Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to record and send video messages, photos, text and drawings directly to other users or post them to their profiles. Unless posted to your profile, the messages that you send can only be viewed once. This makes Snapchat unlike any other social media site. The fleeting nature of Snapchat taps into our “fear of missing out” and is a big reason why the app is so popular. The app is especially popular among millenials, who account for 70% of Snapchat users.
Since its launch in 2011, Snapchat has surpassed Twitter in average daily users, which indicates that it’s an effective way to reach your audience. Snapchat’s easy-to-use, highly interactive and engaging format makes it popular among individuals and businesses alike. Read on to learn more about how your company can use this free app in your marketing strategy.
Before Getting Started
Prior to launching your Snapchat campaign, be sure to do the following:
Learn the lingo. Similar to “likes” on Facebook and “retweets” on Twitter, Snapchat has its own terms to describe interactions.
Snap(s): A “snap” is a picture or video message that you record to share with followers. You can send snaps to specific users or post the snap to your “story.” Before you hit send, be sure to select the viewing duration (between one and 10 seconds), and, if desired, save it to your phone’s photo gallery.
Snap story: A snap story creates a narrative out of the snaps that you post. Your story will be active for 24 hours, and, depending on your privacy settings, can be viewed by the public or by only your Snapchat friends.
Study your target audience. The majority of Snapchat’s users are between the ages of 18 and 34, so designing content to appeal to this age group will be essential to your campaign’s success.
Decide who will run your Snapchat account. Because Snapchat must be run on a mobile device (cellphone, tablet, etc.) you will have to decide whether to use an employee’s device or a company-owned device. Also, consider who will run your Snapchat account. It is often best to limit your social media endeavors to a small group of employees to retain the same voice.
Creating Your Snapchat Account
When you’re ready to start creating your Snapchat account, download the Snapchat app from either the Google Play Store for Android or iTunes App Store for iOS. Visit www.support.snapchat.com/en-US/article/getting-started1 for in-depth instructions on how to set up an account.
When creating your account, consider the following suggestions:
Choose a username that is professional, easy to remember, and, if applicable, the same username you use on other social media sites.
Add an account image or collection of images that reflect your brand. While you should remain professional, don’t be afraid to get creative with your account image. Keep in mind that you can change your photo at any time to reflect company events, holidays, etc.
Configure your privacy settings for who can send you snaps and view your story. Because you are a business, you might find it best to keep your account public in order to gain as many followers as you can. You can always update this setting if problems arise.
Examples of How to Use Snapchat for Your Business
Snapchat is a versatile tool, since it can be used in at least five different ways:
Teasing product releases—If you have a new product launching soon, use a series of snaps to generate excitement and anticipation for the release.
Providing access to live events—If your company is releasing a product, use your Snapchat account to deliver real-time marketing.
Sending a coupon or discount code—Consider sending a promotional code directly to your followers. It is important to note that Snapchat does have a set of promotions rules, so be sure to check them out and make sure you are in compliance.
Documenting company-sponsored events—If your company is hosting an event, whether that be a company outing, happy hour or an average Friday afternoon, giving your followers a behind-the-scenes glimpse into your company’s lifestyle can increase engagement and show off your culture.
Introducing new employees—If you have a new hire, use your company Snapchat to introduce him or her to your followers to help increase internal engagement and further instill a sense of transparency among your external followers.
Suggestions for Building Your Snapchat Following
The process of building your following is not something that happens overnight. It will take dedication and strategic moves to make your Snapchat campaign successful. Use these suggestions to help:
Promote your account on other social media platforms.
Share your exact username so that people can find your account.
Encourage your employees to follow and spread the word about your account.
When used successfully, Snapchat can strengthen your brand and attract new customers. By creating quality content that speaks to and engages your audience, you can build your brand and improve customer loyalty.