Dear Doctor Digital, I still don’t want to use Snapchat. Do I have to?
Doctor Digital Says
Dear person clearly over 18. It pains me to write about Snapchat, as I share your anxiety and social fatigue, but sadly, the days of Snapchat being used solely for sending pictures between teens are over, and if your business caters to a cohort that are Millenial, Gen Z or even Gen Y, you may have to opt in.
Snapchat as a social media platform that also serves brands and businesses has evolved and your company can’t afford to ignore the impact it could have on your business. Time to embrace the suck and peer behind the screen into Snapchat for business.
Everything you suspected about Gen Z and their love of the phone is true, 71 percent of them use Snapchat daily, and 51 percent of this group clock up at least 11 uses per day. While Snapchat is still king of the kids, the demographics are changing, with older users getting on board. Sigh.
Snapchat is an undoubtedly viable marketing channel if your current target market falls anywhere between the ages of 12 and 34. Its growth rate continues to climb, and currently there are roughly 187 million active daily users. While Facebook and Instagram get harder to cut through on, perhaps this channel can offer you a better visibility for your products and services. If you are new to Snapchat, you need to set up an account and get some followers. Like all new things, there will be a learning curve, so watch what other business accounts do in your sector and where they are getting engagement.
If you are using other social channels and have a following there, make sure you cross promote your Snapchat profile and offer some exclusive content and incentives to get people to follow you there, email lists and your website are great for this too. Once you have built your audience and are ready to be a Snapchat ninja, here are some tips on how to get the best from your Snapchat profile.
1. Post to your story often – but not too often.
Snapchat is ephemeral, that means content doesn’t last more than 24 hours, which explains the frequent checking. You need to strike a Goldilocks balance between posting too much, and not enough and get a just right amount to keep your followers engaged but not overwhelmed. Try updating your Snapchat story about three times per day, every four or five hours. This will help keep your engagement high and prevent your followers from skipping over your content. You can automate this, so take a breath and read on!
2. Let social influencers take over your account
Take-overs were pioneered on Snapchat and are a great way to cross pollinate your following with a brand that shares your audience and demographic. Influencers and your brand collaborators already have a steady following on social media theoretically. Take advantage of that. If you allow someone else to take over your Snapchat account, you can expose your brand to a much wider audience. If you are doing a takeover, paid or unpaid, make sure that the person taking over is not going to damage your brand, and is able to offer you an audience segment that you don’t currently have access to. And make sure you return the favour and offer to do takeovers and content for other like-minded brands.
3. User-generated content
Engagement with your users is always a good way to get content created and buy in from your fans. You want to turn peeps into evangelists, and no better way than by asking them to co-create with you. Run campaigns where you feature content made by your followers, (preferably featuring your products or services). Their friends will see it, your followers will see it, and everyone wins. You might want to offer a little incentivization for your campaign to keep the momentum up, and of course this would be scheduled into your marketing plan.
4. Offer discounts and promo codes
If you are tired of content creation and razzing up followers to make some noise and some content for you, time to mix it up and offer them something they can use. Send out discounts and other promotional offers via Snapchat. This strategy will also help you drive sales and increase conversions. You might be all carried away with clever snaps and filters, but let’s keep focus – you’re here for the sales, and discounts and promos will give you the conversion you crave.
5. Launch baby!
Snapchat is a perfect place to tease your followers into a product launch or update. They are checking your feeds regularly, and you can give them some decent storytelling to keep them coming back for more as you build up to your big moment. Keep it fun and playful and make sure when you do your big reveal you have a clear call to action to get them purchasing or pre-purchasing, and that all those leads are captured. One of the benefits to this type of campaign is the feeling your followers are getting an exclusive behind the scenes first look, keep that VIP vibe flowing and let them know they are the chosen ones.
6. Drive traffic to your website
Snapchat recently introduced a new feature that allows you to add links to your story. To do this, simply take a photo or video using their camera as you normally would. Then click on the paperclip icon before adding it to your story. Now you can add a link to your post. Users will have access to the link if they follow the prompt at the bottom of your story to swipe up. This is a great way to increase your website traffic and to get your customers alone with your brand where they can transact safely and smoothly. So make sure the page they land on is optimized and what you want them to do has a very clear call to action.
7. Funky Fresh Feels
It may seem overwhelming to have to do so much posting and content creating, but Snapchat is really not so different from the other social media channels that are your window to your customers. The same rules of content creation apply – tell interesting stories, show your followers your brand, products, services and values in action and speak genuinely and authentically to issues they are passionate about. Educate, value add, celebrate, ventilate, and most importantly have fun and be playful. You can experiment here and try new things, with only 24 hours of cringe if you get it a little wrong. If you are vulnerable and real, your followers will be on the journey with you all the way, and guess what – you’ve just mastered Snapchat for your business.
To learn more about Snapchat you can read our factsheet here