How to Use Snapchat for Small Business

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A photo. A video. There is 10 seconds to see it and then it’s gone.

Sound familiar? Then you probably know all about Snapchat. If you haven’t heard of it, you need to know that Snapchat, founded in 2011, is the fastest growing social media platform with a decidedly young audience.

Snapchat can be entertaining and fun, and a part of what has made the app so successful are the filters and face-swapping effects. A mobile phone messaging app, Snapchat allows for a person or a brand to send short videos or photos to friends or followers that are viewable for about 10 seconds. After the person sees them, the photos or video disappear into the void that is the Internet (but remember, screen shots allow everything posted on the Internet to live forever).

Snapchat facts:

  • Snapchat sees 6 billion video views every day – so you have to be comfortable with video!
  • Daily, Snapchat reaches 41 percent of all 18 – 34 year olds in the U.S.
  • Snapchat has more than 100 million daily users
  • More than half of new users are over the age of 25
  • 77 percent of college students use Snapchat daily

As a small business owner, it can be a challenge to figure out how to allocate your marketing time and budget. Depending on your target audience, promoting your brand on Snapchat could be a great addition to your marketing strategy. Here are some factors that will help determine whether or not SnapChat is a good fit for your business:

Real Time Promotion

Snapchat is all about the moment in time and the behind the scenes feel. While Instagram focuses on perfectly constructed scenes, Snapchat is the opposite. Users want to see colour, action and people having fun – it is all about being lighthearted.

Young Audience

Snapchat users are young! While the average age of a Facebook user is 40, the majority of Snapchat users are in the 13 – 25 year old range. Postings and comments need to be appropriate for all ages. The commonly used phrase is to “Keep it Disney.”

Keep it short, Keep it fun!

Remember that Snapchat is generally used for entertainment. Users might watch videos or look at pictures while they are bored or killing time. They want to see something brief, upbeat and fun.

What will you promote?

By it’s very nature, Snapchat provides businesses the opportunity to provide teasers about upcoming products, works in progress or to offer a behind the scenes look at their business. It’s important to remember that Snapchat is a totally different communication style then either Facebook, which tends to be straightforward and informative, and Instagram, which tends to be highly stylized.

Make your SnapChat name known

Adding followers can be a challenge with Snapchat – users have to know your specific Snapchat name to follow you. Be sure choose your name carefully and to cross promote your Snapchat name with all your advertising (this is why you commonly see Snapchat photos as people’s profile pictures on Twitter and Facebook).

When considering using Snapchat as part of your marketing strategy, take into account the following:

  • Unlike Facebook, Snapchat doesn’t offer local or niche marketing
  • Paid advertising options are geared to big brand budgets
  • Consider investing in a Snapchat Geofilter. Businesses and individuals alike can purchase On-Demand Geofilters for their business and logos and trade- marks are permitted.

With some creativity, Snapchat can be a lot of fun and a great tool to help build your business. A little research can help you decide if it is the best tool for you. Learn more about it or sign up at – or if you already have an account – let’s connect! Search for me by looking up my username: tracyvirtually.