Though Snapchat’s been around for a little while (and we’ve written about it a few times), there’s recently been increased buzz around Snapchat as a marketing tool in the past few months.
With an increasing number of brands have started to turn to Snapchat as a new marketing platform, it’s a good idea for all SMBs to look at Snapchat and decide if it’s a platform that would work for them. In this post, we’ll take a look at some benefits to promoting your business on Snapchat and how to get started on the platform.
Why You Should Promote Your Business on Snapchat
Snapchat is a visual platform that allows you to share images and/or videos with a specific friend or all of your followers. These images and videos will last only for a short time (you can choose how long you want your images to be available, and stories can be available for 24 hours), and once the time is up they’ll disappear for good. Snapchat is purely a mobile app, Snapchat is purely a mobile app, unlike Instagram, which can also be viewed on desktop after your profile has been created.
While users everywhere are sometimes using Snapchat to share fleeting images of ugly selfies, brands can use Snapchat as a unique marketing platform to connect with their audiences.
There are several benefits to promoting on Snapchat. The first is that, comparatively, not nearly as many brands are on Snapchat as are on Facebook, Instagram, or even Pinterest. This automatically gives you an edge.
Snapchat is full of a young demographic (with 71% of Snapchat users being under the age of 25), and the demographic that’s there tends to be active.
Snapchat is also the perfect platform to use when you’re looking to create urgency. The right-now mentality of a fleeting image or video makes it the perfect vessel for a call to action. Snapchat is also free for brands to use.
How to Get Started Promoting Your Business on Snapchat
Though it has marketing potential for users, I’m not a fan of Snapchat as a user (so though I’m the right age, I would definitely not be the targeted demographic). I think the biggest reason for this is that their interface isn’t quite as user-friendly as some other social media sites. Because of this, we’ll go through step by step to show you how to set up your profile and start promoting your business on Snapchat.
1. Set Up Your Profile
When you sign up for Snapchat, you add in your email, password, and birthday. You’ll then be asked to choose a username; Snapchat will offer suggestions based on your email.
When you enter in your phone number on the next screen, it serves two purposes; it sends you a code to verify that you’re a real person, and (if you choose) it searches your contacts to help you find friends and start getting your first few followers.
On the Snapchat home page, you’ll see several things. On the bottom left hand side, you’ll see a red/pink box—this tells you that you have a Snap. On the bottom right hand side, you’ll see a purple box, which tells you that you have a story you can view. At the top, in the very center, you’ll see the Snapchat ghost—you can click on that to see who’s added you, who your friends are, and to add new friends.
You can also set your profile picture, which will be a series of images taken in a rapid succession, by clicking on the yellow logo.
From this screen, you can also access your settings by clicking on the white star/wheel in the top right hand corner. To finish setting up your profile, scroll down to “Who can send me snaps/view my story.” Since you’re a business, I’d recommend changing it so that everyone had access to your stories and could send you snaps.
Once you take these pictures, you can retake them if you want/need to. The pictures you’ve taken will appear in the white portion of the logo.
2. Increase Your Followers
Followers are essential on Snapchat; if people aren’t following you, they won’t get your content. Because you can’t tag people and there’s no ad platform, it’s harder to connect with new users. There are, however, several effective ways to increase your followers on Snapchat.
One of the best ways to increase your followers on Snapchat is done on other platforms. Upload a post with your Snapchat username and share it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, and ask users to follow you and send Snaps to you. This sends an already-engaged audience right to Snapchat.
Snapchat also has allowed users to create QR codes and to post them on social media. When someone sees this QR code, they can hover Snapchat’s camera over it, and it will lead to them following you; they don’t even have to search for your handle. You can also customize these QR codes; see how to do so here.
Another tried-and-true method to increase your followers is just to offer value with your snaps and stories. Whether you’re sharing discounts or entertaining followers, if you’re keeping people engaged and creating content they love, your followers will continue to increase—and they’ll stick around.
3. Send Snaps & Share Stories
You create Snaps and stories the same way, from the home screen of Snapchat. You tap the camera button if you want to take a snapshot, and you hold it down if you want to take a video.
Once you take a picture or a video, you can add a caption, an emoji that you can drag anywhere across the screen, and you can draw right onto the image in any color you’d like.
Once you’re happy with the image, you can choose how long you want it to be visible for (in a Snap) in the right hand corner by clicking on the encircled number in the bottom left hand corner. You can also choose to share this image as a snap here, or by swiping to the next screen and choosing “My Story” instead of individual users.
If you’re not on the platform yet, it might just be time to get started promoting your business on Snapchat.
Snapchat may not yet have quite the same reach or amount of extensive marketing features other marketing platforms do, but it still offers an additional method to connect and engage with your audience. In addition, advertising on Snapchat is free, and there’s less competition there amongst brands (since less brands are on it) than on many other platforms.
As Snapchat develops more as a platform for both marketers and users, it will be interesting to see the increasing impact it can have on marketing campaigns.
What do you think? Do you use Snapchat as part of your marketing plan? How do you use it to connect with your audience and build engagement? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!