The social media landscape is constantly shifting, but learning how to use the right platforms can help you market your business, promote events and build brand awareness, especially among social savvy milliennials.
Enter Snapchat. Released in 2011, Snapchat is an instant image/video/chat social media application that has risen in popularity. With 200 million users and 100 million daily users, Snapchat shows no signs of stopping. Brands like Tacobell, GE and GrubHub have gained a handle on Snapchat, and use it to come up with creative content that appeals to millennials.
So you’re probably wondering, “How can I get in on this Snapchat and win over the coveted millennial market?” Here is what you need to know before creating a Snapchat account for your business.
- Snap – A video/image/chat message that can be posted on your Story or sent directly to others.
- “Stories” section – Snapchat’s version of Newsfeed/Timeline where you can post your Snaps and view your friend’s Snaps.
- Chat - A text chat sent directly to someone.
- Friends – People that follow you on Snapchat.
- Discover – The news section where people can read and hear news stories from companies like VOX, VICE, Buzzfeed and more.
- Geofilters – Location-based overlays that can appear on your snap like a sticker.
- Lenses – Cool interactive lenses that allow special effects to your facial expressions. You can snap it and add it to your Story or sent via Chat.
How Snapchat Works
If you’ve tried any live-streaming apps, you’ll have no problem figuring out Snapchat. But, if this is your first experience with live-streaming technology, follow these suggestions:
- Snapchat allows you to take photos and videos. Once you’ve done this, you can post it to your Story or send it to one or multiple people directly.
- On your Story, your “snap” has a 24-hour expiration date, and when you send it to people, it’s available until they open it. You’re able to view each snap sent to you twice.
- You can Snap as much as you want. There are no limits to how many Snaps you can do a day. Of course, you don’t want to overdo the amount of content you’re sharing.
- Snapchat allows you to be creative! You can draw on images and videos in a variety of colors, add emojis, filters, geofilters and selfie lenses.
- Chat the old fashion way… through text! You can send direct chats to people with text. If it gets a little boring, your chat with a person can be a variation of text, images and video.
Ways to use Snapchat for your Business
- Announce News: If your company has a milestone coming up or you want to build up suspense for something, use Snapchat to get the word out!
- Behind the scenes look: If you’re throwing an event, give your audience an exclusive look at the process and/or the highlights of your event. It might seem weird at first, but it helps your audience feel like a part of the process and makes them feel like they know you better.
- Share office/work culture: Giving your audience a look at your daily operations can also help build a rapport, whether it’s showing the hard work your employees put in, or showing how close your team is by just being goofy together!
- Tutorials/Product Demos: If you have a product, use Snapchat to help show your audience how it works. This helps you get the word out there without having to rent an expensive booth in a store or at an exhibit.
- Help Wanted: Each social media platform has become a news hub, and Snapchat is no exception! If your business is hiring, use a video or photo to announce it to your followers.
- Giveaways: Everybody loves a giveaway! It’s become the norm to hold a giveaway on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so why not Snapchat? Since Snapchat allows you to send direct messages, you can ask your followers to send you images, videos or chats in order to enter for a prize or discount. Ask them to be creative using the drawing tools, emojis or selfie lenses.
- Say Thank You: Maybe you’ve wanted to show your audience that you value them and a Facebook post or tweet never seemed like it was enough. You can post a thank you video to your Story to show them how much you care!
Remember, the social media landscape is ever changing and Snapchat might update the way it works in a month, but once you start, you’ll get the hang of it! Now that you know Snapchat lingo, the basics of how to use it and have some ideas of how to utilize it for your business, go out there and be a Snapchat pro!
Written by Randy Estevanes, the Marketing/PR Account Coordinator with the Communications team at esd & associates, specializing in social media management and public relations.