagram-specific tools like Stories and live video for campaigns as well:

  • Sixteen percent of influencers and 14 percent of marketers use Instagram Polls for sponsored campaigns
  • Ten percent of influencers and 20 percent of marketers use Instagram Live
  • Nearly half (43 percent) of marketers are using Instagram’s swipe-up feature, while just 15 percent of influencers report using it for sponsored campaigns
  • Nearly a quarter of both marketers (22 percent) and influencers (26 percent) are using Instagram Story Highlights within influencer campaigns

Snapchat losing steam with influencers—90% are using it less

Instagram-owned Facebook got a bump from marketers and influencers—57 percent of marketers reported using the platform more than last year—but YouTube, Pinterest and Twitter saw a decrease in usage from influencers and marketers across the board:

  • YouTube: 69 percent of influencers are using this platform less than 2017, 47% of marketers
  • Pinterest: 63 percent of influencers are using Pinterest less than last year, 44% of marketers have scaled back on brand collaborations here
  • Twitter: Nearly three-quarters (70 percent) of marketers and half (50 percent) of influencers are using the platform less for campaigns than they did last year.

“Influencers flocked to the Snapchat app when it first debuted, we actually saw creators promoting their Snapchat accounts on Instagram. But with a less than accommodating environment as well as less sophisticated measurement capabilities, Snap has fallen off the radar for influencers-brand collaborations,” said Kamiu Lee, CEO of ACTIVATE, in a news release.

Snapchat losing steam with influencers—90% are using it less

“However, with recent movement from Snap to provide better measurement, as well as younger audiences continuing to flock to Snap and leaving Facebook, it will be interesting to see how things evolve—to some extent, marketers and influencers flock to where the environment is ripe, and audience and measurement are key,” she added.

Data reveals both brands and influencers have more to learn about FTC guidelines

It’s clear that the FTC’s recent crackdowns haven’t done as much as they perhaps hoped. In fact, 1 in 5 (20 percent) marketers admit to not having a complete understanding of FTC guidelines for sponsored posts, while 1 in 3 (35 percent) influencers do not have a complete understanding of guidelines.

Snapchat losing steam with influencers—90% are using it less

Yet surprisingly, in the instance of disclosing free product—a grey area for many brands and influencers—both parties have a slight handle on the appropriate disclosure procedure.

Just about half (57 percent) of influencers use appropriate “#ad” language when posting about free product and about half (56 percent) state they received the product and specify that they were not paid.

Download the report here.

ACTIVATE conducted this survey through polling 104 U.S. based marketers and 818 influencers. Fieldwork was undertaken from February 1, 2018 to March 1, 2018. The survey was carried out online.

Snapchat losing steam with influencers—90% are using it less

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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