Blow Up Your Brand with These 5 Snapchat Strategies

As a small business owner, you’ve probably focused your social media marketing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Maybe you’re eager to add another social channel to the mix. Or, maybe the idea of going deeper into social leaves you feeling like Earl The Grumpy Puppy. But there are some good reasons to consider using Snapchat for business.

If you’re not yet familiar with Snapchat, it’s a mobile app that lets users send photo messages that automatically delete themselves shortly after being viewed. But with over 100 million daily active users, Snapchat’s not just for teenage girls anymore.

In fact, 71 percent of Snapchat’s users in the U.S. range in age from 18 to 34. As one of the fastest growing social networks, Snapchat could easily prove itself an important component to your overall marketing strategy. Just think of it as a clever way to engage your customers while building brand awareness.

By adopting this short-term visual message format, businesses large and small now have an easy and convenient way to produce daily stories that strike a chord with their customers.

Snapchat stories, which last only 24 hours, are a string of snaps used to create a video narrative,” reports “There are over 1 billion views of Snapchat stories each day.”

The platform offers a variety of tools and features that users can explore, including filters, geofilters, text, emojis, music and more.

By applying the following five Snapchat tips to your business’ social marketing strategy, you’ll keep your audience of customers and prospects engaged in a way that directly benefits your brand.

1. Use Live Events to Energize Customers

One reason Snapchat is great for business is because it offers real-time access to live events, such as trade shows. But even if your business doesn’t exhibit at trade shows, you can still use Snapchat in creative ways that speak to the interests of your customers and prospects. A business that sells artfully decorated dog collars, for example, could use Snapchat to introduce a new line, or to drum up sales via one-of-a-kind events, such as: Be the 50th customer to purchase a set of three collars today and receive a FREE leash! This kind of unexpected, direct interaction with customers has a way of getting them excited—and such excitement is often contagious to fence-sitters and passersby.

2. Share Exclusive Content

Ideally, every social channel you maintain should offer some piece of content that is specific to users of the digital platform in question. It’s fine to share content across social media channels, but hold back just enough so that users of each platform feel that at least some of the content is unique to them. With Snapchat, you could give followers a sneak peek into some interesting aspect of your business, such as where you find the inspiration for your dog collar designs, or how the collars are made. The whole idea is to make your customers feel like they’re being included in something special that “regular” customers don’t have access to.

3. Unveil Special Promotions

There’s a reason so many people sign up with daily-deal sites: everyone loves a giveaway or special offer. If you do this right on Snapchat, people will come back for more again and again. To continue with the dog collar example, let’s say you offered a promo code that would give customers a one-dollar discount for each photo they submitted featuring their pet wearing one of your collars. Or, you could launch a contest—just for your Snapchat followers—in which customers post daily photos or stories showcasing your collars over a period of time (e.g. one week), where the winner receives a gift card to use in your store. This type of Snapchat promotion directly rewards customer engagement, promotes two-way communication with your business, and supplies you with user-generated content, which customers love to see.

4. Unmask Your Operation

Similar to sharing exclusive content, you can also use Snapchat to include followers in the community that drives your business. Think of it as your chance to show off your company’s human side—the fun side. Doing so elevates the customer from a dispassionate consumer to a fellow tribe member, so seize this opportunity to share birthday parties, company outings, interviews with key staff members who are celebrating employment milestones, and more. The idea is to distinguish your business from the competition by showing how you’re more than just a business. Just like your customers, your business represents a shared cultural mindset.

5. Collaborate with Influencers

Snapchat influencers work the same way as influencers on other social media platforms, helping to raise awareness of your business’ brand and extend its reach. To bring the dog collar example full circle, consider how collaborating with a Snapchat influencer might benefit the business owner. For starters, the dog collar seller would be reaching a demographic that that may be difficult to reach through standard media outlets. Better yet, the Snapchat influencer may possess rock star level content creation skills that you don’t share (yet). Maybe she shoots awesome videos, for example, or he creates amazing infographics. When the influencer then tells his or her followers on other social media sites to check out their new Snapchat content, the dog collar business would benefit tremendously from the increased exposure.

When used creatively, Snapchat offers business owners a powerful, real-time platform that can blow up your brand (in a good way) and engage your customers. It’s definitely worth checking out.

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