How Snapchat Works
If your target audience is age 13-25, Snapchat may be the answer you’re looking for.
It’s a popular mobile app—it logs over 400 million messages every day—that shares photos and videos that disappear after a short time.
First, let me explain how Snapchat works. A Snapchat picture, or snap, is only available for a set time limit, from 1 to 10 seconds, once the user opens it. However, the new Snapchat Stories feature allows items to be available for up to 24 hours.
The limited lifespan makes Snapchat the perfect tool to deliver a call to action that creates excitement and a sense of urgency.
Here are five creative ways you can leverage Snapchat to promote your own business. I’m including a few brand examples to get your creative juices flowing.
#1: Reward Current Customers With Mobile Coupons
Because Snapchat is ubiquitous with its young target market, it allows brands to deliver offers and coupons in a matter of seconds. Coupon snaps not only reward customers, they provide incentive to bring them back for more.
16 Handles, a frozen yogurt chain, uses Snapchat to send discount coupon codes to customers who send them snaps of themselves or friends eating 16 Handles frozen yogurt. The discounts range from 5% to 100% and recipients redeem the coupon by showing the cashier the code.
Within a few days of beginning their Snapchat campaign, 16 Handles had exchanged more than 1,400 images with users, and built a user list to which they could send future promotional material.
#2: Gain New Followers With a Giveaway
In the same way coupons can retain customers, giveaways put you in touch with new ones and generate leads. The giveaway incentive helps you build a follower base that receives future giveaway offers and coupon codes.
You can use a giveaway to encourage fans from other social platforms, including your website, to add your brand on Snapchat and get their friends to add you as well. You can track your new subscribers with a simple hashtag that reinforces your brand.
In June, sports ticket provider Chat Sports used Snapchat to offer their community a chance to win tickets to a game.
To enter, users had to have five friends add Chat Sports on Snapchat. Then those friends had to send a unique image to Chat Sports with the username of the fan who wanted to win the tickets and the hashtag #gimmietickets.
#3: Take People Behind the Scenes
Snapchat recently added a Stories feature that lets brands send out a combination of images and 5-second videos to tell a story.
If you have a lot of fun behind-the-scenes footage, offer your followers a taste with a story. At the end of the story, include a teaser and send fans to your website or YouTube channel.
The New Orleans Saints use this feature to its full potential by regularly sending out stories that include behind-the-scenes footage, a look at kits for the game and images of new Saints products.
#4: Preview a New Product
Sneak peeks on Snapchat are one way to build customer loyalty and buzz around a new product before it even hits the shelves. Your brand’s snaps could include a string of teasers leading up to the product launch.
When you send out an image of your new product, treat your community like personal friends rather than customers.
Taco Bell wanted a friendly and convenient way to reach their customers with information about the new Beefy Crunch Burrito. Snapchat fit their needs perfectly because it’s popular with their target market.
#5: Tell Customers About Holiday Sales and Events
Snaps of a holiday greeting or invitation are great ways to keep your brand top of mind with customers during any holiday season. Use snaps to promote your brand or products to customers long before they decide to shop.
But you don’t have to wait for the major holidays. Every month comes with lesser-known celebrations like International Talk Like a Pirate Day or Chocolate Milkshake Day—prime opportunities to engage your fans in a new and interesting way.
Karmaloop, an online streetwear retailer, sent snaps to customers after Thanksgiving and included coupon codes for their online store. Using Snapchat let them reach their target customers without spending a lot of money on advertising.
Consider using Snapchat to reach a young customer base.
It can be hard to engage a younger audience like the age 13-25 demographic. Snapchat gives you inexpensive access to them, and done right, Snapchat can fit seamlessly into your mobile strategy and have a high ROI.