How to Use Snapchat for Your Small Business

How You Can Use Snapchat for Your Small BusinessFirst you learned to post, then you mastered the tweet. Now, it’s time to snap and chat with the “new” social media app, Snapchat.

Actually Snapchat has been around almost five years but it’s starting to catch on, especially with businesses that target a younger market. Find out what this new marketing tool can mean for your small business and how you can use it.

What Is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a free application for your mobile Apple or Android device. It’s estimated that there are 200 million active users who send more than 400 million snaps a day. Forty-five percent of Snapchat users are between 18 and 24 years old. Another 26 percent are age 25 to 34 years old.

Here’s how it works. You “snap” a photo or video on your device. Then you send it to a friend or follower. The receiver can comment on it within this social network. The unique part is that the image can only be viewed for a limited time, less than one minute. That appeals to our ever-decreasing attention spans.

The feature that’s getting the attention from businesses is “Snapchat Story.” It allows you to string together a series of photos and videos to the stories section of your account. That creates a longer narrative that followers can view for 24 hours.

So there’s a sense of urgency about it. That’s important to businesses concerned about their message getting ignored. In this app, people who ignore it will miss out. That can be a powerful motivator for potential buyers to take action.

How Businesses Use Snapchat

Businesses are beginning to use Snapchat in a variety of ways, especially with a younger market. Here are a few examples:

  • Product introduction – Some businesses are using Snapchat Stories to launch new products. For example, Taco Bell uses it to release new menu items. They report having almost 30 million Snapchat followers with an 80 percent open rate for their snaps.
  • Couponing – Use Snapchat for your ongoing promotional efforts. One study reports that 58 percent of college students would likely purchase from a business that sends them a Snapchat coupon for one of their products.
  • Quirky Content – Given the target audience for the app, the content on Snapchat tends to take on a more lighthearted tone. Businesses can respond by providing unique and fun facts about the business. That might include a demo of a new way to use the product, a behind the scenes look at one of your staff members, or answers to questions from customers about your product.
  • Event Marketing – The short-term nature of the content can make it ideal to promote specific events. If you’re hosting an open house, putting on a workshop or having a 24-hour sale, Snapchat can be used to build buzz that gets the attention of potential customers.

For More Information

Setting up a Snapchat account is relatively easy. This Ultimate Guide to Snapchat Marketing walks you through an account setup.

If you target a younger demographic, Snapchat can provide another social marketing tool to grow your small business.

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