A Beginner’s Guide to Using Snapchat for Business

Snapchat, the app that made disappearing content popular (content that goes away after 24 hours), has somewhere in the ballpark of 200 million daily active users. Since its inception in 2011, it has changed the way people communicate through messaging and social media, especially with a younger crowd. Its trendy features and ever-changing filters have attracted such a huge number of users that other platforms like Facebook and Instagram have had to take care to keep up. (We’re looking at you, Stories.) With the massive amount of traffic it receives, it’s only fitting to consider Snapchat for business to grow your brand online, engage and communicate with customers, and generate new leads. But is it truly a workable tool to grow your business?

In this blog, we’ll explore whether Snapchat for business can benefit your brand, under what circumstances, and how you can use it to maximize opportunities for your business. While it gets a lot more complex than this, we’re going to stick with some of the basics, for those of you who might be newer to the platform.

Let’s go to it!

First, Who’s Using Snapchat?

In order to determine if Snapchat might be advantageous for your business, it first helps to understand who specifically is using it.

As of 2018, 78% of Snapchat’s American users were between 18 and 24 years of age. Additionally, 54% of Americans between 25 and 29 years of age were users. The old we get, the less interest we seem to have in the platform. So, it caters to a mostly younger crowd.

It makes sense when you think about it. The younger generations have a notably short attention span and a serious need for instant gratification. In that sense, Snapchat is the perfect fit for them.

young girl jumping

These numbers matter for a probably obvious reason. If you’re selling a product or service and your target market is, let’s say, 50 years of age and up, you’ll likely find that using Snapchat for business is a waste of your time, money, and resources. They’re not using the app, plain and simple.

If, however, you’re trying to reach younger people, it’s safe to say that at least some of them are on Snapchat. And this could be an excellent medium to reach them through.

Are we telling you not to even try reaching an older audience on the platform? No. What we’re saying is to go where your crowd is.

These demographics matter and you should always consider them when building a marketing plan for a specific platform.

So, How Can You Use Snapchat for Business?

One thing that makes Snapchat unique is its overall vibe. The whole environment is fun, casual, and creative. They give you the opportunity to create eye-catching content full of colorful images and personalized text to enhance them.

It’s also worth noting that similar to something like TikTok and Instagram Live, authenticity reigns supreme. While yes, you can create staged and edited content, you might find that you fare better with something more real and organic. It’s an excellent opportunity to post snippets and quick behind-the-scenes looks of what’s happening with your business. (We’ll talk about this more in a minute.)

It might seem like an app that younger people simply use to kill time, but it’s not to be taken lightly. Even CNN and Comedy Central have jumped on the bandwagon.

Let’s dive a little more specifically into what you can do to take full advantage of everything that Snapchat has to offer for your brand. Here are a few tips.

1. Post Often, Post Consistently

If your content is going to disappear after 24 hours, then you probably know what that means. You need to be posting on a regular basis.

woman holding clock

It’s not like Instagram and Facebook, where posts will live on indefinitely in your feed. It’s more like Instagram Stories. In fact, it’s a lot like Instagram Stories. Similar to IG Stories, if you want to continue staying in front of a lot of people, you need to be consistently posting.

This helps increase your visibility, which in turn helps build brand familiarity. People aren’t going to see you once and remember you forever. If you want to make a real impression on them, then they need to see you over and over again.

2. Try Doing Account Takeovers

You’re working with influencers, right? We hope so!

If that’s the case, then why not try letting them drive for a day or week? People will follow them to your profile and see what they’ve got going on. It’s a simple but effective way to grow your page and get some serious traffic.

snapchat icon on phone

While you might be able to work with an influencer you’re already partnering with for a different platform (even if they’re not popular on Snapchat), you might also want to try working with someone who’s already Snapchat-famous. Both approaches are worth testing and could yield positive results.

3. Always Cross-Promote

Do you also have a big following on another platform? Make sure you post on that page telling people that they can find you on Snapchat. You should additionally send an email blast alerting your subscribers that they can see more content from you there.

If you have a brick-and-mortar shop, hang up signs or posters telling your customers where they can visit you online.

Every bit helps.

Likewise, take the opportunity to post Snapchat Stories that promote your other pages online. Tell people how and where to follow you. You can make it even easier by giving them the link to the specific page. (Keep reading for more details on that.)

4. Don’t Forget About User-Generated Content

We’ve talked about user-generated content (UGC) before. It’s a goldmine. The reason is that your followers are going to listen to each other more than they listen to you. It might sound sad, but it’s true.

UGC is proof that people like your product or service. It serves as a personal recommendation (just like online reviews), which can carry far more weight than your own posts and especially paid ads.

It’s always nice to get permission from the creator before you share what they posted. Once you’ve got that, be sure to give them a shout-out and thank them for their kind words.

5. Make it Exclusive

Snapchat was really onto something when they came up with the idea for content to disappear after a day. It adds a sort of mystery and urgency to the environment. It also helps to give your viewers a greater sense of FOMO — and they’ll want to see all of the action before it goes away.

For this reason, it’s smart to treat your Snapchat page like a private club where you can deliver exclusive content. Maybe you share early product releases, special discount codes, or semi-private updates. Your followers will feel important to you, and they’ll know that you’re there for them — not just yourself.

Whatever the case may be, be sure that it truly is information that your followers can’t find elsewhere. This will increase the demand for your page and help to establish better loyalty among your followers.

6. Remember to Use it as a Tool

Yes, Snapchat is about having fun. But don’t forget that you want to be using it as a tool to somehow grow your business.

One of the main goals of social media is to send traffic back to your website. You can easily do this by creating your content and then clicking on the paper click icon. This will allow you to enter a URL that viewers can go to when they view your content.

linking to a url for snapchat for business

This is nothing to scoff at. IG Stories makes this available only to people with verified accounts or those who have at least 10,000 followers. Take advantage of this feature on Snapchat for business. It can be really powerful.

This feature is especially useful if you send them to a page where you can collect their email address. This way, you’re using the platform to not only get more traffic to your website but also grow your email list. It’s a win-win.

7. Host Contests and Giveaways

Just like its competitors, Snapchat is an awesome place to hold contests and giveaways for your followers. And because of the nature of the app, you can even do them in the span of just one day. (Side note: This is a cool opportunity for flash sales!)

As always, make sure that any contests and giveaways you do are relevant to your brand. Don’t be that company giving away free iPads when your product is a weighted blanket. It still needs to make sense, even if it’s only a 24-hour event. The goal isn’t to win over random people by handing out freebies. It’s to attract loyal followers who will continue to show interest in your brand even if they don’t end up winning.

8. Use it to Show Your Brand’s Personal Side

We’ve already mentioned that a great way to use the platform is with authentic, organic content. Take it a step further to show people content that’s a little more personal.

You might consider “interviewing” employees and letting them share something about themselves. Or maybe you tell a quick story about the history of your company.

Or, you could use the opportunity to highlight your clients/customers and let them share their experiences with your brand. Share company milestones, discuss obstacles that you’ve faced, or tell your followers about your company’s values and mission.

The point is to breathe life into the page and your brand by doing something different that isn’t solely about promoting your products or services. Remember that this is called social “networking” because it requires a conversation between you and your viewers. It’s not just about constantly selling to them.

Remind them that behind your phone is a human being looking to make real connections, and your page will perform well for it.

9. Create a Unique Bitmoji

While there isn’t a ton of room on Snapchat for customization (at least, relative to its competitors), you do get to create a bitmoji. And you can personalize everything from your eye shape and size down to the clothes you’re wearing.

creating a bitmoji on snapchat for business

You might not fully understand why your brand even needs this, but it’s iconic of the platform. So, take advantage of it, get creative, and design a character that can be woven into your brand and the content that you will post.

Snapchat for Business: The Takeaways

While like anything else, there’s a learning curve, using Snapchat for business can be remarkably powerful. Do your due diligence in determining if your target market is on the app. Play to its appeal of being genuine and authentic. Balance that out by using it as a business tool. You might just see incredible results.

If you need help managing your social media marketing efforts, sign up for a free trial of e-clincher today!

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