It wasn’t too long ago that Snapchat was only meant for sending embarrassing photos between friends. In what has now become commonly known as the “Snapchat Evolution,” the mobile app has grown into a platform that brands are using to engage with their customers 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Fashion and beauty bloggers are giving readers a behind-the-scenes look at their lives outside of blogging. Brands like McDonald’s use Snapchat to share sneak peeks of the newest commercial featuring celebrities like LeBron James.
For many small businesses, Snapchat may still be unchartered territory. It can be slightly confusing to those who are unfamiliar with the app, and many people still don’t understand its potential value. When used correctly, Snapchat can be an effective, creative tool to get customers to engage with your brand.
Share content that can’t be found anywhere else.
Snapchat is meant to be a fun way to engage with customers, but in order for it to be successful, your content needs to stand out. It should be different from what you publish on your website and other social channels. If your customers can be found the same information somewhere else, then you’re not using Snapchat effectively.
The good news is that the possibilities for content are endless. Share quick previews of new items from your latest clothing collection or behind-the-scenes photos of your event. Film your CEO sharing some daily words of wisdom.
Remember, the appeal of Snapchat is that photos or videos vanish in 10 seconds or less. The more enticing and interesting the content is, the more active your followers will be.
Get creative with content.
Don’t limit yourself to only product shots or only office selfies. Mix it up. Use photos and videos. Customers will be more likely to watch your Snapchat stories if they are always new and unexpected.
Use Snapchat in combination with other social media channels.
While your content should be different from other social channels, it doesn’t mean that the content can’t be complementary. Snapchat can be a great way to increase engagement across all social channels.
For example, send a snap of a new product and tell users to visit your Twitter to get the discount code. This way, potential customers are more likely to follow you on both channels.
Keep Snapchat stories short.
No one wants to open and watch a story that is 200 seconds long (yes, people do it). Users will get bored and close the story, meaning that they might miss out on exclusive offers or other important information. It’s better to post shorter stories on a regular basis than longer stories that are infrequent.
Create a Snapchat editorial calendar.
If your company has a social media strategy, incorporate Snapchat into that strategy. Again, you want to offer customers exclusive content that can only be found by following your brand on Snapchat.
Take a look at what you are doing across all of your social media channels. Plan what types of content you want to post and when you want to post. Try to keep your snaps as timely and relevant as possible.
Always stay true to your brand.
Snapchat is meant to be fun and informal, but it should align with your brand. If you wouldn’t post a particular photo to another social channel or your website, consider if it’s worth sharing with your Snapchat followers.
If you’re still not sure if your company can benefit from Snapchat, take a look at what your competitors and other companies are doing. Follow them to get a sense of how they use the app.
The goal of Snapchat is to get your customers excited about your brand in addition to what you sell. Your brand is what drives customers to come back. If used correctly, Snapchat can drive traffic to other social channels, increase conversions, and build your company a loyal customer following.
About the author: Ellen Borza is an Online PR Specialist with Web Talent Marketing, a digital marketing agency located in Lancaster, PA.