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Snapchat for Small Business: A Guide for Beginners

Snapchat is the best example of a breakaway innovation that’s taken social media by storm. With more than 200 million active monthly users, Snapchat is a rapidly growing platform businesses need to take note of.

But what exactly is Snapchat for business?

A good place to start would be to look at how the market uses it in the first place. Statistics show that 76% of Snapchat users buy their products online making it in ideal platform for sales and marketing campaigns.

A large part of Snapchat’s market belongs to millennials and Gen Z populations. Because they identify as digital natives, online platforms are much more familiar and convenient for them than traditional methods.

You would missing out on a great marketing opportunity if you don’t get on the Snapchat hype to grow your business.

The Snapchat Appeal


Snapchat is a wildly popular app that lets users send videos, photos, and even texts otherwise called ‘snaps’. You can send them to friends or post them publicly on your profile. Part of what makes it interesting is that these snaps get deleted within 10 seconds of viewing.

Sounds strange? Its target demographic of youths love it.

Nearly half of Snapchat users in the US are part of Gen Z, meaning that this fleeting feature can be quite attractive to this type of market. To get a better understanding of why this works, look at the type of lifestyle the youth of today are generally known for.

Self-expression, creativity, and freedom from reprisals are all things that Gen Z and millennials crave – and exactly what 10-second snaps offer. This makes the platform a perfect way to reach out to your young target market.

See Also: How to Use Snapchat Like a Boss

Using Snapchat as an effective marketing tool

A beginner to Snapchat may not immediately get the rationale behind the app, more so how to work it. But even if you’re not a digital native like the rest of your target demographic,, you can still learn to work the ropes in a matter of minutes.

Take some time to consider these highly effective social media marketing strategies.

1. Provide real time action

Snapchat has a Live Stories feature where users can build a Story with other users nearby their place. A Story is an album of snaps that stays active for 24 hours after being sent, making it longer than the usual Snap.

Think of a Story as a live broadcast of any event or campaign you have. Even if people can’t be there, they can see how fun and engaging your events are. Looking at young people of today’s highly digitized but also experience-seeking lifestyles, this can give you great leverage in interacting with audiences even if they’re far away.

A great example is Heineken’s successful Snapchat campaign during Coachella, where it used a combination of live snapping and teasing the audience. The brand sent out cropped photos as snaps to let users guess who was going to turn up to this year’s biggest music and fashion event among millennials.

2. Give your audience a sense of privilege

One way to reward loyal customers is by by making them feel special. In Snapchat, you do this by sending snaps of offerings that are yet to be released in public. Think of it as a secret preview of sorts.

The great thing about Snapchat is that it’s perfect for such teasers. You don’t have to show the entire product right away. Pique people’s interests by giving just a few hints. Add an emoticon or a snap text. Send several snaps that build up to that big reveal. This will build suspense among your audience.

If there’s one thing you need to know about today’s young generations, it’s that their FOMO (fear of missing out) is very strong. Once you’ve built a buzz in the community, it’s bound to spread to their networks as well.

3. Create excitement through promos, coupons, and contests

But don’t just make it a plain old offer. Utilize Snapchat’s expiring snaps to create a sense of urgency with every promo released. This gives a whole new meaning to “available for a limited time only”.

Digital Content Editor Ken Barnaby of EduGeeksClub, remembers his own Snapchat marketing experience, “I got a snap for a free meal in one of the local restaurants. I had to click it before I ran out of time!”

4. Personalize the experience

Your customers want to feel like you are talking to them personally and not just as a general member of a target market. One way to make your engagement feel more personal is by letting your audience get closer to your authentic brand identity. It’s like being with a close friend.

Nat Young from the Association of Surfing Professionals sends out his own snap selfies to fans with fun autographs that show a wacky and quite human side of him. Letting people know you’re not a distant machine will draw them closer to you.

5. Get influencers on board

Influencers are online personalities who have a great following. Looking to them for some help can leverage your brand with their followers. Make use of the great network at hand to you.

For example, McDonald’s snapped an all-star cast of LeBron James and other sports personalities like NFL players in special behind-the-scenes footage. Attracting both fans of sports and fast food, the brand was able to make itself relevant in this platform.

See Also: 4 Free Business Productivity Apps To Help You Grow Your Small Business

The Takeaway: It’s Not Hard to Go With the Flow

An older generation of marketers might feel a disconnect with its millennial audience. But this shouldn’t discourage you from reaching out. In fact, exploring avenues like Snapchat is a great way to grow your market and convert your leads!


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