Remember when everyone was falling all over themselves to get on Pinterest and take advantage of the runaway growth that was taking place on the network?
Those days seem long gone now, and Pinterest is old news. Now Snapchat is the hot new social network that is seeing tremendous growth and enormous marketing potential.
Already, Snapchat has more than 100 million active daily users. Yet although the number of users is growing faster on the site than any other social network, only 2 percent of the businesses that market on social media are using the network.
That’s a mistake. Already, major brands and even politicians are discovering the potential that the platform has to connect audiences. The president and first lady have even used it to promote their policy initiatives at home and abroad.
If you are going to use Snapchat to promote your brand, you will need to do more than post a few pictures with some funny filters. Here are a few tips for how you can successfully use Snapchat for business:
Create the Right Content
Snapchat is unique in a number of ways. It is primarily a visual medium, and any posts — called snaps — that you share exist on the site for no longer than 10 seconds.
Your content doesn’t disappear within 10 seconds of you posting it, but rather within 10 seconds of your followers viewing it. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about the time or the day that you post. Your content will be waiting for your followers whenever they check in.
Because of Snapchat’s unique nature, you need to create content especially for the platform. Think of how you can share your brand’s values or story through fleeting images.
Some ideas include showing a behind-the-scenes look at your company’s operations, including people working or creating your product. People love to see how things are made, so a series of snaps about your product creation would be perfect.
You can also create simple tutorials through a series of snaps or share photos of your product in action.
You can easily repurpose content from your other social networks. You may need to take the pictures anew or add filters to them to make them work for Snapchat though.
Snapchat is all about creative visuals, including unique and funny photo filters, lenses and captions.
The arrangement of pictures and the combination of these effects can be used in just the right way to get users’ attention and make them feel more engaged.
For example, the online ordering company Grub Hub shared a series of images that showed a pizza dwindling slice by slice as it was eaten. In the final images, the brand shared a special promotional code that expired shortly after the snaps were shared.
The beauty product company Dove shared a campaign on Snapchat that used special filters and doodles to share its message of body positivity and natural beauty. The company used photos it shared itself and made a filter available for others to use and participate in the campaign.
The more creative you can be on the platform, the more attention you can get.
Encourage User Participation
We tend to overlook the fact that social networking is supposed to be social. So many brands focus on how to get their message out rather than how to get their users engaged.
To be successful on Snapchat, you will need to encourage user participation.
An easy way to do this is to create a sponsored filter or lens that users can add to their own photos and share. Starbucks did this with a special iced coffee and flashing hearts, and Taco Bell did it with a lens that turned people’s heads into tacos for Cinco de Mayo.
You can also host contests on Snapchat. For example, Sephora asked users to share their makeup or makeup-free selfies with doodles and share them on Snapchat and other social networks.
The more fun you can make the contest, the more participation and exposure you will get.
Include a Call to Action
Don’t settle for followers and brand exposure. Use your activity on Snapchat to increase your sales and leads.
You can ask followers to visit your website or other social network and then provide an incentive by promising them to find a special discount code or other offer there. Or you can create a story on Snapchat and then finish it on your website.
You can also ask followers to take a screenshot of a snap to get a discount code or other incentive. This tactic is useful for measuring the engagement on your feed.
Get creative and figure out other ways that you can include effective calls to action to increase sales and leads.
Snapchat is a growing platform, and you are missing out on great opportunities if you are not using it for your brand. Use these tips to find success on the growing network.