How to Market Your Business With Snapchat

Published on March 25, 2016

Blink and you may have missed it, but the landscape of social media marketing is changing. The big four social networks that marketers once took for granted – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ – while still vital, are now just a piece of a larger social ecosystem.

Enter Snapchat.

Once dismissed as a gimmick, Snapchat has proven to have major staying power. With over 100 million daily users and a demographic that skews young (71% of Snapchat’s American users fall between 18 and 34 years old), Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social networks with the highest rates of audience engagement – and it’s a remarkable new resource for social marketers looking to expand their reach.

Here’s what you need to know about Snapchat, along with four ideas of how to put it to work for your business:

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat works a little differently than other social networking apps. The most important thing to know is that Snapchat is all about time constraints. Snaps – the pictures or videos uploaded by users – will always expire; that’s part of the appeal.

There are two main functions to Snapchat. The app, first of all, lets users send self-destructing messages directly to friends and followers. The second big feature – and perhaps the one more useful to marketers – is the Stories feature, which lets users build longer pieces of content from a series of Snaps. These longer narratives will last for 24 hours and can be set to private or public audiences.

On top of these functions, Snapchat offers a number of in-platform tools that make photo and video editing fun and easy, including filters, geofilters, emojis, text, and even music.

How Can I Use Snapchat for Marketing?

Snapchat is a new platform that offers an incredible opportunity for innovation and play. Every day, marketers are finding new ways to make use of it for business, and a comprehensive, targeted Snapchat Ads platform is currently being rolled out. Ready to start using Snapchat for your business? Here are four ways to get started:

1.) Give Behind-the-Scenes Access
The great thing about Snapchat is that it’s all about spontaneity and experiencing things in the moment. Use that freedom to give your followers a playful look at the authentic, human side of your brand: Snap about company outings, introduce your team members, or highlight what your business is doing in the community. Users will care more about your product if they feel like they’re part of your community, and Snapchat is a fun, easy way to speak to your audience, not at them.

2.) Go Live
Like Periscope, Snapchat is a great way to highlight the exciting things happening with your product in real time. Build a story that takes viewers through a pitch or design meeting, that chronicles a product launch event, or that shows a client giving your service a thumbs up. Your audience wants to know what’s going on; with Snapchat, you can always give them up-to-the-minute details!

3.) Offer Contests, Promotions, and Giveaways
Snapchat is the perfect platform for generating a whirlwind of excitement – and viral sharing – with contests and special offers. Try offering giveaways to users who snap a picture of themselves wearing your logo, or give a discount to viewers who watch your entire snap story. Or try promising to give some special users an inside look at your product before it launches to generate buzz.

With fun contests, you promote the sort of engagement that creates a positive social PR impression while building your brand in clients’ eyes and creating loyalty. That’s a win-win-win!

4.) Partner with Influencers
Like Instagram and Twitter, Snapchat has a number of power users who carry a lot of clout and influence with their broad follower base. Partnering with one of these Snapchat stars can be an extremely effective way to reach new demographics that don’t necessarily follow traditional media, helping you shine a light on your product while solidifying your voice and brand story.

Ready to expand your social marketing campaign to Snapchat? Want to explore other social marketing avenues, like Pinterest or Instagram? Geek is here to help you tell your story! Drop us a line today for all of your web design, content creation, and digital marketing needs.

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