Snapchat.pngSo you’ve heard of Snapchat, but you don’t know what it is or how to use it for your business? Well, you’ve come to the right place and congratulations! You’re ahead of the curve on almost every other small business out there when it comes to creating a social media presence. In today’s blog, we’re going to look at what Snapchat is, if it’s right for your business and how to get started.

What Is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a social media messaging app launched in 2011, where more than 100 million people send photos and videos that self-destruct after a set time of up to 10 seconds. Essentially, it’s what would exist if Instagram and Periscope had a kid. Snapchat, worth more than $16 billion, has become the most popular social media site for millennials. In recent years, Snapchat has evolved to serve different purposes, one of which is marketing for businesses of all sizes.

Snapchat started with only being able to send “snaps” on Snapchat with a one-line caption, but quickly evolved to include “snap stories.” For those of you not caught up with the lingo, Snapchat went from being able to send pictures and videos to individual people, to providing a place where all friends can view any snaps made public for an entire 24 hours. The latter is the reason behind the evolution of Snapchat’s popularity and the constant FOMO (fear of missing out) created by this unique social media platform. With snap stories inevitably disappearing, it’s created a sense of urgency, driving 77% of college students to check Snapchat daily! In order to understand Snapchat, here’s some of the lingo you’ll need to know:


Who’s Using Snapchat?

If you’re thinking about using Snapchat to market your brand, it’s important to make sure your target audience matches the demographics of Snapchat users. In this case, Snapchat is heavily dependent on people below the age of 34. To be precise, according to eMarketer, 45 percent of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18 and 24. That blows both Instagram and Twitter out of the water when considering millennials. In comparison, 23 percent of people using Instagram are between the ages of 18-24 and only 19 percent for Twitter. If your target market is above the age of 34, think about using alternate types of social media to make your company’s marketing the most effective.

How Can Snapchat Help My Business?

Snap sneak peeks. Whether you’re introducing a new store or a new product, Snapchat is a perfect place to give your customers a quick glance. In turn, one small video can create quite a bit of buzz for whatever it is you’re trying to promote.

Highlight special events. If your business is hosting a live event like a trade show or unveiling, there’s no better social media to highlight the action than your snap story. Let the story tell itself and snap your favorite moments of the day.

Keep it quick and casual. People often use Snapchat when they only have a second or two to glance at their phones. Whether they’re in line or in the elevator, make sure to keep it simple because users will tap from photo to photo in seconds.

Give people incentives to check your snap story. Posting a coupon code on your snap story is the perfect way to make sure your “friends” check your snap every day. In fact, 58 percent of college students said they are more likely to buy from a company if they get a coupon via snapchat. Give them a reason to stay interested. Later, we’ll talk about how crucial this is for measuring your ROI.

Promote your Snapchat through other social media. Give your community a way to find you on Snapchat. Make it easy for them and include your Snapchat username on other social media such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. After all, social media is a web!

Create a Geofilter. A Geofilter is an image that shows up at the bottom of a snap and is designed to let people know where exactly they are. All you need to do is design an image, create a time and location and pay a small but reasonable fee. Promote your business by creating one now!

How Do I Know What Works?

Track your stats. Although Snapchat is the most popular social media network, it is also the hardest to gauge ROI (return on investment). One way to track your ROI is to see how many people are actually using the promotion codes you post to your snap story. Using Snapchat allows you to see how many people are “friends” with you and how many people view each photo you post to your story. As long as you make certain promotions exclusive to Snapchat, it will be easy to tell exactly how many of your leads have converted.

Be aware of the barriers and limitations. Tracking ROI is easy when it comes to promotion codes, but how do you know how many people are buying your products as a direct result of Snapchat? Well, it’s almost impossible to tell. Unlike other social media, you can’t include a link to click on and track whether or not your efforts are actually converting to purchases. 

Don’t let these barriers deter you from using Snapchat for marketing your brand. After all, the platform is a free way to market to more than 100 million people every day. If you’ve never used Snapchat before, you might want to give it a try and explore a bit before using it for your small business. When you think you’re ready, don’t hold back. Get out there and let people know what the culture behind your brand is all about!

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