Occupying an interesting space between social media platform and messaging app, business users are just starting to understand how to use Snapchat to engage their customers and build their reputation. Since Snapchat is something of a different product than the typical Big Three of Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, understanding how to use Snapchat to a company’s benefit isn’t entirely intuitive. Snapchat doesn’t tend to build followers or work well for companies who want everything to be polished and perfect.
Snapchat started because teens wanted a way to send pictures to each other without those pictures lingering on someone’s phone or on a server somewhere. Originally, you couldn’t save a snap in any way; now, users can choose to screenshot a snap, but doing so notifies the sender.
While teens still use Snapchat in this way, the app has also become popular with young adults, who use it to send goofy pictures back and forth, messaging each other silly messages which they know will disappear.
Some customers also like Snapchat because they’re so focused on what’s happening right now. They don’t scroll back in peoples’ feeds in other apps, so they’re supremely uninterested in what their friends did days ago. They want to know where their friends are right now.
Once you understand the benefits of Snapchat for your audience, you can take a look at 7 ways to use Snapchat the way it was intended and build your company’s reputation.
Snapchat has now introduced a format called Snapchat Stories, which allows several different items to be combined and viewed as one long piece. Stories involving several short videos tend to be particularly well regarded.
The key to making this work for your business is to make your storytelling concise and creative. You have about a minute; make it count!
Instagram and Pinterest put the focus on making sure every moment is carefully poised and posed. With Snapchat, users are looking for a more authentic, less considered appearance. Slice of life vignettes, quick snaps with products or behind the scenes images, and unfiltered photos all play well on Snapchat.
Get Snapchat Filters
A great way to connect with your fans is to offer a Snapchat filter. Filters overlay snaps and add branding to the image. Users can send those snaps to friends, or use them to reply to your company for a promo code or contest entry.
But even more importantly, filters are geotagged, meaning that they’re open to customers in particular areas. This creates a sense of customization which is important.
Reply To Snaps
If your customers and fans snap you, snap them back! This might be the single most important way to communicate on Snapchat. Users love the back and forth and behind the scenes feels they get, both from their favorite brands and celebrities and their friends.
You might think of Youtube in terms of How-To content, but Snapchat can also be effective. This is especially true if you want to show quick moments with a new product or service. Build interest and attention by using Snapchat to explain a quick process, or show off what’s coming next for your company.
The quick-to-disappear nature of Snapchat means that the service is fantastic for contests. No out of date posts showing up to confuse customers, such as can happen on other platforms; after 24 hours, your snaps are deleted.
Encourage your customers to snap you back for an entry, or go to a particular link that they can find at the end of your story.
If your company is hosting an event, sponsoring something local, volunteering at a community organization, or even just running backstage, a great way to build interest is to offer Snapchat stories that give customers that behind the scenes feeling.
You can either literally take them backstage, or you can use your snaps to show them what’s happening. This can help users who are far away or unable to attend a big event feel like part of the action.
Many businesses are still investigating the very best ways to use Snapchat to connect with their most excited fans. Companies often see the best benefits to new platforms when they adopt them early on; think of how much success brands had when they first started on Facebook, versus now, when they must compete for attention. It is possible that, in the future, Snapchat will be viewed the same way.
Consider how your company can begin using Snapchat now to build its audience and reputation in the future.