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With social media changing the game for both business and marketing, many companies are utilizing at least one of the three major networks: Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.  Each of these mediums give businesses a variety of ways to advertise their business or share content, and have been successful in growing companies.  These social networks were not initially made for businesses, but have recently been adapted to cater towards them.  Snapchat could soon follow in these footsteps.

Snapchat is the most recent social networking site becoming popular among millennials.  Allowing users to send 10-second pictures or videos, which disappear completely after the allotted time, Snapchat has a bad reputation for being the sexting app.  However there have been some major improvement made, giving this app the ability to surpass the major social networks in popularity among the younger generation.  Here’s some stats from this Business Insider article:

  • Snapchat has roughly 26 million users in the United States
  • 77 percent of college students use Snapchat daily
  • 58 percent of college students would be likely to purchase a brand’s product or service if they received a coupon on Snapchat

Despite the fact that a majority of millennials use Snapchat on a daily basis, many companies may still not understand how this app could be useful for their business.  I’m going to talk about some of the features that Snapchat has added and how they can help your company.

Getting Started

One of the great things about Snapchat is the casualness of it.  There’s also no need to create a detailed profile.  All you need is a username, and if you so desire a profile picture or video, and then you’re ready to start snapping.

Connecting with friends or potential customers is easy to do, as the app automatically syncs your phone contacts, and allows you to pick and choose which friends you want to add.  One of the newest features Snapchat has added is the ability to “Add Nearby”.  If you’re at one of your company events, or any social gathering where potential customers may be, you can use this feature to add anyone in the surrounding area.  Click on the image below to see step-by-step how to use this feature:

 

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The “Added Me” feature allows you to view other users who have added you on Snapchat.  Whether or not you accept the add is up to you.  The “Add Friends” feature is where you can find new friends by either: “Add by Username” (manually typing in another user’s username), “Add from Address Book” (adding users from your existing phone contacts), “Add by Snapcode” (adding someone by taking a picture of their profile picture), and “Add Nearby”.  “My Friends” gives you a list of your existing friends on Snapchat.

Snapchat Story

Snapchat allows you to do a variety of actions, but here’s one of the features that will be most useful for businesses.  Snapchat Story allows users to compile pictures and videos to provide an ongoing narrative of their day.  Many companies use this feature to give behind-the-scenes look into how their business operates, a side that is usually not seen by the general public.  For example, if you’re in the restaurant business, giving your customers a sneak peak of the day’s specials or how their favorite dish is prepared is something you could add to your story.  Your story instantly becomes free advertising, and creates buzz about your dishes. If you’re not in the restaurant business, and may still be questioning how your company could utilize this feature, think about highlighting important events.  Any big event your company hosts like anniversaries, openings, or new products/services,  is an oppurtunity to share on Snapchat.

Incentives are also a great marketing strategy for any type of business. Having limited-time offers or coupons for your business, exclusively on your Snapchat story,  is an easy way to promote your services or products.  According to the aforementioned Business Insider article, “an impressive 58% of college students stated they were more likely to buy from a company if they received a coupon via Snapchat”.

Here’s an example of how GrubHub used their Snapchat to find summer interns:

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Add a Filter

Snapchat allows users to add overlays to their pictures or videos that can give it more context.  The speed, time, date, and temperature can be measured for each snap, as seen below (click on picture below to view gif).

 

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For a more artistic touch, you also have the ability to choose colored filters or a geofilter.  Similar to other social networks, geofilters provide the exact location of where the snap was taken.  But instead of just simply mentioning the location, Snapchat has created unique designs for each geofilter (and in some cases multiple designs for one location).  Anyone can also request a geofilter for a specific location, which could be used to advertise their business or the neighborhood in which they are located.  Not only do these geofilters add a creative flare to each snap you use it for, but it is again a great way to advertise your company’s location.  Along with geofilters, several colored filters are available.  Below is an example of three different Norfolk geofilters and colored filters that I used on my own picture: 

 

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Build An Audience

Snapchat has built several clever ways for you to build an audience, which is pretty necessary if you’re using snapchat for your business. The first is easy, you can tell people that they can find you via your username. For example, Hatch’s username is StartWithHatch. The second is a little cooler. From your camera screen, you can swipe down to reveal a Snapcode. These snapcodes can be scanned by users from the camera screen in their own app simply by holding down their finger. A clever way to get this in front of your existing audience is to use your snapcode as a profile picture on other mediums. A snapcode can also be used to add a friend without scanning from the camera. If you or your audience member see a picture of a snapcode you see online, it would be hard to scan it with your camera (since you can’t really take a picture of your own screen. If you save the picture, however, you can add it from your camera roll. Once you have swiped down from the camera screen, press add friends, then add from snapcode. This pulls up your camera roll so you can select the code you want to add. Here’s our snapcode, try it out:

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The third way you can connect with users is through a custom URL. All of these URLs follow this formula http://www.snapchat.com/add/YOURUSERNAME. So Hatch’s custom URL would be http://www.snapchat.com/add/startwithhatch. Lastly, you can also add people through the “add nearby” function. When both you and your potential new audience member have this function open (you’ll see this option when you hit add friends). However, this requires you to be physically near each other, which is probably not how you’re going to be reaching people.

Already on Snapchat? Let us know how you use it for your business!  Comment below about what you think of our tips and any other questions you have about Snapchat!

 

 

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