5 Tips for Small Businesses on Snapchat

Snapchat has been around since 2011, and since initially launched, there have been many large changes that have been made to this new social networking app. Even though you are still able to use the app for its original, intended use, which is sending goofy pictures to your friends for a short period of time, there is so much more to it now. Although it is nearly impossible for small businesses to use paid advertising on Snapchat due to how expensive and large-scale it is, there are a few very strong strategies that you can use to market your business and your brand to your customers.

Forget everything you thought you knew about social media marketing, it likely doesn’t apply to Snapchat. In the app, there’s no feed where you can scroll through and see your friend’s statuses, there are no comments, likes, or favorites.

So, what is Snapchat?

What makes Snapchat so different, is that it’s based around sending your friends a picture for the maximum time of 10 seconds, and then it disappears forever. This was the original and only use for the app when it started off, and it was a hit right away.

A little while later, “Stories” were introduced. This is what started to make Snapchat a little more like a traditional social media channel; you take a photo or a video, post it to your story, and your Snapchat friends have an opportunity to view it as many times as they would like for up to 24 hours, then it’s gone.

Another key feature that Snapchat introduced is the ability to get creative with your images. Add a filter to your face, draw a picture with the pencil, at stickers, emojis, or a geo-filter that shows where you are in the world. All of these features that Snapchat offers you can be added after you have taken your picture or video, and it allows you to be able to make more interesting content, and ultimately, make it your own. These are all elements that small businesses are encouraged to use in their Snapchats. But, how exactly do we successfully use this app for our business?

1. Use a variety of content

Small Business Tips for SnapchatIt’s easy to get caught up in posting about the same things on your social media platforms. You have a business, and it’s likely that generally the same things happen every day, and you have developed a routine. When you start using Snapchat for marketing, get out of that mindset! Remember that your audience on Snapchat tends to be much younger than other social media channels– 45% of it’s users are under 25. If the Snapchat stories that you post are the same thing every day, and they know what to expect with your brand, they will lose interest and likely skip over your name whenever they see you. Lucky for you, Snapchat gives you a lot of opportunities to get creative and step out of the box. Here’s some ideas:

  • Behind the scenes: Show your workspace, videos with coworkers, what you ordered for lunch today, etc.
  • Sneak-peaks or teasers of products launching soon
  • Take part in “Motivation Monday,” where you talk about uplifting stories or take inspiring photos, or “Throwback Thursdays” and share a photo of past products
  • Footage of the nice weather or events happening in your local community

The possibilities are endless!

2. Create your own units of measurement

At times, keeping track of how well your posts on social media are doing is difficult and time consuming. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to see the stats or analytics of your posts on Snapchat. But, that doesn’t mean that you can’t create your own. Here are a few ways that you can measure how well you’re doing on Snapchat:

  • How many people have added you: This is the simplest way to see how well your business’ Snapchat account is doing. Keep track of how many people add you, just like you would on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
  • Track how many views you get per Snap: For each Snap that you post on your story, you can see how many people have viewed it. This way, you can keep track and find out on average how many views you get per Snap, and you will also be able to see what type of content your audience likes better than others.
  • Screen Shots: This method really only works if you do not have a massive amount of followers. There is no number shown of how many people have taken a screenshot of your Snap, but if you don’t have too many followers, you can just count them up. This particular strategy is a great way to see what customers are interested in because when they take a screenshot, that means that they want that information saved to their phone to reference later, or they just thought it was funny!

3. Give your followers a heads up before announcing something

One of the problems that you might come across while trying to convey an important message to your audience is that you can’t just post a picture on your profile where it sits forever and people can go back and see if they want to. Snapchat stories disappear forever after 24 hours, and most people won’t go back to view your story again if they have already seen it once. So if there is something special that you want to announce to your Snapchat friends, (a sale, promotional code for a discount, or asking them to visit your website, etc.) give them a heads up in the Snap before with a request to screenshot your next Snap. Big-name brands do this all the time.

Small Business Tips for Snapchat

(McDonalds Snapchat) (Google)

4. Use your other social media channels to promote Snapchat

Like we mentioned before, Snapchat doesn’t have a public feed where you can post about or promote your account, and there is no way to “boost” your posts to capture the attention of a new, targeted audience. The best way that you can reach out and promote your Snapchat account is through your already existing social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. This is an effective method because you likely already have a solid follower base on those platforms. Here are some examples of how you can encourage your followers to join you on Snapchat:

  • Boosted posts on Facebook or Instagram to ensure your followers will see the post.
  • Photo of your Snapchat QR code: Users can simply screenshot the image or open their Snapchat app and take a picture of it, then they will automatically be following you.
  • Pinned Tweet or Facebook post to the top of the page so it will be the first thing that people see when they visit your page.
  • Make a video describing what you post on your snapchat and why your customers would want to add you (first looks, coupon codes, behind the scenes, etc) and post it on your social media channels.
  • Take screenshots of your Snaps and post them to your other social networks to give people an idea of what exciting things you post. You can caption these something like, “If you want to see more, add us on Snapchat!)
Small Business Tips for Snapchat

(Taco Bell promoting their Snapchat on their Twitter account)

5. Get creative

As we mentioned before, Snapchat offers you a variety of ways to spruce up your content after you already recorded it. Here are some ways that you can simply make your Snaps a little more exciting!

  • Draw or write on photos
  • Add emojis or stickers
  • Tell a story! If something exciting is happening at your place of work, record it and give updates. Maybe you and some coworkers put together a skit made up of 10 second videos to talk about a new product.
  • Play music in the background of your video snaps if there is no one talking
  • Use the fast motion/slow motion for dramatic effect
  • Use the funny filters

Here are some examples of how brands have gotten creative with Snapchat and see if you can incorporate some of their ideas to your business.

Small Business Tips for SnapchatSmall Business Tips for Snapchat 
Small Business Tips for Snapchat

We hope that we have been able to provide you with some helpful advice on using Snapchat as apart of your marketing! As always, if you have any questions or need help getting started with Snapchat, get in touch with us here at Tweak!