Snapchat isn’t just a photo- and video-sharing platform — it’s also one of the most productive ways to build and establish relationships with clients. As a small business, adding Snapchat to your social media marketing can help grow your brand with slightest effort.
Businesses everywhere are finding immense success using Snapchat as part of their social media marketing strategy. One example is UsTrendy, a popular self-reliant fashion e-commerce site and one of the fastest growing retailers online. The company has experienced 300 percent revenue growth year-to-year, and Snapchat has been a major marketing focus for them, said Sam Sisakhti, founder and CEO of UsTrendy. The secret to their success is intergrade customers into their Snapchat marketing campaigns to do their marketing for them.
“We have had some of our clients and college ambassadors share Snapchat promo codes and outfits of themselves to their friends,” Sisakhti said. These Snapchats have gone viral, giving UsTrendy plenty of word-of-mouth publicity to help grow brand recognition. [The Secret to Going Viral: 5 Social Media Tips]
Sales have also significantly increased, thanks in part to Snapchat marketing.
“We have seen some good success,” Sisakhti said. “We base it on feedback from our college ambassadors and clients who mentioned they saw us from a Snapchat outfit video from an UsTrendy customer. Sales have certainly been spawned from Snapchat.”
Here are three Snapchat marketing strategies you can practice for a successful campaign and make the most out of the platform.
- be fast and memorable
What makes Snapchat exclusive — and so successful — is that Snapchats are timed. Unlike other text and multimedia messaging platforms, senders can set a time limit for how long receivers can view photos and videos. This can be anywhere from one to 10 seconds, after which the message self-destructs. Although this feature makes the service more appealing for users, it also means businesses have a very short window of time to capture customers and productively deliver their message.
“[Snapchat] is a time-sensitive form of connection and not something people can come back to,” Sisakhti said. “Marketing on it needs to state the amount proposition very quickly, and call to action needs to be simple, easy and memorable.”
Some ways this can be done include sending Snapchats to report flash sales, distribute promo codes and give clients quick inside looks at the company behind the curtains, Sisakhti said. But don’t just stick to photos — videos also make very productive promotional tools, especially when time is limited.
“Snapchat marketing is a really innovative way to reach your target market through memorable videos,” Sisakhti said. “The videos can be done by your company or by your clients to promote your brand for you.”
Whichever strategy you use, what’s crucially important is making sure you have a very specific and targeted message, Sisakhti emphasized.
- Get personal
If there’s anything businesses need to understand about how clients use Snapchat, it’s that Snapchat is supposed to be fun. Don’t be afraid to show identity, tell your business’s story and make clients feel special with your Snapchats.
“Snapchat is all about one-on-one interplay, making it much more personal and exclusive than Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.,” said Gayane Margaryan, online communications collaborate at the African Wildlife Foundation.
Margaryan suggests playing off the individuality aspect to humanize your business and personally use with customers in the following ways:
- Exclusive sales and events.Tell your valuable customers about special sales or events, maybe even going so far as to hold insider events just for these people. For example, a Snapchat invite-only tasting or tour of a brewery, a sale at a boutique, an opening, etc.
- Share promotions with your valued customers.For example, one froyo business had a great giveaway where they had clients snap a photo of themselves enjoying the shop’s froyo. As a reward, members received a discount code right back via a Snapchat.
- Preview new products.For example, if you’re a restaurant you can view a new dish you’re working on. If you own a clothing store, show them clothing that your store is about to put onto the shelf. You can even give clients the opportunity to order or try new items before others can.
- Offer a behind-the-scenes look at your business.Snapchat can be a really beneficial way to showcase behind-the-scenes footage via video or photo by granting your customers to get a sneak peek into your production process if it’s exceptionally interesting, daily insights into life at your business, bringing your clients closer to your business and making them feel a part of the process.
“Exclusivity and one-on-one communication is the key to Snapchat,” Margaryan said. “Ensure that you’re able to provide this when you begin to take part on this platform. As with any social media platform, you want to be providing your followers with an exclusive experience. Take your clients inside your brand, make them feel more connected and valuable, and grow their loyalty.”
- Know your audience
Snapchat marketing isn’t for everyone. The platform is essentially used by younger generations — a third of 18- to 24-year-olds use Snapchat — making it an effective marketing channel only if your business provides to younger customers.
“Snapchat can be a productive marketing tool for businesses targeting a younger clientele,” said Ken Wisnefski, founder and CEO of Internet marketing company. Businesses can promote particular products, offer discounts and use the Snapchat Stories feature to entice younger audiences to engage in their brand, he added.
Because of this, however, Snapchat isn’t worth your time or money if younger generations aren’t your target customers — at least not right now.
“For marketers providing to an older demographic, Snapchat isn’t going to provide them with the return on investment to make it helpful,” Wisnefski said. “Of course, there was once a time when Facebook was viewed as a platform for
younger people, and that is surely no longer the case.”