In today’s society, almost everyone has heard of Snapchat. The social media app is taking the the world by storm through endless selfies, videos, and photos of users’ day-to-day lives. Even if you’ve heard of Snapchat and are familiar with its everyday uses, you might not be aware of how Snapchat can be used to grow your business.
This post will provide a breakdown and explanation about what Snapchat is, how it works, and the lingo you’ll need to know when talking about Snapchat. You’ll also get some insight into how Snapchat can be used to connect you with your customers, and how you can reach a new demographic in your customer audience.
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a social media app available on both iPhone and Android devices. Snapchat allows its users to share snapshots of their lives with friends and followers. Users interact with each other on Snapchat by sending 10 second photos and videos to their friends or posting on their stories for everyone to see for up to 24 hours.
Who uses Snapchat?
Common among millennials, people born in and after the year 1980, Snapchat is gaining momentum among all ages and groups of people. You’ll find all types of people on Snapchat which makes it great tool to use to promote and market your business to many target audiences.
Snapchat provides a glimpse into the everyday life of its users, including students, business owners, and parents. No matter how you use Snapchat, the app allows its users to create a personal brand and promote themselves or their business.
With over 400 million communications being sent per day, Snapchat is easily becoming one of the today’s most widely-used social media platforms. Everyday, more people, celebrities, and businesses are joining Snapchat to document their lives and promote their businesses through live updates and behind the scenes pictures and videos.
Like every social media platform, Snapchat has its own vocabulary that is essential to using the app.
Before we break down Snapchat’s utility and how you can use it, here are some of the most common Snapchat terms you should know.
- Snap: A photo or video that is sent via Snapchat; can be set to last from 1-10 seconds before disappearing; Can be sent to one or more friends. Once you take a snap, tap on the photo to add text.
- Friends: People who have added you on Snapchat; those who can receive snaps from you and view your story.
- Story: 1-10 second photos and videos that can be viewed by everyone on your friends list and re-watched an unlimited amount of times until it disappears after 24 hours.
- Filters: Can modify your photo in ways such as making it lighter or black and white, as well as adding effects such as the time, date, and temperature.
- Geofilter: A customized filter that can be found in certain geographical areas, on certain national holidays, or used for certain events.
- Snapcode: The QR-style code that makes it easy for new friends to add you.
How to Run Your Small Business Snapchat Account
Before you even begin using Snapchat, it’s important to understand a little bit about what it is and how it can be used to help your business.
Set a Goal for Your Business on Snapchat
As a business owner, it’s exciting to have Snapchat as a free and easy way to raise awareness for your company and expand your audience, but you need to know what you want to get out of using the app. Do you want an easier way to share discounts and promotions? Do you want to find out how people are using your product by sending in photos or videos? Do you want to be able to show your customers what a day in the life of your business is like?
Create an Account
Once you have a better understanding of what you hope to accomplish when using Snapchat, it’s time to make an account. Your username should be consistent across all social media accounts so you’re easy to find when someone is searching for you. When you set up your phone number in the application, you’ll need to make sure that it is a mobile number, not a landline, so you’ll be able to verify your account.
Once your account is running, post about it on other social media platforms and begin posting on your story—you can easily hit the ground running without much planning.
When it comes to promoting your business on Snapchat, think outside of the box. Creativity is key in setting yourself apart from other businesses and is easy to do.
One example of creative marketing is from 16 Handles, a frozen yogurt shop. The business uses Snapchat to engage customers while they’re in the store by offering an in-store coupon. Their Snapchat marketing campaign works in just 3 easy steps:
Step 1: Customers send a snap of their yogurt before reaching the register.
Step 2: The 16 Handles Snapchat account would automatically send a coupon back that would give the customer 16%-100% off of their order.
Step 3: Customers open the coupon at the register and receive a discount on the order. Because snaps only last for up to 10 seconds, customers waited until they were at the register before opening the coupon. This created a sense of excitement and adrenaline, like a game, while customers were waiting in line.
Other companies like Starbucks use Snapchat to tell a story about their business and highlight their loyal customers. Starbucks asks customers to send photos of themselves enjoying their coffee and and the company then reposts their favorite Snapchats that they receive.
Starbucks also uses Snapchat to introduce new drink or menu items. Each of these strategies makes customers want to watch their story. The result? Customers are lining up at local Starbucks locations to try out their newest creations! An example of a Starbucks story that allows the company to interact with its customers is below:
This strategy works by encouraging your customers to engage for an offer. This engagement creates a rapport between a business and its audience. It also provides you with inexpensive, yet highly effective means of marketing and customer loyalty.
The ways in which you can use Snapchat for marketing your business are endless and new ways are being created every day. Will you be the next business owner to break the code of how to be the next best Snapchat marketer? Do you already use Snapchat for your business? Let us know in the comments below!