How to Use Snapchat for Business (and How It Works)

6-minute read No intro, let me jump right into tips on using Snapchat for business.

What’s more, marketers and brands use Snapchat to create more personal connections with their customers. It’s a social media network second to none at giving a unique, behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of your brand, products or service.

Snapchat logo

Make sure to understand the nuances of this platform and you’ll quickly see if it can work for your business and/or marketing campaign you’re planning.

At first try, Snapchat can seem quite confusing, but it becomes clearer once you spend a bit of time on it. This platform is primarily fun and is ideal for sharing quick insights, live product launches, special promotions as well as day-to-day moments of your life and business.

Data suggests that more than 50% of Snapchat’s users are aged between 18-34.

If you go onto Snapchat purely to sell, it’s not going to work. Snapchat is all about storytelling and creating compelling content that people will go out of their way to watch and keep going back to each day.

Snapchat’s main features

This is what Snapchat is famous for. Snaps are photos and videos (up to 10 seconds long) you capture with your camera and can send to other users (friends). Snaps disappear automatically after being seen.

The idea of photos and videos displaying in a collage for 24 hours and then disappearing was first coined by Snapchat. Stories allow you to add up to 10 posts that will play in a chronological order until the time runs out.

Similar to Snaps, chat messages sent between friends disappear as soon as you’ve seen them. You can chat with users and save chat messages that are most important to you, like an address or a promotional code sent from a brand.

Snapchat recently launched Memories – a feature that allows you to publish photos and videos taken outside of the mobile app and create posts that don’t disappear. Memories encourage you to get creative with telling your brand’s story and help reuse the best of your Snaps and Stories.

In essence, Filters are overlays and stickers you can add to an image or video that has already been taken. You can also create your own geofilters for Snapchat to promote your brand, location or event for a small sum.

Some say Snapchat wouldn’t be as fun without them. Lenses add fun real-time special effects and sounds to a person’s face, all you have to do is find a face and point the camera into their direction.

Snapchat's Lenses feature

SnapMap is the newest feature brought by Snapchat that allows you to track the location of your friends in real-time. Designed to help users find “stuff to do” and engage in offline activities, but it has instead caused serious privacy concerns. Time will tell if Snapchat will make this work.

Snapchat marketing: How to grow your Snapchat account

1. Host a Snapchat takeover

The process was simple – Gini mentioned that she was taking over the brand’s account on her own Snapchat, then shared their Snapcode and invited people to follow her journey there. I personally ended up following SoulPancake and can only imagine how many people they acquired from this takeover.

Sarah Peretz hosting a takeover for College Humor

2. Intrigue your viewers

He encourages businesses to use other social media networks to share a piece of their Snapchat story to compel people to add you as a friend, contrary to only doing contests. This is how you do it:

Once people get used to the fact that you put out your most interesting, fun and useful content on Snapchat, they’ll start to automatically go there to get it.

Shonduras creative Snaps, part one

Other ways to grow your Snapchat account:

Once you start growing your account, it’s imperative you stay consistent so that people keep seeing your content and hopefully, share it with their friends.

3. Run promotions and contests

  • Create a special coupon only for your Snapchat audience*
  • Exclusive giveaways and photo contests
  • Behind-the-scene previews and teasers (Q&As)
  • Special limited time offers
  • Flash sales

Whichever promotion you’re running, you need to create a sense of urgency which Snapchat is perfect for. People respond quickly when the offer is compelling and they know it’s only available for a limited time (especially if they’re in the market to buy).

You’ll need to measure your success after investing time in Snapchat marketing. If you want to understand how well you’re doing, you can use Snaplytics that allows you to:

The best way to track your success is by keeping in mind the engagement with your audience and if you’re reaching your goals, e.g. the number of people using a coupon.

Are you using Snapchat for your business? Connect with me there and let me know if you learned something.

Leslie McDermid

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