Snapchat is the fastest growing social network in the U.S. It’s got more users than Twitter, and has achieved the kind of growth within a single year that Twitter had in four years.
Businesses are jumping into Snapchat left and right, whether it’s movie studios using branded lenses, the NFL starting a Snapchat Channel, or small businesses setting up branded Geofilters. Marketing in Snapchat is still fresh enough that there’s yet to be an established right and wrong way to do it, and nobody is quite sure exactly what works yet. But one thing is for sure – the users are there. That means businesses can be there too, and there are a lot of new and creative ways that businesses are trying to reach their audiences through Snapchat.
If you are new to Snapchat, hopefully you’ve read our introduction and played around a bit with the platform. Once you’re comfortable, here are some of the basic, straight-forward ways you can start to use Snapchat to promote your brand, products or services.
One of the best and easiest ways for businesses to market using Snapchat is with promotions. In a lot of ways, Snapchat is the perfect tool for promotions. The self-deleting, limited-time nature of the messaging creates a sense of exclusivity and urgency with your followers. If you send out a promo code using the “stories” feature, that promo code immediately has a 24 hour clock on it, so your followers have to get it now before it’s gone forever.
Another great way to have a Snapchat promotion is by having people Snap you pictures or videos of them using your product or service in creative ways, and offering them something (like free stuff or a discount code) in return. This could even be a way to have people enter a contest.
Again, you’ll probably need to advertise these promotions on your website or other social media channels in order to spread the word, but this is another great opportunity to add followers on Snapchat.
One of the newer Snapchat features is Geofilters. First, with any picture or video you take using Snapchat, you can swipe to add a filter. Regular filters do things like adjust colors and saturation settings. Geofilters are location-dependent, meaning that if you are standing in the middle of Chicago you’ll have the ability to apply certain Chicago-themed filters that are only available within the city. There might even be more specific Geofilters for places like Millennium park or businesses like Giordano’s (I don’t know if they have a Geofilter, but they probably should).
There are all kinds of creative ways to use Geofilters in your marketing. Some places have a Geofilter that shows up in store. Some have Geofilters to promote new products. There are Geofilters for events and trade shows. Certain companies, like Delta Airlines and the Baltimore Ravens, are even experimenting with Geofilter scavenger hunts.
Another thing to experiment with is influencers. An influencer is a Snapchat user who is very active within their community, and has a large and active following. You might even call them “influential” within their group.
Getting in touch with an influencer and having them promote your product, brand or campaign can be a great way to reach a new audience and expand your own following. In this way, an influencer is sort of like a TV or radio spokesperson, but on a smaller scale. What it costs to have an influencer promote for you will depend on the size of that person’s following. Some will even promote your company in exchange for free stuff.
Once you’ve found an influencer you like, try to work with them to find a fun and engaging way to reach their audience. Remember, they will probably have a pretty good idea of what their followers respond to.
As previously discussed, Millennials don’t love being sold to. So, doing something like using your Snapchat stories as a non-stop stream of product promotion is probably not the best way to go.
Instead, try to show behind-the-scenes looks into your life and your company. Don’t be afraid to get a little silly or goofy – that’s kind of the nature of Snapchat. This is evidenced strongly by all of the stickers and doodles available at your fingertips when creating a snap. Try to use these in creative ways. The people who embrace Snapchat’s unique features are the ones who tend to do best with the platform.
Not sure where to begin when it comes to all of these new social media platforms? The team at 10twelve can help strategize with you to grow your business. Give us a call!