Snapchat’s Paperclip: A Gift to Social Good

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No one panic, but you can add links to Snapchat. YOU CAN ADD LINKS TO SNAPCHAT. While this news is undoubtedly exciting for brands, media companies, bloggers and others who have content to be consumed, it’s even more exciting for nonprofits and social do-gooders.

When a new feature or a new platform launches, it’s a gold rush to figure out how to disrupt or hack the system to do something wonderful. Brands go out of their way to find opportunities to cleverly connect users to their conversion funnels by leaving a trail of tasty breadcrumbs disguised as a Snap or a Story. The addition of Paperclip, Snapchat’s linking feature, makes this easy because it utilizes the platform’s internal browser—meaning you lose fewer clicks because the user doesn’t have to leave Snapchat to view the link.

Nonprofits are consistently struggling to find ways to reach people online, especially when they’re trying to raise funds. For every Ice Bucket Challenge, there are hundreds of campaigns that never make it to a wider audience—really creative, good campaigns, too. Why? Many times, it’s a lack of tangible action. People need to know what they need to do in order to actually interact with a brand or organization. Do you want them to donate and share? Just donate? How can they do that? Where do they need to go to give money? How many steps are in the process? These are critical questions—the abandonment rate in the nonprofit industry is 50-75%. Over half of the people that actually get to a donation page jump ship somewhere within the process.

With the popularity of Snapchat, it’s no wonder brands have flocked to the platform. It’s where Gen Z, the most coveted group of big spenders and influencers, hangs out and it’s a daily battle for eyeballs, dollars, swipes and whatever other currency people value. It’s all right there. They’re a captive audience. Embedding a link makes the gap to action smaller, helping brands convert faster and more successfully.

For nonprofits, this means that they get to skip the, “How do we get them on our page?” part and go straight to their big ask. In fact, they don’t even have to do the asking themselves. With Paperclip available for all users, nonprofits can tap a few of their biggest supporters and ask them to solicit donations as mini-influencer campaigns. A smart nonprofit could take advantage of creative prompts for supporters with links to custom donation landing pages—each with a call to action driving people to give. This would be a great way to showcase, using their own words, why people support an organization.

New features are coming out every week on every social platform you can think of. While Snapchat’s recent additions are exciting, they’re not just a vehicle for sales—they can be a powerful ally to organizations driving social change. Whether it’s connecting with an audience that shares their values or adding a new fundraising stream, new features like Paperclip can challenge nonprofits to be more creative and more effective.

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