This is a question I am seeing all over the Internet lately.
Most people think Snapchat is a way to send a NSFW photo only to have it disappear within seconds. Others think it’s just a place to take a picture of yourself puking a rainbow.
So, what is Snapchat and why is everyone talking about it?
In this infographic, we will explore what Snapchat is, how businesses are using it and how you can Snapchat to market your small business!
Free Checklist: We compiled this checklist of ideas to create your own Snapchat marketing campaigns! Download now!
Share this infographic on your site:
How does Snapchat work?
Snapchat is an app that allows users to create “snaps” which are photos or short videos. These snaps can be sent to a user’s friends or added to a “story”- a collection of photo and/or video-based snaps that live for any followers to see for 24 hours from posting time.
Snaps, in their nature, are fleeting moments unlike the often highly-curated and planned photos created on the visual powerhouse, Instagram.
Once a user creates the snap, they have the option of adding text, stickers, emojis, geotags, playing a video snap backwards, fast forwarding or even drawing on the image or video. In addition, using the front-facing camera, a user can use an ever-changing variety of “faces”, morphing a user into anything from a cat to a wide eyed version of themselves puking a rainbow, because why not?
All of that sounds fun (and it is!) but what does Snapchat have to do with your small business?
Snapchat boasts over 100 million daily users. 65% of Snapchat users are active and collectively create approximately 400 million snaps a day! Another huge draw for Snapchat is its user base. With 60% of smartphone users between the age of 13-34 active on Snapchat, it taps into a huge Millennial market for businesses.
Due to the high usage by Millennials, large businesses & brands are latching onto Snapchat. They use it to promote and provide access to live events, to engage followers by creating specialized content, to offer promotions and giveaways and to partner with other influencers to further engage a potential customer base. This is just a small sampling of some of the ways a business can use the app.
Additionally, Snapchat has been implementing huge changes throughout the app that make it much more than a place to take throwaway pictures. These changes have resulted in the average Snapchat user spending 25-30 minutes on the app everyday.
What are people doing for 25-30 minutes everyday?
Aside from creating, sending and watching snaps, users can also access news and content from huge brands. Discover, for example, can be accessed by swiping left on the camera screen, Here, you will find channels from both old and new school media outlets. These powerhouse channels include WSJ, Daily Mail, Buzzfeed, Mashable and more. Other brands, like Burberry, have run 24 hour content on Snapchat, a campaign that reportedly cost the high-end luxury brand anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000.
While a $50,000 or $100,000 24-hour advertisement campaign is not likely in the budget for a small business, the move in the direction of native advertising bodes well for the future of Snapchat brand visibility.
How businesses use Snapchat marketing everyday (and how your small business can, too!):
1. Coupons or Giveaways!
Some businesses run giveaways and contests through their snapchat accounts. This offers a great way for current and potential customer bases to get excited about the brand and share their own stories.
A great way companies have promoted flash offers is by posting the deal to your story. This offer or code will have a 24 hour limit that expires once the story is no longer live. A great example of a big brand using Snapchat for this purpose is GrubHub. GrubHub has used series of snaps to reveal discount codes, enact an interactive scavenger hunt and even to hire interns from their own company. If there is a company that has utilized Snapchat to its full potential, it is probably GrubHub!
2. Behind the Scenes Access
Another great opportunity to engage (for free) with your customers is by posting behind the scenes access to your business. Aer Lingus, for example, has taken followers into the cockpit of their airplanes via snaps.
HubSpot is a good example of a company currently using SnapChat to showcase a ton of behind-the-scenes footage. They showcase different offices around the world, products they use at HubSpot and their own employees at work.
3. Sneak Preview
Snapchat can also be used as a hype tool, as if there is anything more Millennial than that! Some companies can post daily snaps announcing a countdown or a sneak peek to a new product or service.
Taco Bell, NARS and Acura all gave a preview of their new products in exchange for a follow on Snapchat. Small businesses could easily build excitement with sneak peeks or countdowns! A restaurant, for example, could preview an upcoming dessert special by posting a series of snaps depicting a pastry chef creating it! This is a proven engagement tactic as users love to go behind-the-scenes.
4. Live Events
Live events are hugely popular on Snapchat, whether planned or unplanned. A few notable events that gained exposure on Snapchat are Coachella (planned) and the mid-Atlantic’s “Snowmaggedon” (unplanned).
A small business could utilize this by snapping its own special event or by engaging in the events going on around you. Is there a music festival going on down the street from your small business? Snap about it!
5. Have Fun
A business could also use Snapchat for its initial intention, to have fun! Some brands will engage their followers by asking a question or encouraging them to share a doodle. Of course, you could turn this into a contest or coupon giveaway. Sometimes users are satisfied solely by the exclusive customized content being delivered to their phones by their favorite businesses and brands. Snapchat allows users to interact on a very personalized level (a handwritten, exclusive snap!) unlike anything you could share on Facebook or Twitter.
Again, GrubHub is a shining example of a company using Snapchat to its full fun potential. Check out this PR Case Study of all the different ways GrubHub has combined these different methods of engaging with its followers.
As with any social media platform, with a little trial & error, you will find out what works best when it comes to marketing your small business. Some businesses live and die for Facebook and others find it useless. In terms of marketing and engagement, Snapchat is an incredibly versatile app. With a little creativity, there are endless ways to engage, entertain and delight your followers!