While Snapchat is one of the newer social media platforms out there, it's quickly becoming a frontrunner as the most popular social media platform.
The app boasts six million video views daily and 100 million active daily users. Snapchat originated in 2011 as a private message service which allowed users to send short picture messages, or “snaps”, to one another. These snaps are only viewable for a short time period (between 1 and 10 seconds). Snapchat doesn’t allow users to save the snaps and originally made it hard to screenshot the images as well. Because of this initial setup, younger generations adopted the app early on and have helped it grow.
Snapchat has since grown to include many snap message variations like sending video messages and being able to doodle or add graphics and emojis. Over time the app have become less restrictive and more user friendly. As the popularity of the app has grown, businesses have begun to see the value in reaching these users.
The popularity of this app creates great potential for brands. Advertising is becoming more popular with Snapchat through grassroots campaigning and through their new Discover portal. The Discover portal while expensive, starting at $750,000, allows companies to run a sponsored lens campaign. Apple’s Beats was one brand that tested out the portal this year. Snapchat has even begun to allow publishers to link to content outside the app. But you don’t need to be a big brand to get in on the action.
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Setting up an account for your business is simple by first requesting an email and a date of birth (preferably over 18 years) to signup. After signing up there is no profile information to add. Next you’ll be ready to take, edit, and share snaps. You can share your snaps directly to users or by posting to your Story page. Your Story is a portal of snaps that will not disappear for 24 hours. You can also start sending one-on-one chat messages in response to Snaps by swiping back and forth. Chat messages also disappear after you leave the window. For more help setting up an account see the Snapchat support page.
There are many ways you can share with your community on Snapchat. One way to engage them is to give a behind the scene look into your company or business. This was wildly popular during New York Fashion Week 2015. If this seems too daunting you can delegate out posting responsibilities to others. Your whole team can participate in managing Snapchat and take your fans on an interesting journey of your business day to day. Companies are even posting coupons and codes in their snaps to engage users and fans.
There are a few things to keep in mind when using Snapchat. Make sure you are posting your Snapchat username across other channels. You can easily share your Snapcode with your fans. The Snapcode is your specific ghost icon which you can find on your main screen by tapping the ghost icon at the top of the screen. There is no easy way to browse users in Snapchat which makes it more difficult, but more personal at the same time. If you are able to notify your audience through your other social media platforms, emails, or on your website you can drive them to follow you here. Once you’re friends on Snapchat you can send and receive messages, but only with users in your Friends list.
“On Snapchat, the risks are a lot lower. It’s a place where we can experiment and have some fun.” - David Berkowitz, CMO, MRY
While it's a casual social media outlet, you want to keep your messages PG because a large majority of the Snapchat audience is young. You should also consider why people are viewing your messages as well. Have fun with your snaps and personalize them by adding doodles, text, or filters! People often check their phones when they need a break in the day, so pictures and videos should be short and amusing. Consider what you can offer your audience that will keep them engaged and following your snaps. When determining whether to send targeted and direct snaps to individuals or posting your snaps to your Story, remember that your snap Stories will expire after 24 hours. So you must keep posting!
Snapchat gives you immediate reporting on how your snaps are viewed using icons. You can easily see who has viewed your snap or story. You can also see if anyone has replayed your snap. The app also sends notifications when someone takes a screenshot. If your fans are taking screenshots it’s likely they did so for the purpose of sharing, which is great for business!