10 Ways You Can Use Snapchat For Your Business

New social media platforms are always coming and going. Some have staying power while others fold as quickly as it came. Snapchat first went public in 2011, and while the platform has been around for seven years, it just recently took off as a major multimedia player in the social media world. What separates Snapchat apart from the competition though is the images and videos posted to individual accounts remain for a short period of time. As the posts disappear, how can a business best take advantage of Snapchat in order to build its client base and increase sales? Here are 10 of the best ways any business owner can take advantage of the social media service while using Snapchat.

1) Special Promotional Services and Discount Codes

There are a few different reasons why an individual might decide to follow a business on Snapchat. One of the biggest reasons why an individual might do this is to obtain discount codes. The beauty of the discount codes is it becomes exclusive and will disappear after just 24-hours, so it works almost as a flash sale.

According to Business Insider, 58 percent of college students would purchase a product from a brand if they received a discount code or coupon directly from Snapchat. Additionally, 69 percent of college students said they would follow a business on Snapchat if they already follow it on another social media platform. This goes to show the importance of growing multiple social media accounts. On top of this, 67 percent of college students said they want to receive special promotions from brands off of Snapchat.


2) Consider VIP Features For Snapchat Followers

The short story and video bursts make sharing exclusive information to Snapchat easier than most other social media platforms. While Facebook and Instagram now have certain video sharing features, Snapchat has been doing this for longer now and, as the content disappears after just 24-hours, it adds the feeling of exclusiveness to it. Whether showing behind the scenes footage of a commercial shoot or heading out to an award ceremony, it helps provide a VIP feel to followers. It also helps illustrate why other users should subscribe to your account. It can prove challenging to keep followers engaged with an account through just discount codes and product releases. It’s necessary to offer something a bit different and fresh. Showcasing the exclusive VIP content does exactly that.

Snapchat has more users than Twitter while 76 percent of these individuals are online shoppers (according to Prana Busines Consulting, 2018). Plus, the average Snapchat user spends at least 30 minutes a day watching videos, so there is time in there to showcase exclusive material. Followers are far more likely to invest time watching exclusive content than view posts from others similar to content they’ve already seen.


3) Connect with Social Media Influencers To Spread Awareness

Partnering with social media influences can prove especially beneficial. There is the account takeover option (covered in the next step) or it is possible to simply partner with the influencer and have the influencer continually share posts on his or her own account. Sour Patch Kids recently connected with Logan Paul, who has a large following on YouTube and other social accounts. Unlike account takeovers, which usually last just a few hours, this connection lasted for five days. By the end of the five days, Sour Patch Kids increased its Snapchat following by 120,000 new users (according to the Shorty Awards).

According to The Economist, different social media influences will bring in more followers and revenue. YouTube influencers are more difficult to come by as growing a brand on YouTube requires more steps than Instagram, Snapchat or others. However, a YouTube influencer can cross promote on their YouTube and Snapchat channels and maximize potential exposure for the business partnering with them.


4) Consider Account Takeovers

An account takeover is when a business lets a famous individual take over the account for a few hours. Naturally, the posts are focused around something specific and there usually is some guidance involved, but this can help grow viewership and followers. Companies like McDonald’s have had major athletes take over the account for a few hours. The purpose of this is the takeover individual will already have a massive social following and promote the takeover on his or her own accounts. This can bring in additional hundreds of thousands of new subscribers to the station instantly. However, it’s important for the celebrity or social influencer be industry relevant, otherwise, the user’s own subscribers likely won’t watch the account takeover.

According to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, 77 percent of college students use Snapchat at least once a day, and 60 percent of all users are between the ages of 13 and 34, so using relevant celebrities that connect with this age range is important.


5) Demonstrate New and Current Products

Showing off how products can help educate followers while building excitement for a particular object as well. Some of the more prominent Snapchat social media accounts have mixed this along with taking advantage of account takeovers at the same time. McDonald’s used Lebron James to help release information regarding a new sandwich. McDonald’s uses its account by teasing a story initially in order to grab the attention of viewers and let them know something is coming. From there, they will post the new product shortly thereafter. Taco Bell did the same when it released a new “Bacon Club Chalupa.”

With over 10 billion daily video views (according to Zentrope), people are more than willing to watch releases and product reviews on the social media platform, as long as the information is readily available and grabs their attention right out of the gate. It’s one of the reasons why companies such as McDonald’s will post teaser picture ahead of time. It essentially buys them a few extra seconds of playtime by already informing a viewer that something is coming in a soon-to-be-released post.


6) Feature Followers

Everyone loves to have their content shared on social media. Growing a personal brand helps increase a person’s own social influence. One of the best ways to do this is to be featured on a larger account, such as one owned and run by a business. If an individual knows a company shares and features followers they become far more likely to follow the business. According to the Shorty Awards, GrubHub began highlighting customer experiences on its Snapchat account. This resulted in a 20 percent increase in followers. In fact, the additional increase in followers and revenue that came with it helped push GrubHub into going public on the New York Stock Exchange.

According to Buffer Social, when it started to highlight and feature followers directly on its own social media platform, it saw an almost 3% increase in followers just within the first two days of the start of this campaign. While every business will be a bit different, it highlights the possibility of growing a brand name by highlight followers.


7) Stay Relevant

In the world of social media, it is very easy to begin posting content that has nothing to do with a particular brand. Even when discussing current affairs and important topics, it is necessary for those topics to, in some shape or form, affect the business and the company’s subscribers. While sometimes current affairs posts can stretch the connection just a bit, the clear majority of content needs to remain relevant. Followers subscribe to a Snapchat account because they want relevant content.

Dove posted content onto its Snapchat account featuring interviews with 30 different women along with psychologists. They went into self-image and self-esteem issues that are often common with other women. According to Dove, the Snapchat campaign received 130,000 views just on Snapchat (and it provides additional information and videos on the company website. It also increases the company’s Snapchat following by 6,700 and 15% of these new followers went on to share the Snaps to their own followers (AdAge). It is always important to stay away from controversial topics that might turn followers and buyers away (usually regarding politics, race, and religion).

According to Sprout Social (2017), 41.1% of users who unfollow businesses do so because the information is not relevant. The only reason higher than this is if a business posts too many promotional messages (46%).


8) Always Add to The Story

This holds true for basically every other social media platform, but especially for accounts that don’t save content for long periods of time. Snapchat does give a user the ability to save certain photos and videos, but most of the material disappears over time. So, due to this, anything a user posts will disappear after 24 hours. In order to stay relevant and connected with followers, posting content at least once a day is crucial. This helps keeps the company in the mind of subscribers. Of course, there’s also a fine line between posting frequently and posting too frequently. Someone who posts pointless content 20 times a day will find most of their posts are skipped. According to Snaplytics, when an account user posts four times a day, engagement drops off by 36 percent. The same report indicates around 80 percent of users see posts between four and five hours after it went live. So, posting up to three times a day every five hours or so should keep a business constantly in front of consumers.

Additionally, according to the same Snaplytics information, it’s essential to post critical information in the first few seconds of a snap. Only 21 percent of users will watch an entire snap, while 58 percent will watch the first 2.5 seconds. So info needs to appear right away.


9) Create a Sponsor Lens

One of the most used features on Snapchat is the custom lens or filter. It adds new features to a user’s experience such as changing their face into a talking taco. It may sound silly, but that’s one of the draws of Snapchat. It’s also one of the best ways to spread the word of a company on Snapchat. According to Social Media Perth, 16 million users see sponsored filters every single day. The custom filters become instantly memorable when compared to all the other content posted to the account. Plus, as people use filters to stand out and be different from their own followers, a quality sponsored filter/lens becomes that much more attractive to users.

Gatorade is a prime example of how successful a sponsored lens can be. The company created a sponsored filter that would make it appear as if Gatorade was being poured onto someone’s head (like they just won a big sporting event). In just a short period of time, the lens received 165 million views and the company’s sales spiked by eight percent. Other businesses like Starbucks and Taco Bell have all used the sponsored lens option successfully (Hootsuite). According to Get Chute (2016), 34% of all users said their favorite feature on Snapchat is the ability to apply filters.


10) Reply To Posts and Followers

The entire purpose of social media is to remain social. However, some companies use social media simply as another form of advertising without actually connecting and socializing with followers. In order to maintain a Snapchat account (and other social media accounts), it is imperative to reply to followers. According to Hoosier Econ (2016), 68% of users said they will stop following a brand if they post a question and the brand doesn’t reply. It makes them feel as if the brand does not care about their concerns. It may take a bit longer to reply to all posts, but whenever possible, brands, especially those just starting up, need to respond to all posts and questions sent to them. In fact, this is by far the top reason why someone stops using a business. The next closest reason why a consumer might stop buying products and services is because they are dissatisfied with a company’s service (14%) or they were persuaded to go to the competition (9%).



In Conclusion

It is possible to take advantage of just about any social media platform for business purposes. As one of the newest major social platforms, Snapchat offers companies a unique opportunity to interact with potential consumers and to showcase the brand as both innovative and hip. While there are dozens of ways a prospective business may decide to utilize Snapchat, these are 10 of the very best ways every company should look into as each will help drive in new traffic, connect with a specific economic demographic and deliver more quality leads.

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