Snapchat is on the rise, and businesses are starting to join the network to connect with a younger demographic.
Snapchat can be a little intimidating at first, but it's an excellent network for building visibility and adding value to your customer. In this post I'll review some basic Snapchat for business do's and don'ts.
Snapchat's all about telling a story, a string of moments that can be used to let your fans in, enabling them to get to know your business. It's about engaging your audience in small snippets instead of longer form content. So let me help you sort this all out.
1. Partner with influencers
Partnering with influencers can be a great way to build a super engaged Snapchat following. Use influencers to build buzz for a launch or let an influencer "take over" your account for day. The right influencer's audience will follow your Snapchat account in order to gain access to the takeover - exposing your brand to new eyes.
2. Use Snapchat for Q&A sessions/product how to's
Snapchat's short form allows for a great way to host quick Q&A or mini training sessions. Besides being a great intro and a jump start some interaction and following on Snapchat, you'll also be able to provide your customers with extra info or answer questions that may be stopping them from purchasing from you.
Let your audience know you'll be holding a session beforehand to drive traffic to your Snapchat account.
3. Go behind the scenes/Preview products
Behind the scenes is always a winner with your online audience because they're getting access to your brand or business that they otherwise wouldn't have. Let them in on your photoshoot set up, show them a day in the life at your office, or invite them to check out backstage happenings at your next event.
You could even steal a page form bigger brands and give your Snapchat followers and exclusive preview of upcoming products - in the next point I have a brief example of how Burberry used Snapchat to preview and build buzz for their Spring/Summer 2016 fashion show.
4. Mix it up with photos, videos and text
Use a mix of videos and photos to improve the dynamic of your story. The different mediums make your story more engaging and enable you to get creative in how you share your story with your followers.
Below is an example from Burberry's Spring/Summer 2016 collection preview, all done via Snapchat (each panel represents a single Snap). To add a little more context, Burberry shared blank screens with text in between photos and videos of models in some of their items before the show took place.
5. Plan your story
Getting started on Snapchat can be a little intimidating. I suggest planning out your story (create a story board if needed) to ensure it makes sense and is easy to follow. This way you know where you need text, how long your videos should be and how you may want to further engage your audience.
6. Use Snapchat stickers, filters, emoji's and doodles
Snapchat's a network where you can have fun. Use Snapchat's native features to add a little personality to your posts - overlay your photos with emoji's, use the built in markers to show off doodling skills or try Snapchat's 3D stickers to add some more pizzazz to videos.
It can be a challenging to engage Snapchat users - but it's not impossible. Use calls to action in your text, and ask followers to Snap back to you. You can add your favorite Snaps to your story by taking a screenshot or picture of a picture (remember you can see when anyone screenshots your snaps). You can also ask your followers to help you choose between two things by asking them to watch your story a second time and screenshot their favorite option as a voting method. This leads me to...
8. Remember to look at your story views and screenshots
Metrics on Snapchat rely on two things: views and screen shots. Remember to review your story before it disappears so you can keep track of how may people watched your story and if any screenshots were taken.
To review, click on your story and swipe up. You'll see a list of watchers and screenshot-ers.
9. Create Geofilters for your next big event or launch
Snapchat Geofilters are a great way to boost brand awareness. People love using fun filters and Snapchat gives you the option to create them for your business. If you have basic design skills you can put one together for your next big launch or event and the cost can be relatively low. Your filter will be available to anyone using Snapchat in your designated area (at least 20,000 sq. ft.) and can be a great way to get your branding out there.
10. Offer Snapchat only incentives and discounts
Network exclusive content is a great way to entice your audience to follow you on a specific network. Conduct Snapchat only interviews, employee or influencer takeovers or offer discounts only accessible to your Snapchat audience.
11. Don't go off brand/post irrelevant content
Keep your posts closely related to interests of your target audience. Context is everything, so even if you're going for more of an engaging post, remember to tie it back to your brand.
12. Don't post long stories
Keep your stories short and entertaining - remember 200 seconds on Snapchat is about 20 snaps, and that's a lot, for both you to create/post and for your audience to watch.
Using Snapchat for business can be a lot of work but the platform enables you to give your audience more context and value, while also showcasing the personality behind your brand. All this equates to a deeper connection with your audience - one of the main reasons we use social media for marketing.
This post originally appeared on Dhariano Lozano's blog.