5 ways to use Snapchat for your business

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Image source: Mauricio Pesce

Stay ahead of the curve

Snapchat has become one of the most popular social media outlets since its release in September of 2011. Now some are asking: how do you use this new media outlet for business?

According to Snapchat, the platform has over 100 million monthly users sending about 400 million snapchats per day. Who uses Snapchat?  Roughly 70 percent of users are women, and 71 percent are under 25 years old.

Snapchat is used to post and send photos and videos either directly to the user(s) you choose or you can share a snapchat “story” with everyone you are friends with on snapchat. The stories can last for up to 24 hours or you may delete them at your convenience if you would like them gone before the 24 hour mark. Direct snapchats — photos or videos — you send only last for up to 10 seconds depending on how long you choose for them to be, so you have to make the most of every second of your snapchat because it only lasts this long. If a snapchat is put on your “story” then your friends can go back and rewatch them for up to 24 hours, but if you send a snapchat directly to someone they can’t re-play it (Note: users are allowed up to one re-play per day).

Think of it as being similar Twitter in the aspect that you are only allowed to have 140 characters per tweet. You must be selective in the content you put out. Snapchat has changed significantly since the application was over 3 years ago. There have been several updates over the past few years and the most recent update included the new “Discover” feature, which allows specific media companies to share their content via Snapchat. The users can choose if they would like to view this content or not, so only time will tell if this new feature will be a powerful part of Snapchat for businesses.

One thing to realize is that Snapchat typically isn’t used to record professional behaviors like working at your computer, conference calls, or board meetings.  It is more often used to document daily activities, such as meals, travels, concerts, and unique experiences. Deciding what types of content to post for your business will be critical when using it as a marketing tool. Remember the age and gender groups most likely to see your posts. Be sure to market your brand in order to capture the younger audience that is actually using Snapchat.

Businesses can use Snapchat for promotions, providing fast and simple video answers to customer questions, sharing behind the scenes photos and videos to engage consumers, and to stand out from competitors with their “Snapchat stories.”

Promote new products

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Snapchat’s time limit may come as an advantage when launching a new product because you can use that feature to give a short preview of the product that may be coming out soon without revealing too much.

Offer exclusive discounts

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Promotions could include doing a contest where the user has to send in a Snapchat using your product and they get something in return — like a discount on your product or in your store.

Businesses should always be looking at new and exciting ways to engage consumers. If your business has a stand-alone store, you could offer discounts for sending out a Snapchat in the store showcasing what the customer is doing or buying that day. Finding ways to get consumers to post about your business is a great way to gain more followers. When people see what their friends are doing it often makes them want to join in on the fun. It may also remind them of something they wanted to buy, but maybe forgot about. This is a good way to humanize your brand.

Provide fast and simple answers to questions

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If a consumer is having an issue with one of your products they could directly send a short video or picture to your businesses snapchat account about the issue they are having. If the issue is a small one that could be resolved through short pictures and videos you can use snapchat to send photos and/or videos back to the consumer to resolve the issue. There is also a messaging feature now that could provide a way for the consumer and business to instant message back and forth rather than just communicating via video/pictures.

Share behind-the-scenes photos and/or videos

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This can be done via snapchat stories where you send out daily videos/photos of the things going on behind the scenes at your company or store. This helps consumers to feel more connected to your brand and cultivates a connection you wouldn’t have had before with your customer. One example of a company that does this is the E! network. They do this during award shows to showcase celebrities by posting behind the scenes videos and photos and it gives fans a feeling of exclusivity. These are videos and pictures that fans may not get to see on TV and it gives them something that the rest of the world isn’t getting via their television screens.

Standout from your competitors with your Snapchat stories

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Image Source Thinkstock

 

Your business should make sure to send out relevant content. Users can choose to either add your business as a friend on snapchat or not, and if you aren’t posting interesting and relevant content on any social media outlets, then people will not follow you or keep your business as a snapchat friend.

Relevance is always key! Standing out from the competition is always important.  If your business doesn’t figure out how to use Snapchat, chances are, your competition will.


Content sources:

Business Insider
Digital Marketing Ramblings
Small Business Trends
Forbes