Want to create deeper connections with your followers?
Snapchat can help you build an engaged following, increase loyalty, and boost your brand visibility.
In this article, you’ll discover 10 ways to use Snapchat for business.
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#1: Stage an Influencer Reveal
Global fast-food giant McDonald’s (username: mcdonalds) isn’t just about a famous redheaded clown selling toys with a meal. Professional athletes like LeBron James gave users a behind-the-scenes look at the rollout of the new bacon clubhouse sandwich.
Although McDonald’s didn’t share the results of the promotion, it went well enough to continue. The promotion was pushed to Twitter where users were asked to follow back. To date, McDonald’s has over 3 million followers on Twitter.
Takeaway: You can apply this same philosophy with Snapchat to give your customers a look at what goes on behind the scenes at your company. Even if your marketing budget is only a fraction of what McDonald’s is, buyers still like feeling as if they know the story behind your company.
#2: Support an Account Takeover
The popular young women’s clothing retailer Wet Seal (username: wetseal) launched a Snapchat campaign, which was quickly taken over by a Snapchatter named MsMeghanMakeup.
Meghan has over 300,000 followers and her influence was quickly felt as a halo effect over Wet Seal’s campaign. The boost propelled the clothier to 9,000 connections in two weeks and over 250,000 views of the holiday “story.” Wet Seal was named winner of the 6th Annual Shorty Awards, which honors the best in social media.
Takeaway: To get your message seen, you can let an influential Snapchat user take over your account. You may not have connections with 300K+ followers, but even local authorities with hundreds or thousands of fans can improve your Snapchat reach.
#3: Share Promo Codes
Frozen yogurt chain 16 Handles (username: love16handles) used Snapchat’s instant photo feature to amass followers and promote their frozen treats. They were also among the first brands to use Snapchat for coupon offers.
The yogurt company earned new customers by promoting specific store locations and times, and when people snapped photos of themselves or their friends eating 16 Handles yogurt, they instantly received a coupon code for between 16% and 100% off. The catch: They only had 10 seconds to show the cashier.
Takeaway: You can get your followers involved with Snapchat-exclusive coupon codes or other exclusive promos. Make it fun and your brand’s reach is sure to grow!
#4: Give VIP Access
In the past, it took several weeks for photos from New York Fashion Week to trickle down from photographers to magazines, and then from newsstands to consumers. Now, with Snapchat, followers can watch the fashions unfold almost instantly.
Lucky Magazine’s editor-in-chief, fashion brand Refinery 29, and many others shared snaps of models strutting down the catwalk, allowing them to deliver images of the iconic fashion show to people in ways never dreamed of before.
Takeaway: You can use Snapchat to give your followers a VIP look at your events and promotions that they’ll likely never have a chance to attend in person. It’s a fun, easy way to bring new life to established events.
#5: Feature Your Followers
Mobile and online food ordering brand GrubHub (username: grubhub) launched its first Snapchat campaign in 2013, becoming a finalist in the 7th Annual Shorty Awards. They featured their own weekly content, stories gathered from user-generated content, giveaways, and promotions.
The results included a 20% increase in followers after the launch of the Snapchat giveaway. The campaign was one of many factors that contributed to its Wall Street debut in a public offering.
Takeaway: Don’t let your Snapchat feed become too self-serving. Make your feed about your followers, offer them value, and engage them in the content creation process.
#6: Demo Your Product
The world’s biggest online retailer, Amazon (username: amazon), used Snapchat to give a personality and voice to Alexa, the company’s female-voiced Echo speaker. In a clever use of social media, Amazon employed Snapchat to give clarity to the product, which confused consumers when it launched, as well as to promote Echo.
Thanks to its campaign, Amazon gained 6,100 mentions in just four hours. It demonstrated that Echo was off to a promising start.
Takeaway: If your brand releases new technology or products, use Snapchat as a guide for new customers. It’s a clever way to use Snapchat and introduce new products and engage with potential customers.
#7: Partner With Influencers
Sour Patch Kids (username: sourpatchsnaps) is a big hit among the Snapchat demographic, which is also the company’s target audience. Mondelez, the company behind the brand, worked with social media personality Logan Paul to produce content for chats.
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Over the course of five days, Paul documented childish pranks pulled on unsuspecting people, with the pranks dubbed “sweet” or “sour” to highlight the brand’s flavors. The brand encouraged fans to post and promote the next story. The campaign earned Sour Patch Kids 120,000 new Snapchat followers.
Takeaway: Work with an influencer whose follower base is similar to yours to share snaps that coincide with your brand’s image. In the case of Sour Patch Kids, pranks and general silliness work well, both in terms of supporting the company’s identity and in engaging the brand’s followers. Your results may vary.
#8: Address Relevant Issues
Historically, soap brand Dove (username: dove) appealed primarily to older women until it reached out to younger women using Snapchat. Over a period of two hours, 30 women chatted with psychologists and other ambassadors on Snapchat to share ideas and thoughts about self-esteem issues in a campaign to help boost young women’s self-images.
The resulting snaps earned the brand 75 conversations and 130,000 views, leading Dove to say that they’ll continue to measure both engagement and reach (conversations) as part of their campaign metrics going forward.
Takeaway: When it comes to Snapchat, don’t be afraid to be real. Authenticity is essential on this hyper-social network.
#9: Give Exclusive Previews
Business Insider reported that Acura (username: acura_insider) used Snapchat to build excitement for its racecar-like NSX. The automobile manufacturer sent 100 followers an exclusive preview of the new car. The first 100 new followers got this 6-second video of the speeding luxury car.
Acura was named a finalist in the 6th Annual Shorty Awards after successfully integrating Snapchat into its campaign. It created a lot of buzz for the car, which the company repurposed on Instagram, Vine, and Twitter.
Takeaway: You can reward your top customers and fans, too. Share exclusive information with a limited audience. It works whether you’re an international auto manufacturer or a local “mom and pop” store.
#10: Promote Events
iHeartRadio (username: iheartradio) used Snapchat to document and share its iHeartRadio Music Festival. For two days, the company gained a whopping 340 million impressions with the help of eager concertgoers who shared their experiences. The festival went viral on Snapchat.
Takeaway: Snapchat’s ephemeral nature makes it the perfect fit to advertise limited-time-only events. Make it part of your next event to give fans the inside scoop.
Using These Tactics in Your Own Snapchat Marketing
All businesses can benefit from the lessons learned from these Snapchat success stories. Whether you’re a tiny company just starting out or a major player in your niche, the following tips can help you engage and build loyalty among your customers on Snapchat:
Know your audience. As with any marketing campaign, success starts by knowing your audience. When you know who they are and what they want, you can connect with them more easily. Connection is especially important on Snapchat, where you have just seconds to make an impression.
Create memorable content. When you have only a few seconds to get your point across, you have to be memorable. Don’t be afraid to stand out with positive, brand-building content. Tell the public who you are and what you stand for.
Share your personal stories. Snapchat isn’t about pitching a faceless brand. The demographic you’re reaching, 18- to 24-year-olds, loves personal stories. Give your snaps personality and share personal tidbits.
Use exclusivity. Coupons, promotions, and sneak-peek offers get a lot of traction on Snapchat. Exclusivity sells well on this platform. 16 Handles used it to give away yogurt coupons. Acura got consumers to view their new cars from an exclusive offer. Depending on wording, anytime you create an aura of scarcity or exclusivity around an offer, you’ve got a better chance of gaining attention on Snapchat.
Be authentic. Brands that share authentic stories fare best on Snapchat. Be yourself, and share your core brand values. Too much scripting ruins the spontaneity of Snapchat and makes your presence feel too much like advertising.
New social media marketing platforms like Snapchat turn conventional marketing upside down. Instead of sharing gorgeous product photography, you’ve got to focus on the immediate and personal. Rather than direct consumer actions, users set the pace and direction.
It can take a little getting used to, but with some practice, you too can use Snapchat to boost your brand.
What do you think? Are you using Snapchat for business promotions? If so, what are your tips? Please share your suggestions in the comments below!