Social media platforms are constantly evolving with the times, and unfortunately for those of you who haven’t quite gotten the perfect selfie or food snapping technique down, Snapchat is here to stay.
According to Snapchat, the mobile messaging application is about sharing moments and having fun.
Snapchat has recently proven to be a relevant marketing strategy for small and big businesses alike, which is why our next installment in Back to the Basics: Social Media 101 series, we focus on using Snapchat for business.
Just the Stats
Snapchat launched as a free app in September 2011, as a place to share snaps (photos and video clips) with your friends. Different from standard and media messaging, Snapchat only allows you to see the image or clip for a matter of seconds, and if you screenshot the photo, the sender is notified.
Snapchat is more than just a platform for teens. It is an excellent way to integrate your business with the younger generation because, let’s be honest; eventually they will be the generation with buying power, making those relationships and loyalty crucial to the future of your company.
According to SnapchatForBusiness.com, 77 percent of Snapchat users in the U.S. are 18 or older.
In the five short years since its launch, Snapchat has experienced rapid growth and become the second most active social network behind Facebook (surprise). However, Snapchat takes the cake by growing faster in a four-year timeframe than Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!
Check out these numbers from HubSpot:
- 100 million daily active users
- Every second, 8,796 photos are shared
- 18 percent of all U.S. social media users use Snapchat
- Nearly one-third of all U.S. millennial internet users access it regularly
- 70 percent of users are female, 30 percent are male
But How Does it Work?
Snapchat content is consumed exclusively via mobile. You can log in to Snapchat on a web browser to edit and verify user information, but you cannot access snaps or information/ from a web browser.
Photo and video content is between one and 10 seconds long and, until recently, had to be native to the platform, meaning the post had to be captured/recorded within the app.
When you capture a photo or create a clip, you have the option to send it directly to someone and/or post it to your Snapchat story, a slideshow of photos and clips. Your story can be public or private – public snaps can be seen by anyone while private snaps, are only seen by users added as a friend.
Users can add friends in a variety of ways: by username, from address book, by snapcode or nearby.
To add Marketing RELEVANCE as a friend by username, simply search “mrelevance” and select “Add”.
Probably one of the most popular ways to add friends on Snapchat is from the address book. Users who have verified their phone number and whose numbers you have saved in your phone can be added through the address book option.
Another way to add friends on Snapchat is with a snapcode:
Simply save the snapcode to your phone or screenshot it, then select “Add by Snapcode” under “Add Friends” and you can select the snapcode to scan, thus adding that user as a friend. Another way to use snapcodes is by taking a picture of someone’s snapcode on their phone while within the app on your phone.
Story posts disappear from public view after 24 hours, but can be repurposed for other social media outlets, such as Twitter and Instagram. The 24-hour window adds a sense of urgency and as a result, view rates are higher on Snapchat than the one percent reach seen on Facebook.
Navigate Snapchat by swiping the screen left to right. Snapchat automatically opens to the camera. From the camera screen, swipe right to see your direct messages and notifications about new friends or (also from the main screen) swipe left to view friends’ stories. Another left swipe gets you to the “Discover” feature.
Hubspot has created an infographic with information and systematic instructions for even the newest Snappers: How to capture a photo, record a clip, set a timer, view snaps and more.
What Does All the “Snap” Lingo Mean?
Snapchat uses a variety of icons to display your friendships based on the frequency you snap them.
What mRELEVANCE Likes About Snapchat for Business
Through our own experience, users and visitors appreciate and visit more frequently when organic, humanized content is posted on websites and social media. Snapchat allows businesses to humanize their brand and show a side of them otherwise hidden “behind the curtain”. This serves as a catalyst for brands to develop loyal customers by sharing information and events with them openly.
Snapchat is a low-cost marketing tool with a wide reach of active daily users and according to HubSpot, Snapchat users are big buyers with 76 percent having purchased a product online in the last month.
One of our favorite things about Snapchat is the ability to edit the content, whether it be with a humorous filter or nifty geo-filter commemorating a special day or occasion. This is an excellent way to “join the noise” and put your brand in the middle of a live story/event. You can even use the pen feature to draw on your snap or overlay the content with emojis to create your own masterpiece.
The possibilities with Snapchat marketing are endless:
- Send a discount code or coupon
- Show a sneak peak of an event or product with a behind-the-scenes look
- Launch a new product or announce a contest
- Document events, awards, occasions, new employees, etc.
“Snapchat’s authentic platform can make an impact with your followers and strengthen your brand’s point of view with real-time marketing,” said Kate Talbot with Social Media Examiner.
Since its 2011 launch, Snapchat has made a number of changes that have kept its users active and interested.
- Discover – This allows you to view exclusive content from networks partnered with Snapchat such as Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, MTV, ESPN, CNN and more.
- Autoplay – Allows users to view one story in their feed and seamlessly begin viewing the next. Not interested in watching the next snap or story? Simply swipe left to move on to the next user’s story, or swipe down to return to your feed.
- Memories – Until recently, Snapchat has been a platform that supports immediacy and timely information, but this newest feature allows users to upload from their phones and capture photos and clips to post later, rather than right away.
- User Ads – In one of the most recent updates, Snapchat began showing ads to users in between friends’ stories. You can always skip these ads with a simple left swipe, but nonetheless, this is a first for Snapchat.
A Few Tips
To build your Snapchat following…
- Make a personalized snapcode with your logo or brand image within the snap “ghost”, as seen on our mRELEVANCE snapcode.
- On social media accounts, make your snapcode your profile picture so people can easily add you on their phones.
- Mention your account via other social media platforms with posts and the “about” section.
- Let followers know you have more or exclusive content on your Snapchat story: “Catch a sneak peak of our holiday client gifts on our Snap story!”
- Develop a call to action (CTA), possibly with an incentive, for the first 10 new friends who watch your entire Snapchat story and/or add a photo with your product/brand to their story.
- Partner with a relevant and popular social media personality to host a “take over” of your company Snapchat and draw in traffic from their following.
- Provide access to live events, employee birthday parties and more.
As Snapchat continues to grow in popularity and reach, Marketing RELEVANCE will keep you updated on its newest features and tips on improving your Snapchat marketing. Until then, be sure to check out our earlier Social Media 101 posts:
- Blogging for Business
- Facebook for Business
- Pinterest for Business
- Instagram for Business
- YouTube for Business
- Google+ for Business
- LinkedIn for Business
Add mRELEVANCE on Snapchat with our snapcode or by searching our username: mrelevance. We’ve got tons of events and activities coming up that you don’t want to miss!
If your brand is ready to join Snapchat or take your marketing strategy to the next level, contact us via our online contact form or by calling 770-383-3360. We’d love to show you what your company can do with our help.