You might be under the impression that Snapchat, the photo video sharing app is just for your funny selfies, food pics and five second flashes. However, Snapchat has become the new innovative way to reach, interact and connect with your audience.
With over a billion views of Snapchat each day, this growing social media platform is becoming an important part of the marketing strategy for many businesses. Currently more popular with a younger demographic (18 to 34), Snapchat has over 100 million active users and there’s plenty on offer for companies who want to engage with a wider audience.
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a social media platform that allows you to share photos and videos, with the added capability that you can create captions, draw over and now add special effects to your pictures. It is similar to Instagram except that images last only a few seconds before being deleted (or 24 hours if you use Snapchat Stories) and are used more as a form of conversation rather than straight photographs. This might at first seem like a negative for businesses but Snapchat base their model on the fact that most social media posts are transitory and have a short shelf life.
Tip 1) Get to know Snapchat
It’s important to think like a Snapchat user: Why are we on the app? How are we using the app? If you appreciate the format then you will start to understand what works best and most effectively. Snapchat is an informal social channel, built on immediacy, amateur pictures, silly videos, creativity and FUN!
Tip 2) Build valuable content for your followers
Don’t forget your audience is in control! You need to keep them interested as they have the power to tap on and tap off you. There are plenty of ways to engage with followers on Snapchat and it’s not all about personal promotion. You need to post imaginatively and produce content that is interesting, informative and engaging, including:
Posting tutorials that show how to use your product.
Linking to new, exciting content on your webpage.
Updates from events or meetings that your company is involved in.
Shots demonstrating how your product works or looks in real life including from user generated content.
Sharing great tips for your industry or commenting on current news events.
Show your audience behind the scenes such as insight into employee culture
Tip 3) Engage and nurture
You don’t get anywhere on social media if you don’t engage with your audience. If you have a large number of subscribers then it’s not possible to reply to every snap that comes in but certainly making the effort as much as you can is important. That means following people back and, to some extent, nurturing them to engage more with your content – it’s a great way to uncover brand ambassadors who are happy to spread the word about your latest product.
Tip 4) Don’t be afraid to be creative
One of the great features of Snapchat is that it allows you to draw, write and add special-effects to images. This gives your brand the opportunity to be more creative and add some humour to the mix. It’s a bit like putting graffiti on the wall – for example, use your latest promotional poster and touch it up with some additional prose to make it more eye catching and relevant or take a picture at the office meeting and scribble a quick comment.
Tip 5) Embrace the time limit
The time constrained characteristic of Snapchat can work in favour to the marketer, giving you back the power to limit what the audience can see. You could send sneak previews to create an exclusivity approach to your Snapchat audience, generating excitement, customer loyalty and a buzz around your brand.
Tip 6) Run a Competition
Get your fellow Snapchatters to engage with you by running a competition. A selfie of them using your product in unusual places, for example. Getting the best out of user generated content to make your brand seem fun and desirable is one of the key strategies you might want to put in place for all social media.
Tip 7) Use other platforms to grow your following
One of the differences with Snapchat is that it’s a little more difficult to build a following – there are no hashtags, search or traditional ways that other platforms use for discovering new users. Advertise on your main website and send invitations out to your other social media followers to join you on Snapchat to build your reach.
Here are just some of the brands that are using Snapchat in a range of diverse ways:
Cosmo is one of the few brands that have the honour of being on the ‘Discover’ section of the app; exploring editorial perspectives from 15 unique channels. Cosmopolitan’s daily editions allow you to tap next or swipe up to see more, giving you an insight into the latest celebrity news and interesting stories; similar to their magazine, website and app.
Sour Patch Kids
The Candy brand, owned by Mondelez, let vine star Logan Paul host the brand’s Snapchat ‘Story’ for a five day campaign. This allowed the brand to connect and reach out to a young teen audience who became hooked on the story updates of Logon’s journey around New York pulling pranks. These pranks varied from ‘Sweet’ pranks to ‘Sour’ pranks, which incorporated with their tagline ‘First they’re sweet, Then they’re sour’.
Even Amazon has got its teeth into Snapchat, using the app to show the ‘human’ side to the company with employee selfies, amusing problems and relatable activities, all allowing the global brand to connect and interact with their diverse worldwide audience.
With an increasing number of followers and growing popularity, Snapchat presents numerous ways for businesses to engage with consumers with quirky and imaginative posts. Its immediacy makes it a lively platform that requires thought and a good deal of devotion but can, if used well, make a big difference to your social media marketing strategy.
For more information on using Snapchat for Business, email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or simply comment below!