A Beginner’s Guide to Using Snapchat for Business:

For the uninitiated, Snapchat is the fast growing video and photo messaging app that delivers videos directly to users. Recently, Bloomberg News reported some very promising data about Snapchat, stating that Snapchat delivers over 7 billion videos to users per day. Considering that Facebook reports 8 billion videos delivered per day, it’s clear that Snapchat is gaining traction in the social media world. And advertisers are taking notice of this new trend of mobile ads. eMarketer reported that in 2015, companies spent $7.46 billion on digital video ads, up 42% from 2014. If that hasn’t piqued your interest, consider Snapchat’s engagement numbers. Every day, 65% of users upload their own photos and videos on Snapchat, and 100 million users visit the platform daily.snapchat for business infographic

While the data is something to get excited about, there’s still a significant roadblock for advertisers. The introductory advertising rates are reported to start at $100,000 to begin a campaign (though it still remains unclear exactly what this starting rate buys you). While this does mitigate advertising options for many small businesses, it doesn’t mean you can’t still take advantage of Snapchat’s highly engaged user base. Through organic marketing, businesses of any size can still deliver on brand videos to their target audiences to gain visibility and deliver their message. Here’s how.

Set up your account and build your audience

Once you’ve set up your business account on Snapchat, you’ll want to start adding friends, so you can see their latest stories and snaps (which we’ll get to in a minute). You can search by username of people you know, search Google for specific celebrities or brands, or look through social networks like Twitter and Facebook to find users.  You can also add users by snapcode. Once you start adding friends on Snapchat, you’ll be building your audience. Think of it like Twitter, in that the more people you follow, the more follows you will receive.

Start creating snaps and stories

Stories are photos or videos you create that any of your followers can see. They stick around under your followers’ Recent Updates for 24 hours, and they can watch as many times as they want in that time frame. Snaps are more like direct messages, and you handpick who these will go out to. And unlike stories, they can be watched only once. Snapchat allows you to get very creative with snaps and stories. You can add emoji’s, text, filters, and more. Creative and on-brand stories will help your business gain visibility, and it will better connect you to your audience.

Snapchat for business ideas to get you started

You can use this platform to make your followers feel like insiders, by sharing content here that’s not available on any of your other social networks. This can help develop an emotional tie to your company and your content.

  • You can also use Snapchat to deliver promotions and special deals, which rewards your community for following your stories.

Snapchat really allows you to get your followers involved in your snaps.

  • Ask them to send you a snap of them using your product or service, and be sure to reply to your fans, much like you do on Twitter and Facebook.

Snapchat is a great place to reaffirm your brand, your tone and voice, and your company culture.

  • You can show off your employees, some behind the scenes moments, or some coming-soon products, while keeping your messages on brand (think consistent colors, logos, etc.).

Hopefully this will get you started on your business’ Snapchat quest. We recommend having fun with it, experimenting, and seeing what works and what doesn’t. You don’t have much to lose because the messages refresh every 24 hours. Do you have any other Snapchat recommendations? Tell us in the comments below!

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