Snapchat is one of the lesser known and lesser used social networks for businesses, but it can be an extremely valuable marketing channel if used correctly. This post is Part 2 of our series on alternative social media marketing channels. Part 1 explained why you should be on Instagram, while this post will discuss who should be on Snapchat and how to use it effectively. Our next post will discuss the benefits of Pinterest for business.
Why should your business be on Snapchat?
Despite being passed off as a phase during its early years, Snapchat has grown into a giant among social networks. There are over 100 million users, and 1 in 3 US millennials use Snapchat regularly. 45% of its users are between 18 and 24, and Snapchat is one of the best platforms available for targeting younger consumers.
Snapchat users are comfortable with technology, and 76% of users purchased a product online within the last month. Business Insider found that 58% of college students would be willing to purchase a brand’s product if sent a coupon on Snapchat. For some companies, this presents a serious opportunity to stand out from the crowd.
Most likely, Snapchat won’t be your primary social media channel. It’s best used as a support platform for your other channels to create a unique connection with customers.
Who should be using Snapchat?
Because Snapchat is tricky to use and has such a specific audience, some companies are better suited for the platform than others. These are:
Companies that sell directly to consumers
Mid-to-large companies with some existing brand awareness
Companies with other social media platforms that have already built up an engaged following
Companies with enough marketing resources to create unique, but short, video content
While all companies should evaluate the potential of Snapchat within their own business context, it may be difficult for companies who sell to businesses or brands that target older consumers to see how Snapchat fits in their marketing strategy.
How can you gain Snapchat followers?
This is likely to be the biggest challenge for brands, and it’s why we suggest that it is more suited for larger brands with established brand recognition and other existing social media platforms. Snapchat has a very weak search function which makes it difficult for users to find other users, and it’s difficult to reach a large number of people without paying for expensive ads.
Brands that do have other marketing channels can build their following by leveraging them and pointing people towards their Snapchat account. Share your exact username across all of your collateral and social media accounts. Share Snaps on Twitter or Facebook, or change your profile photo to your Snapcode so that people can easily add you.
If you have physical locations, such as stores or restaurants, ask your customers to post a Snap of themselves at your location and share it with you and their friends. For businesses willing to pay for a little extra attention, you can also get customized Geofilters.
Geofilters are filters that users can add to their photo, and you can set them to appear for customers at specific locations, such as a store, restaurant, or event center. These can be done fairly cheaply and are valuable since people who use your Geofilter share it with their friends, increasing your reach.
What should your business share on Snapchat?
The value of Snapchat is that it is so unique from other platforms. With Snaps disappearing at most 24 hours after they are taken, the platform has a certain level of urgency that is not found elsewhere. What’s more, it creates an environment where you can share more intimate photos or videos that may not be perfect, but are a representation of what your business is really like.
Users on Snapchat want stories. They don’t want a corporate branding message. Show them things you may not be comfortable sharing elsewhere, like behind the scenes views of events or office life. Share fun sneak peaks of new products or services, or show regular people having fun using your products.
One of the best things you can do is share user generated content, which we’ll discuss further in a future blog. Basically, you can get your customers to share their own Snaps with you, which you engage with and share with your audience.
For more direct response types of Snaps, share exclusive coupons or offers to some or all of your following, and create personalized videos for high value followers who frequently purchase your products.
How can you measure your success on Snapchat?
Most social media platforms provide in-depth analytics that let you see very detailed information. Sometimes this can be overwhelming, with companies spending more time analyzing the stats than engaging with customers.
Snapchat, on the other hand, has a fairly simple measurement system which basically lets you track Views, or the amount of people who watch your Snap. You can dive a bit deeper by seeing how many people watched the entire Snap versus those who skipped it before it finished. If you use Geofilters, you can see how many people sent a Snap with your filter. And if you sent out a coupon, you can track how many people redeemed it the same way you would a regular coupon.
But apart from that, it’s difficult to get much more information. In today’s age of information overload, this can be a positive thing for brands. Snapchat falls squarely in line with traditional media like television or radio. You’re simply trying to expand your reach and have your message seen by more people.
Discover Snapchat for business
Snapchat won’t be for everyone, but if you have the right content and a certain amount of existing brand recognition, you can use Snapchat as a highly effective platform for targeting younger consumers. By leveraging the intimate and temporary nature of the app, you can give viewers a unique look at your company, products and events that can’t be found anywhere else!
Bridge the Gap Marketing Solutions offers personalized social media consulting services to help you get the most out of your platforms. Visit our Social Media page to learn more.