At its inception, Snapchat was a viral social media app for teenagers to send images that would immediately disappear, but the platform has since evolved from this beginning state. Today, Snapchat is a reputable social media marketing tool for businesses, and its interactive capabilities and follower engagement possibilities have resulted in some impressive user statistics:
- "65% of Snapchat users upload their own photos daily. They're engaged with the platform, viewing it as an extension of their own personal brand rather than just a place to passively receive information."
- "On any given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year-olds in the United States."
- "Snapchat's daily video views have grown 400% over the course of the year (from 2 billion to 10 billion). Snapchat's video views have tripled every 6 months."
Due to figures like these, brands are quickly jumping on the bandwagon to get their share of the market. Yet many still feel uncomfortable with this platform.
Luckily we're here to show you how to use Snapchat for business. Through Snapchat, you can increase your social media marketing ROI and directly impact your business results.
Follow these four steps for Snapchat business success.
1. Sign up for an account
Download the app to your smartphone or tablet (Android & iOS available) and set up your business profile. If possible, match your Snapchat name to your other social media handles - this is another piece of your brand, so consistency is key.
2. Plaster your handle everywhere
A nuance of Snapchat is that you must know someone's exact handle in order to follow them - there's no on-platform search functionality. This means for a small business, you need to place your Snapchat name everywhere that makes sense.
Include it in all of your other social profiles, on your business website, and on your blog. As an example, Compass Coffee DC includes its Snapchat account within its Instagram profile, indicated by the ghost emoji.
Image courtesy of Compass Coffee
Wherever your other social media widgets exist, add your Snapchat so as many people as possible are aware of your account.
3. Understand what your viewers want
- Behind the scenes content
Inside access goes far on Snapchat. People are curious and use Snapchat to watch a story unfold. Give your followers glimpses of what "a day in the life" of your company is like. If you're preparing for a new product or service launch, give teasers and show just enough to excite your audience without giving away too much. This insider view is what people go to Snapchat to see; so give the people what they want and put your business in the limelight.
- Daily videos
One component of Snapchat is that you can create "stories" over the course of a day, resulting in a sequential compilation video of all your Snaps from the previous 24-hour period. These strings of your Snapchat images and videos (up to ten seconds long each) can weave a tale that'll keep the viewer wanting more.
- Exclusive content
Many popular Snapchat accounts post exclusive content to their profiles - this provides more incentive for followers to check in and see what's on Snapchat because they can't get it elsewhere. Content created specifically for Snapchat feeds into the desire for inside access to brands and businesses.
Exclusive content goes beyond a "behind the curtain" look at your business. Use it for limited-time promotions and user incentives. People like to feel valued and by offering a 30% discount to Snapchat followers, for example, your audience will feel the brand love.
A great way to get the word out about this special content is to plug it on your other social profiles. Give teasers about what users may find by checking out your profile, without giving away all of the content details.
Arielle Charnas of Something Navy recently won the 2016 Bloglovin' Awards for Best Snapchat, so it's only appropriate to include an example from the expert about how to plug exclusive content on other social platforms. The below post includes an engaging caption and the accompanying hashtag, "#moreonsnap." The photo coupled with the implied message that there is special content on Snapchat is the perfect driver to send followers to her Snapchat account.
Image courtesy of Something Navy
Every audience is different, so determine what your followers respond to and create a mixture of content to keep them coming back time and again. These efforts will drive Snapchat traffic, boost your follower engagement, and, ideally, result in more website clicks.
4. Engage with your audience
As previously mentioned, Snapchat is a platform made for user engagement. Give your followers opportunities to interact with your business by requesting comments or videos of their own. Ask them to share their favorite products, Monday motivation, or whatever works for your business. This type of interaction helps humanize your small business because your audience is responding to specific requests in real time and you can react in real time, too. Directly engaging your followers is a piece of the customer experience puzzle that's necessary for brand growth and continued customer loyalty.
You can see how Snapchat is a productive way of marketing your business in this digital era. Put all of these pieces together, and you'll see an uptick in followers, key social media marketing metrics, and ultimately, website visits and customer conversions.