How To Use Snapchat To Grow Your Business

One social network I immediately ruled out for business promotion was Snapchat.

When it first launched, it was plainly considered a private messaging app for young people to send images back & forth with an attached time allowance. Photos and videos could be sent to a group, an individual, or displayed on a ‘story’. Recipients could only view the content once, meaning the app had become little more than a way to communicate amongst one another with no residual evidence. I saw no actual benefit to using Snapchat, and how wrong I was.

I’m still not a huge fan of the platform. It’s difficult to interact, as well as encourage interaction from other users, since there’s no easy way to ‘find and follow’. But, once you learn the ways and put in some practice, Snapchat has great benefits for your business. Here are some authentic ways to boost your business using Snapchat.

Behind the Scenes

The great thing about Snapchat, is it allows you to curate a chronological story using different forms of media. You can use photographs (or ‘snaps’), videos, texts, emojis, filters and stickers to express your creativity and customize your content. There are also some filters and stickers that are specific to certain geographic locations and/or special events. The story feature is what holds the marketing potential for growing businesses. Snapchat has an authentic feel to it, less curated than that of Instagram or Pinterest photography, but more real. Audiences love to see the nitty gritty details behind a blog or a business, without the fancy photography equipment and rehearsed content. It makes you seem more relatable to your audience.

By showcasing a project you’re working on behind the scenes, you can tell your audience/clients the story of what’s happening from a realistic viewpoint. Snapchat also allows you to messily upload loads of media that are similar and document an entire day, with the content disappearing the next day. This sort of thing can’t be replicated on Instagram, as it affects your theme and makes your feed appear cluttered. You can use Snapchat to keep updating your story creatively and keep followers interested without it being annoying. It’s also a very personal way for viewers to get a sneak peek at something they wouldn’t normally have access to and will encourage potential clients to get excited for the result of the project.

Exclusive benefits

You can encourage your website visitors and/or clients to add you on Snapchat via your username or QR code by advertising through your newsletter, sidebar or social media platforms. This will help you to grow your following despite Snapchat not having much ease in terms of finding and following other users.

When you’ve built a significant following, you can offer exclusive content that can’t be seen on your other platforms. This will encourage audiences to follow you on Snapchat for those exclusive benefits that can’t be seen on other platforms, and gives you an opportunity to reward your closer audiences for their loyalty. You can do this by offering discount codes, or revealing information before it’s mentioned on your other social media platforms.

Since each snap only lasts 24 hours, you can plan a campaign in segments and allow your present audience to view it only. Encourage follows to view each of your snaps to find discount codes embedded in your content. You could ask them to screenshot a snap and tweet it to you for a discount code! You could also snap a secret word for gaining access to resources on your website, encouraging more people to view your Snapchat content, and re-directing them to your work. Practice makes perfect, and this method is about understanding how people use Snapchat, and creating something they can get involved in surrounding that behavior, that works for your business.

You could create daily snaps that countdown a launch to a product, allowing your Snapchat followers to get a first look before anyone else. You could even send followers personal snaps to say thank you when they follow you. Give them an ‘opt in’ for adding you on there, and then thank them for doing so – kind of like how a mailing list works, but more personal!

Though controversial, I’ve previously redirected my Twitter followers to Snapchat by alerting my followers that I was doing a ‘blogger mail’ video (a video where you unbox your PR mail). If this isn’t something you’re up for doing, you could advertise an ‘unboxing video’ of an item you would be giving away. There are plenty of ideas out there – it’s just about finding your feet with the platform!

Takeovers

Snapchat takeovers are a brilliant way to promote your business using influencers. Find someone relatable to your clients/followers and ask them to snap events or any of the things I’ve previously mentioned, from your account. Give your Snapchat audience a unique experience and perspective by hiring someone to partner with you and cover areas of your business in real-time. Spend some time researching influencers within your niche and consider working with them.

Communicate

Think about all the different ways you can communicate with your audience, and utilize them. Use the Snapchat filters, stickers and drawing options. They seem a little silly at first, but they portray creativity and are a great way to infuse personality into your business. Once you get used to the platform, you’ll be addicted to it. You can make videos for your audience, and ask them to send back responses. Snapchat will help you appear more authentic to your audience in a way other platforms cannot provide.

What social platforms are you obsessed with?