Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Do you think the founders of Snapchat saw themselves worth $4 billion each[1] this time 5 years ago when they thought of the idea? They’ve had huge success.

With 158 million daily active users accessing it for 25-30 minutes a day on average[2], it’s no surprise it’s already outranking Instagram as the fastest growing social network. It’s huge, and it’s set to become even bigger. After recently re-branding itself from ‘Snapchat Inc’ to ‘Snap Inc’ and going public with its new IPO, you’re probably wondering how you can take advantage of it in business.

Snapchat is a popular social media channel. Younger generations consider it to be one of their most important social networks. Where it’s integrating into mainstream culture and communication, its demographics are beginning to merge into older generations too. The number of users aged over 25 is growing faster than users under 25[3]. This means Snapchat’s now a great way for your business to target and engage with new audiences; and there are many ways it helps you do this…

Storytelling:

The story feature allows you to broadcast an interactive chain of photo and video. It lasts 24 hours and your followers can replay it unlimited times before it disappears. That rich media experience can make Snapchat an appealing marketing platform for business. Snapchat did a Live Story for the 2016 and 2017 Oscars which all Snapchatters at the event could contribute to. Snapchat then broadcasted this on their homepage so users worldwide could tap through the gossip and see who had won which awards.

This was great publicity for the event. You could use storytelling for your business’s publicity too. You could use it for product demos, broadcasting live events your company attends or hosts, or illustrating a service process. But the fact individual snaps timeout after 10 seconds and stories after 24 hours can leave people questioning its strength in business. The apps fleeting nature actually adds a sense of urgency which you shouldn’t be afraid to tap into as a business. In fact, a lot of Snapchatters use it for this very reason[4]

SnapAds:

SnapAds are a great way to grab the attention of your ideal audience. They offer the opportunity for your followers to swipe up to find more detailed content e.g. links to websites, full articles and longer videos. Tastemade UK, a famous food video blog, use this feature for advertising new recipes on Snapchat, offering their subscribers the option to “watch” and learn the full recipe with a video tutorial and option to fast forward/rewind if need be:

Research has compared Snap Ads to Ads on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube[5]. They found that SnapAds retain more visual attention and elicit higher emotional responses. The same research also found SnapAds result in higher purchase intent too. 58% of college students in the US say they are more likely to buy a brand’s service or product if sent a coupon on Snapchat[6]. Snapchat also offers you advanced targeting options. These help you customise ads to reach certain audiences based on demographics, lifestyle, and Snapchat-usage. You can also tie your Ads in with…

Campaign Launches:

To stand out on Snapchat, you must be fun and creative. One way you can do this is by launching campaigns. You can showcase quizzes, offers and competitions to get your followers engaged. Brands have also used this strategy for recruitment. The World Wildlife Fund got huge publicity for their #LastSelfie hashtag campaign. This aimed to raise awareness for endangered species. They compared the nature of Snapchat’s ‘timeout’ with certain species’ time running out on earth. They encouraged users to screenshot and tweet the #LastSelfie they received on Snapchat. In one week, they reached 50% of all active Twitter users with this campaign[7]

This case study demonstrates how you can achieve great things for your business when using Snapchat in right way. You can also use it to engage your business with new audiences by…

Partnering with big influencers:

Linking with key influencers whose follower base has similar interests to yours can help spread your brand awareness. You might have seen people do this on Instagram and other social networks. You can have them “take over” your Snapchat account for a certain period of time. They can encourage their followers to follow your Snapchat to see what they get up to. Curiosity will prevail and you’ll be drawing in new traffic from their follower base. This strategy can work for e-commerce businesses too. A snapchat influencer could showcase your products on their account and signpost their followers to you. We often see top fashion brands enlist famous models to do this. Models are asked to snapchat new collections and the behind-the-scenes at big Fashion Weeks. This tactic lets you target an audience which would be hard to otherwise. Being recommended by someone big means you’ll gain immediate trust and credibility for your company – their followers trust them, so they’ll trust you too.

benefits of using snapchat for your business
Courtest Michael Kors

Take advantage of Geofilters:

Geofilters are small graphics that users can put on their snaps according to their location, hence ‘Geo’. When using Snapchat, you’ll often notice these in place when you’re in famous cities or attending famous events. It allows users to put reason behind their snap; explaining when, where, and why they’ve taken it. Geofilters are very effective for promoting your brand and bringing in new business. Geofilters are easy to buy and Snap offers you either on-demand or Sponsored Geofilters.

Geofilters delivered to a national audience will reach 40-60% of Snapchat users[8] but they can come at quite a hefty price depending on the location, size and length of availability you desire. If you’re hosting an event, you could set up an on-demand Geofilter which guests could use on their snapchats to show their attendance. If you owned an e-commerce business you could invest in a more expensive sponsored Geofilter which would allow users worldwide to broadcast their use of your product. Below, see filters for brand Taco Bell, location Austin and famous attraction Disney Land…

Humanise your company:

Using Snapchat’s instant video and photo allows you to capture the essence of your brand’s personality and send it to followers in an instant. By doing so, you’re offering them an exclusive glimpse into the world of your brand and company’s lifestyle. It gives you the opportunity to broadcast a day-in-the-life of your company. You can promote behind-the-scenes, show off your office, and share work. It’s something you can have fun with and in turn, it will increase engagement. Humanising your company will also make you more approachable – followers will feel more comfortable to reach out should they need something you offer…

They’re all great ways you can use Snapchat to increase engagement and brand awareness for your business. The way you choose may depend on what you want to achieve. Here at Lightflows, we understand the impact social media can have on your business which is why we can offer you advice on effective ways to use social media specifically for your business goals… Feel free to call us or send us an email, we’d be happy to help.


Footnotes

1. Business Insider
2. Snapchat Statistics
3. Snapchat Demographics
4. Snapchat Statistics
5. How Mobile Video Ad Formats Drive Attention
6. How College Kids use Snapchat
7. The WWF Statistics
8. Snapchat Statistics for Business