In the world of social media, the platform that’s hot one day can easily be not-so-hot the next. Given that fact, businesses need to strike the balance of being on the cutting edge while also ensuring it’s worth their time.
Snapchat hit the app store in 2011, and was originally seen as a youth-focused fad platform, used only by the younger set to send pics back and forth. But lo-and-behold, Snapchat’s user base has been growing like wildfire over the last 5 years. With over 100 million daily users, people have clearly discovered the benefits of using this social media platform — even the baby boomer generation.
So, what’s an enterprising brand to do? Check out these six tips to learn how you can use Snapchat to grow brand awareness and attract followers:
1. Keep it real
Users gravitate to Snapchat because posts aren’t photoshoppable, and disappear within 24 hours. This means more raw and real photos or videos (known as “snaps”) than on Instagram, where some users spend HOURS prepping a photo.
What Instagram is for polished visuals, Snapchat is to behind-the-scenes sneak peeks.
To engage with your followers as a business, post snaps that show your creative process. Writing a blog? Snap yourself doing the research or during a photoshoot. Run a foodie site? Take a snap of you prepping the vegetables. Take advantage of the platform to give your followers a sense of intimacy with you, and your product.
2. Keep it timely (promotions!)
Snapchat is a perfect platform for sharing a giveaway, promo or discount code. It’s easy to highlight a flash sale on your site, that only your Snapchat followers will be able to see, for a limited time.
You can also showcase a product that you will be giving away to a lucky Snapchatter for taking a screenshot of your snap (you can see who takes screenshots). This will help to increase your Snapchat followers, as well as create a buzz around your business.
3. Crowdsource your creative
Encourage your Snapchat followers to snap images of themselves with your product and offer them something in return. Whether it’s a discount or a time specific offer, you’ll engage your audience AND gather tons of images of your product in the wild.
4. Show some love
On that note, make sure that your Snapchat feed is not all about your or your brand. Take screenshots of your followers and give them shout outs on your own story. This creates a community feel as well as showing your users your appreciation. It will also help to increase your followers and build up a strong list of potential new users.
5. Get hyper-local with geo-tags
Snapchat allows you to create specific filters or frames based on location (which work through geo-tagging). I just got back from a trip to England and was thrilled at the cool geo-tags created by the city of London. These are exclusive to where I was, and my friends in America could never have them in their feed.
If you have a physical location or are running an event, it’s easy to create your own filter. Just go to www.snapchat.com/on-demand and follow instructions. Generally it will cost you between $5 and $20, depending on the design and the length of time the filter is available.
6. Have fun. Be bold. Be HAPPY!
A recent study by Bloomberg found that more and more people are turning to Snapchat because it makes them happy. Snapchat filters, along with the ability to doodle on an image, makes it the kind of platform that followers expect to find something a little less serious than on Twitter or Instagram. If you’re looking to humanize your brand or your staff, don’t be scared to get in touch with your goofy side.
Whether you’re new to Snapchat, or a long time user, I hope these tips will help you come up with new ways to promote your brand and engage with your followers.
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