Snapchat for Business: How Your Marketing Can Benefit From Photo Messaging

social media how toAre you looking for new ways to add mobile to your marketing mix?

Do you want to deliver time-sensitive offers to your customers?

Wondering how SnapChat could help your business?

It’s no secret that mobile is the new black: most people rely on their phone or tablet to access information.

In this article, you’ll discover 5 ways brands can add Snapchat to their mobile marketing strategy.

How Snapchat Works

If your target audience is age 13-25, Snapchat may be the answer you’re looking for.

It’s a popular mobile app—it logs over 400 million messages every day—that shares photos and videos that disappear after a short time.

First, let me explain how Snapchat works. A Snapchat picture, or snap, is only available for a set time limit, from 1 to 10 seconds, once the user opens it. However, the new Snapchat Stories feature allows items to be available for up to 24 hours.

The limited lifespan makes Snapchat the perfect tool to deliver a call to action that creates excitement and a sense of urgency.

snap-chat-app

Open the app, then to take a snap, tap the center button once. For video, press and hold the center button for as long as you want the video to record.

Ready to get down to business?

Here are five creative ways you can leverage Snapchat to promote your own business. I’m including a few brand examples to get your creative juices flowing.

#1: Reward Current Customers With Mobile Coupons

Because Snapchat is ubiquitous with its young target market, it allows brands to deliver offers and coupons in a matter of seconds. Coupon snaps not only reward customers, they provide incentive to bring them back for more.

16 Handles, a frozen yogurt chain, uses Snapchat to send discount coupon codes to customers who send them snaps of themselves or friends eating 16 Handles frozen yogurt. The discounts range from 5% to 100% and recipients redeem the coupon by showing the cashier the code.

Within a few days of beginning their Snapchat campaign, 16 Handles had exchanged more than 1,400 images with users, and built a user list to which they could send future promotional material.

16-handles-snap-chat-

16 Handles uses Snapchat to send mobile discount coupons.

#2: Gain New Followers With a Giveaway

In the same way coupons can retain customers, giveaways put you in touch with new ones and generate leads. The giveaway incentive helps you build a follower base that receives future giveaway offers and coupon codes.

You can use a giveaway to encourage fans from other social platforms, including your website, to add your brand on Snapchat and get their friends to add you as well. You can track your new subscribers with a simple hashtag that reinforces your brand.

In June, sports ticket provider Chat Sports used Snapchat to offer their community a chance to win tickets to a game.

To enter, users had to have five friends add Chat Sports on Snapchat. Then those friends had to send a unique image to Chat Sports with the username of the fan who wanted to win the tickets and the hashtag #gimmietickets.

The result was 150 responses in 48 hours.

chat-sports-snap-chat-

One fan’s submission to Chat Sports to win free tickets.

#3: Take People Behind the Scenes

Snapchat recently added a Stories feature that lets brands send out a combination of images and 5-second videos to tell a story.

If you have a lot of fun behind-the-scenes footage, offer your followers a taste with a story. At the end of the story, include a teaser and send fans to your website or YouTube channel.

The New Orleans Saints use this feature to its full potential by regularly sending out stories that include behind-the-scenes footage, a look at kits for the game and images of new Saints products.

new-orleans-saints-snap-chat-

The New Orleans Saints keep their fans involved in what they do.

#4: Preview a New Product

Sneak peeks on Snapchat are one way to build customer loyalty and buzz around a new product before it even hits the shelves. Your brand’s snaps could include a string of teasers leading up to the product launch.

When you send out an image of your new product, treat your community like personal friends rather than customers.

Taco Bell wanted a friendly and convenient way to reach their customers with information about the new Beefy Crunch Burrito. Snapchat fit their needs perfectly because it’s popular with their target market.

taco-bell-snap-chat-

Taco Bell uses Snapchat to let current fans know about new products first.

#5: Tell Customers About Holiday Sales and Events

Snaps of a holiday greeting or invitation are great ways to keep your brand top of mind with customers during any holiday season. Use snaps to promote your brand or products to customers long before they decide to shop.

But you don’t have to wait for the major holidays. Every month comes with lesser-known celebrations like International Talk Like a Pirate Day or Chocolate Milkshake Day—prime opportunities to engage your fans in a new and interesting way.

Karmaloop, an online streetwear retailer, sent snaps to customers after Thanksgiving and included coupon codes for their online store. Using Snapchat let them reach their target customers without spending a lot of money on advertising.

karma-loop-snap-chat-

Customers love holiday greetings with an online coupon.

Consider using Snapchat to reach a young customer base.

It can be hard to engage a younger audience like the age 13-25 demographic. Snapchat gives you inexpensive access to them, and done right, Snapchat can fit seamlessly into your mobile strategy and have a high ROI.

What do you think? How are you using Snapchat? Let us know your experience and thoughts in the comments below.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author, Eric Sornoso

Eric Sornoso is a marketing expert based in Los Angeles, California. He's the president of Infographic Seeding. Other posts by »




More Info
  • Carhawk

    If I’m using Snapchat for the first time, how do I find followers? Does it use mobile/digital/GPS technology? Or is it a tool to add after I’ve built up a following on my FB or Twitter accounts?

  • AmandahBlackwell

    Great post on Snapchat!

    I haven’t used Snapchat, but I want to check it out given the target audience is 13-25. This is the range for YA and New Adult authors. I’ll have to check out the site to see if authors use the social network.

  • socialmediaplus

    I think this is a awesome platform to tap into… however my question is that of the others, Snap chat is from what I thought invites, so how do we gain followers?

  • http://www.bloggingfromparadise.com/ Ryan Biddulph

    I have not used Snapchat yet Eric but love the idea of free giveaways.

    Everybody loves a freebie no matter what network you use to deliver the goods.

    I will consider using my consulting businesses and cash gifting team, for sure.

    Thanks for sharing Eric!

  • esornoso

    Carhawk,

    Thank you for your comment.

    The best method to gain followers for Snapchat is by leveraging all your existing marketing channels. Therefore, ask all your Facebook Fans, Twitter followers, and email subscribers the perks for following you on Snapchat. These perks depend on your brand, product, or company. Let me know if you have other questions.

  • esornoso

    AdmandahBlackwell,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I don’t know if any authors are using the social network, but I’ll do some research for you.

  • esornoso

    socialmediaplus,

    Thank you for your comment.

    The best way to gain followers is by leveraging all your existing marketing channels.

  • AmandahBlackwell

    Thanks!

  • http://www.EntrepreneurOnFire.com/ John Lee Dumas

    With all the different apps to choose from sometimes it’s hard to decide, but this seems like a great app! I like the “limited lifespan” twist that SnapChat has, allowing you to really add some excitement and a sense of urgency for your clients. Thank you for the great tips on how we can use this app in our marketing campaigns!

  • esornoso

    Entrepreneur On Fire,

    Thank you for your comment.

  • esornoso

    Thanks Ryan.

  • esornoso

    You’re Welcome.

  • http://getsocial.kr/ Taewon Lee

    Charming platform, good post!!
    When considering to use snapchat for business, regional user amounts matters. Many people uses facebook and instagram in some country, but not familiar with snapchat.
    When enough people use this new platform someday, it will be a new social media channel.

  • esornoso

    Taewon,

    This is a great comment. You bring up a good point as it’s yet to be seen how Snapchat will be seen overseas.

  • http://personablemedia.com/ Heath Rost

    Thank you for this writeup Eric. There aren’t enough posts about Snapchat yet, I’m strongly considering writing a few of my own. Your input helps my perspective greatly around the potential of the app for businesses. You had some great examples from companies as well. Well done!

  • esornoso

    Thank you Heath.

    I would love for you to write them as I would like to see your perspective on Snapchat.

  • http://about.me/ayeshaambreen Ayesha Ambreen

    Hi Eric, Fantastic post! The age 13-25 demographic are not just hard to target but are also difficult to engage. Platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram are building a traction among them. But for some businesses Snapchat or Instagram just doesn’t make a fit, even if the target audience is teens. Are there any pointers that you would recommend to look for? I’d like to see how Tech companies, likes of Cisco, Microsoft, Hp, SurveyMonkey, OneLogin, etc., are using Snapchat.

  • CliqueOut

    Not tried Snapchat… too many out there nowadays, still happy with Whatsapp

  • esornoso

    CliqueOut,

    Thank you for your comment.

    Whatsapp is another great app. Don’t limit yourself to only it, but check out Snapchat. It’s a huge following and will only continue to get bigger.

  • http://sproutsocial.com/features/social-media-engagement Sarah @ Sprout Social

    I love Snapchat- and I’m slightly older than the key demographic! I agree that there’s huge potential for marketers and the examples you gave are really great ideas to get started in growing a community.

    I think the nature of Snapchat gives it a more casual feeling with disappearing content, and because of this, brands can let their guard down a bit. However, they still need to be somewhat cautious, as recipients can take a screen shot. But this shouldn’t be a reason to not strategize to connect in a genuine manner.

  • esornoso

    Thank you Sarah for the awesome advice. I love your tool.

  • Bradley Marsoobian

    looks good

  • Thoop

    Hey I’m trying to develop a Snapchat for my organization. I created a new account and have all the usernames under the name of my organization but it still shows up as my name under the main Snapchat handle to other people. Do you know how this can be remedied?

  • Kim Polad

    Hi Eric!

    Awesome article; I love your ideas!

    Maybe you have an answer to the question I’ve had no luck Googling today…can people find you through an email address or username, or do they have to have your cell number to connect? I’m really interested in using Snapchat for business, but the idea of throwing my cell number up on all my sites for everyone to have 24/7 access to is not ideal. Ideas?

  • esornoso
  • esornoso

    Thank you Bradley.

  • esornoso

    Let me look into this situation.

  • http://www.brendeesirishpub.com Jennifer

    I’ve been using Snapchat for a while now personally. How do I add a separate account for business? I’d like to keep them distinct from each other.

  • Pingback: isadora busch | 5 Ways Brands Can Use Snapchat To Engage With Consumers

  • http://www.accentdesign.dk Steffen Gammelgaard

    Thanks for this great post on Snapchat! It was very helpful

  • Pingback: JD Photo Imaging - Blog







Check out the Social Media Marketing Podcast!
Join our Social Media Marketing Networking Club
Download the free Social Media Marketing Industry Report