Can Snapchat Help Grow Your Business?

Snapchat, the photo-messaging app, is often neglected when it comes to social media marketing. For image-based campaigns, most brands use Instagram or Pinterest — but that doesn’t mean you can’t put Snapchat to good use. Here’s how to find out whether Snapchat is for you, and if so, how you can use it:

Consider your market

If your target or existing market is predominantly made up of the under-25s, then it’s likely that a lot of your customers are already using Snapchat. Why not take advantage of that? If your customers are already sending Snapchats on a daily basis, then it only makes sense to join the party.

And, if you’re in the entertainment, beauty or hospitality industry, then it’s entirely possible Snapchat can help you boost engagement, sales, and exposure. B2B companies, on the other hand, will not have much luck with Snapchat. Be realistic, and know your audience.

Use other networks for calls to action

Have a big Twitter or Facebook following? Brilliant — use those networks to post a call to action, inviting followers to send you their Snapchats.

Hair stylists could offer discount coupons to people who send in Snapchats of their bad hair day. Nightclubs could offer free VIP entry to the funniest selfies sent on the night. Restaurants could even put a call to action on their menu: something that encourages diners to send pictures of themselves or their meal (limit it to one part of the menu!) and offer a mystery discount in return.

Be creative — the more interesting the prompt, the more likely you are to get responses. Make sure your challenges are always easy to complete, though. If you want to make things difficult for your audience, you need to make sure the prize is worth their time and effort.

Have something to offer

Without the draw of discounts, freebies, or internet fame, it’s unlikely that you’ll get much in the way of participation. The more you offer, the more interest you’re likely to get — but that will become costly if you do it too often, so you need to use Snapchat as part of your existing campaign, rather than on its own.

In between the bigger Snapchat competitions, you could offer five seconds of Internet fame to the people who send the best Snapchats — post their images on Facebook or Twitter, or even dedicate a page of your website to the best Snapchats you collect. Of course, you should make it clear that the Snapchats will be posted online if that’s what you intend to do!

Consider what Snapchat can offer you

A Snapchat campaign might be trickier than an Instagram one, but if done correctly, it can seriously boost engagement for your brand. If you’re looking to grow your online presence or spread awareness about your business, then Snapchat can help you with that — but you have to use your other social media accounts to post calls to action. A self-contained Snapchat campaign would be virtually impossible, and not particularly beneficial, either.

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By Sam Wright

Sam Wright is a freelance writer. He specialises in small business, and is currently working for Brand Republic.

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