How to Use Snapchat for Social Media Marketing

By Rhonda Bradley / 08 May 2018

Find out how your small business can market to Snapchat users by sharing 4 types of content they love to consume.

Small businesses with target audiences in the 18-34-year-old range may want to consider Snapchat for social media marketing. The mobile-based platform reaches 41% of all 18-34-year olds in the U.S who spend an average of 25-30 minutes on the platform daily.

Research shows that “Snapchat gets nearly a 4x higher engagement rate compared to similar platforms like Instagram.” 

Snapchat attracts users who like to share their day with friends through photos and short video clips. Its informal nature encourages spontaneous expression.

In recent years, Snapchat has expanded beyond the ephemeral content that it first became known for. Users now also enjoy features that allow them to save Snaps (“Memories”), share content to all followers for 24 hours (“Stories”), and browse the news (“Discovery”).

In this article, we’ll show you 4 types of content that will help you engage your audience, attract new followers, inspire user-generated content, and increase your sales. You’ll learn how to:

  • Engage your audience with Snapchat Stories
  • Enjoy the benefits of cross-promotion with a Snapchat Takeover
  • Encourage customers to share in-store experiences with Geofilters
  • Share promotional content to boost sales

Engage Your Audience with Snapchat Stories

Snapchat Stories are a feature that allows you to share a collection of snaps taken throughout a 24-hour period.

When you “snap” a piece of content to your story, it’s posted to your Snapchat Story section, where it remains until the end of your 24-hour day. Followers see your stories in their feed and can also browse through them in the Story section.

Snapchat Stories are a great way to offer your audience a glimpse into your company culture. Use them to show off your fun side in a way that’s both educational and informative.

For example, one Cisco Systems Snapchat Story opened with an image that added a bit of “silly” to its serious reputation.

Cisco Snapchat story 1

Their day went on to include random facts about life at Cisco. For example, the image below shows a photo of boots with a note about how working in a plant requires special footwear.

Cisco Snapchat story 2

They included behind-the-scenes photos of both the plant and office throughout the day. Here’s a view of somebody’s laptop screen with a silly graphic overlay.

Cisco Snapchat story 3

To create your own Snapchat Story, document entertaining and informative moments that offer a glimpse into the personality of your day-to-day work life.

Give your followers an unexpected viewpoint of your small business with relatable moments and random trivia that build a personal connection with your brand.

Snapchat Stories are easy to create and are a great way to engage your followers.

Attract New Followers with Snapchat Takeovers

Takeovers are when two Snapchatters swap accounts for a day.

Takeovers are a great way for your brand to get discovered by new people and keep your current followers engaged.

The most popular types of takeovers are:

  • Celebrity takeovers
  • Influencer takeovers
  • Employee takeovers
  • Customer takeovers

The takeovers offer the opportunity to share a variety of content, including: 

  • Q & A sessions
  • Live event footage
  • Silly antics
  • A day in the life

For example, Mountain Dew partnered with a trio of social media influencers for a Superbowl Weekend takeover. The crew put together an afternoon of antics before taking viewers to their Superbowl party.

Mountain Dew Snapchat story

Takeovers are an effective way to grow your audience because you partner with another brand for co-promotions that reach both your audiences.

The best way to create a Snapchat takeover is to take time to research how other companies have done it before planning the production and execution.

Inspire User-Generated Content with Branded Geofilters

Snapchat encourages businesses to engage in-store customers by offering branded Geofilters. These are customized graphic overlays that include your company’s name and/or logo.

Branded Geofilters are an affordable, location-based promotional tool. They help inspire your customers to share their in-store experience on social media.

For example, IHOP restaurants launched a Snapchat campaign for their in-store customers. Users gained access to a selection of filters as soon as they enter the restaurant. Then, they shared food selfies that included the IHOP logo and brand name.

IHOP Snapchat story

This type of user-generated content is often shared to other social channels. The image below shows a Pinterest feed that contains Snapchat filters from Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Pandora.

Snapchat stories on Pinterest

To get started with branded Geofilters, review the Snapchat guidelines. Then, create and upload your graphics. Be sure to test your filters with friends or family before promoting them.

Finally, test and analyze the results to adjust and improve your Snapchat marketing over time.

Increase Your Sales with Promotional Content

There are a number of ways to promote your product and increases sales with Snapchat promotions:

  • Product placement that shows your product being used
  • Teasers to promote an upcoming product launch
  • Exclusive promo codes that disappear if they’re not clicked on
  • How-to videos showing product tips

For example, Sephora uses videos to offer makeup tips from their PRO artists.

Sephora Snapchat story

By tailoring content to their target market, Sephora creates a can’t-miss opportunity for their audience. It’s also an entertaining way to offer product education that improves the customer experience.

Target Your Audience and Try New Types of Content on Snapchat

Snapchat is an excellent way to engage users in a setting that offers a built-in sense of urgency.

Experiment with different types of content, such as:

  • Branded Geofilters
  • Takeover events
  • Snapchat Stories
  • Promotional media

Discover which types of Snaps are a good fit for your audience. Measure and track data to see what works best, and build on the types of Snapchat content that are successful.

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