How Brands Can Get Started With Snapchat

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Snapchat: the app for people who know that a picture speaks a thousand words.

What started as an app for people to send funny, sexy or silly quick pictures to friends has become the next big thing for marketers.

Snapchat was the most downloaded non-game app globally in May 2013, and it’s been getting more and more popular, to the point that 18.6% of all iPhone users are using it, with 26 million active users in the US alone.

Basically, the app allows you to send a photo to people on your friends list that will be deleted within seconds of the person receiving it.

However, before the app added its Stories feature (a collection of posts/snaps that can be seen for 24 hours), it didn’t really seem to open many opportunities for brands.

So the question here is: Can brands use Snapchat to engage with their customers?

Currently, some brands are already seeing success with the app, especially those that want to reach a younger audience (Snapchat users are between the ages of 13-25).

The trick is knowing how brands can best use Snapchat for engagement.

If you’re looking to dive into the world of Snapchat as a brand, you should consider yourself an early adopter. Most brands are still testing the waters and figuring out their strategy.

Here’s the general process:

1. Create a Snapchat account.

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I know. Painfully obvious, right?

But if you want to get on Snapchat, you need to join the bandwagon and make an account for your brand.

2. Cross-promote your account.

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The next step is for you to promote – not just add the link – your new Snapchat account across all other social media platforms that your brand is on.

Let your followers know, and encourage them to get on Snapchat and add your brand as a friend.

3. Reward your followers.

Thank your followers for being loyal enough to follow you to Snapchat.

Here’s some things you can do on Snapchat:

  • Photo contests
  • New product sneak peeks
  • Coupons
  • Behind-the-scenes photos
  • Targeted videos
  • New team member introductions

Surprise your fans by showing them that you understand their behaviour, and that your brand likes to hang out where they do.

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4. Keep sending out content.

Keep distributing your visual content on the platform to maintain engagement.

Remember that Snapchat is all about communicating through images, and sometimes videos, and whatever you send will be deleted 10 seconds after the user opened it.

You need to learn how to communicate with people at a quicker pace.

Get creative, and experiment to find out what kind of content you can send through Snapchat, and what your followers want to see.

With the short attention span of users these days, 10 seconds is actually just enough time to grab their attention, without interrupting their browsing.

Just remember to blast out content at the right time, and not to spam your users with too much content.

5. Leverage “My Story”.

Use the Stories feature to reach all your followers at once.

You can even send out targeted content to a certain segment of your followers, by selecting them from your contacts.

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With some creative strategy, a Snapchat campaign can actually be cost-effective and easy to implement. Relevant brands will have the unique opportunity to establish themselves as “ahead-of-the-curve” and be able to reach a niche target demographic.

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