Once just a hangout for teenagers, Snapchat has matured into an engaging and effective social media platform. If you’re trying to reach a younger demographic, it’s somewhere you probably want to be.
“Snapchat is the best channel to reach young people, as they count for more than two-thirds of its audience and are very active users,” said Melissa Sanchot, head of marketing and communication at MakeMeReach.
Snapchat is its own world, though, and using it for marketing and advertising means working creatively with its unique features. With that in mind, here are five ways you can use it to interact with your audience, find new customers, and build your brand.
1. Engage Directly
Snapchat users typically are highly motivated and engaged, and you’ll want to find ways to use that engagement to your advantage.
“It’s a way to leverage instantness,” Sanchot told the E-Commerce Times. “Let’s say you’re a clothes brand and you’re wondering which fabric is the best for your next collection. You can directly ask your followers and have immediate responses.”
Updating your content regularly gives users a reason to interact with you and enhances their direct engagement with your brand.
“Snapchat users are engaging with the app at a very high rate,” observed Dario Sheikh, strategic partnership manager at Bidalgo.
“They use it throughout the day. While its user base is relatively small, it has a highly relevant user base that’s engaging with the app on a regular basis at a high frequency,” he told the E-Commerce Times.
2. Influence the Influencers
One of the key features of Snapchat is the ability it offers to reach the followers of influential users. The ability to work with influencers expands your scope, so that your message travels far beyond those who directly follow your brand.
“It’s an incredible channel for influencers strategy,” noted MakeMeReach’s Sanchot. “You can ask followers to post stories using your product, and make viral campaigns at very low cost.”
3. Make Use of Filters
Snapchat offers various filters to business that want to promote their brand, their location, a particular event or a promotion. Experiment with these filters, since they’re a way of personalizing your message and getting it out there — not just to your followers, but to the followers of your followers.
“It’s a really organic way for your users to self-advertise your business or your offering to their Snapchat followers,” said Sheikh. “It’s a great way for your own users to be brand advocates within their own network.”
4. Tell Your Story
Snapchat allows you to use video, photos and text to tell the story of your company. Just remember that it’s a casual, informal platform. Don’t worry about using perfect photos, and avoid any sense of staging, preplanning, or even official messaging.
Snapchat works best for telling behind-the-scenes stories — giving a personal and authentic glimpse into the workings of your company and brand.
5. Be Snappy
If there’s one thing that’s unique to Snapchat, it’s the ephemeral nature of snaps and stories. Make use of the fleeting nature of these posts, encouraging quick and direct engagement.
That might mean offering coupon codes to be used almost immediately, or telling stories that are as close to real time as possible.
“You only have a day to get your message across and make an impact, which means marketers are pushed to make ads more fleeting and creative,” remarked Elizabeth Closmore, global head of product evangelism at Sprinklr.
Snapchat’s Unique Style
Most importantly, make sure to use the unique marketing and advertising features of Snapchat, and create content that’s designed specifically for this platform. In particular, Snapchat users like to do things, and to engage them you have to be fun and interactive.
“The ads on Snapchat can be — and have to be — focused on actions to take: product to buy, events to go, things to do,” said Sanchot. “You can’t be descriptive — it’s not enough.”
In other words, become familiar with the language and rhythm of Snapchat, and use that awareness to your advantage.
“Snapchat ads are not one-size-fits-all-social-networks,” Closmore told the E-Commerce Times.
“Marketers can’t necessarily copy and paste their Facebook and Twitter strategies onto Snapchat, she pointed out. As such, Snapchat demands that brands create fresh content for its platform and really become familiar with its unique language and style.”