More Ways to Use Snapchat with Your eBay Business

Phil Dunn, Contributing Writer

An eBay seller discusses engaging millennials — a key part of the Snapchat audience.

In a previous story, we checked in with eBay clothing seller Cyndi Zlotow about Snapchat strategies for use with eBay. That conversation also produced a great discussion about youth and millennials on the social media powerhouse that Snapchat has become, which is what this follow-up post focuses on.

With millennial offspring in her own house, Zlotow has first-hand experience with the all-digital generation. “This generation is fiscally and globally aware,” she said. “They saw their parents and parents of friends go through the recession, and saw some lose their jobs and homes. They realize that these days you don’t spend 30 or 40 or years in a job and then retire.”

More than any other generation before, the millennials like to support small ventures and buy sustainable, recyclable goods. They’re also sensitive to the issues surrounding corporate mass production and overseas labor issues.

All of this, of course, fits perfectly with eBay’s ongoing focus on sustainable shopping models.

“They’re happy to buy from eBay if it saves money,” said Zlotow. “They also want to support small businesses and eliminate waste. Used goods are perfect for this thrifty, socially conscious segment of the population.”

Zlotow’s used clothing eBay store is a great example of that model in action. Millennials buy nice clothing at low prices and know they’re supporting her family in the process. She has those kinds of tight relationships with her social media followers. They know her personally.

“Stay Out of My Feed”

When asked about pushback on social media platforms like Snapchat that are considered very personal, Zlotow had some firsthand input from her own kids. “Their big issue was just about relevance,” she said. “If they trust the seller and the seller puts something valuable in front of them that’s a good deal, they’re in - especially if it supports a small business as opposed to some large, faceless corporation.”

She also described how different the millennial generation is with respect to information, advertising and promotion. “There’s a major shift. They don’t remember a day without connectivity, they don’t remember dial-up, and they never had to ask mom to get off the phone so they could get on the Internet.”

With Snapchat and other social media platforms, that means connection is critical. “If I go on Snapchat and say ‘buy my item’, they’ll unfollow me,” said Zlotow. “They won’t be interested. They have to have a connection. Otherwise it feels like an ad. My kids don’t watch TV because it’s difficult to avoid the ads. As an eBay seller, I need to find ways to personalize the experience or they’ll tune out instantly.”

Better Engagement

Zlotow has plans to add value to her Snapchat feed by creating interactive experiences. “I’ve done some engagement with a fashion blogger on Instagram, and I hope to connect with more of them on Snapchat,” she said. Her snaps would include questions like, “What other garment would you pair with this sweater?” The emphasis is on value-added engagement.

Similar questions could be used for different items and audiences: “What necklace would you wear with these boots? Where would you put this side table in your house? How could you repurpose this piece of art? Do you have a memory of this particular stuffed animal?”

Zlotow has great expectations for Snapchat as used in tandem with eBay. “I’ve always been a big eBay cheerleader,” she said. “The eBay focus around sustainability, low cost and reusable items really fits with the millennial audience. I have learned how to engage better with millennials, and I want to take these skills to the next new social channel.”