Using Snapchat for Small Business
While Snapchat is still seen as the new kid on the social media block the statistics show that it remains popular and pulls in 187 million active daily users with 528,000 snaps sent every minute. Brands and big business are increasingly using Snapchat as a way of reaching their audience but is it a useful tool for small business as well? How can small businesses use Snapchat to build their customer base and increase interaction and ultimately sales?
First Things First
Before opening your Snapchat account and starting to Snap it’s worth remembering that the platform has a particularly high number of younger users. In the UK, 77% are under 25. If this is your customer base then Snapchat could be the place for you. If it isn’t then putting your efforts into a different platform that fits your demographic would be much more beneficial. Also bear in mind that for many Snapchat users, the platform is mostly used to message friends. Although Snapchat has introduced new features and a recent redesign this is still the case.
However, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work for businesses. Ad spend on Snapchat is estimated to increase to 2.7 billion in 2019 which is a clear indicator that it can work. What it does mean, however, is that you have to be certain of your strategy. Content on Snapchat costs the same to create but only lasts up to 10 seconds as a Snap or 24 hours as a Story. Be certain of your content as it has to have an impact in such a short period of time. Unlike other platforms, you can’t put it out there and tweak it or make changes. It has to be right first time. Even the fun stuff that looks unplanned has to be planned to make sure that it has the desired impact with your audience.
Create a Reason For Your Customers to Connect With You
In the same way as other platforms, for users to follow you as a business or brand (or in Snapchat’s case “friend” them) you have to give them a reason. If you know that your audience is on Snapchat then what can you offer them to entice them to connect with you? If you are product based then you could offer a Snapchat exclusive discount or offer as a flash sale. Be strategic and announce it first as part of a story. Reveal the code in your Story on your specified date so that the people who follow you can see it and use it. Alternatively, create a week-long competition or offer. Every day reveal a part of a code or ask a question in your story and challenge your audience to message you with the answer. This encourages your customers to stay engaged with your business for longer but make sure that it’s a good enough prize for them to keep coming back. Snapchat’s very nature creates a natural sense of urgency because users know that your content will not be there for very long. This makes it ideal and acts like a built-in call to action. Your customers will know that they have to see it now or it will disappear.
Showcase Your Business
Snapchat can help you to build a real-time awareness of who you are as a business and what you do. Snaps should be throughout the day to show how you work and what your business has to offer. If you make products you don’t have to show just the finished items but the steps along the way as well. Reveal small bits of information to get your potential customers to keep coming back to you and engaged. Snaps that tease and show bits of your business can be used for product launches, backstage or behind the scenes reveals and to show your customers sneaky peeks of what you have to offer them.
Use the Snapchat Business Features
Snapchat has several features which are designed to help you grow interaction with your customers. The first of these is Geofilters. A geofilter is an overlay that can be applied to a photo to create a Snap but they are only available to users who are in the correct area and for a specified amount of time. As a business, you can create a geofilter that can be used for a promotion, an event or exhibition. The filters are customizable so you can make it applicable to the event and to your business with logos. The cost will vary depending on how long you want it to last for, how large a geographical area you want to cover and how many others want to use the same location but they cost an average of $5 to $20 per day. Be strategic with how and where you use them and encourage your audience to use it by advertising it at your event.
The second feature is Snapchat Ads which appear during and in-between Stories. When paid advertising was first introduced on the platform it was prohibitively expensive with full-screen video ads costing as much as $750,000. Luckily for smaller businesses, things have changed since then and Snapchat has not only introduced more advertising features but have also automated the way that businesses compete for advertising space which has reduced the price considerably. With more advertising features promised including a Shoppable Snap Ad it is worth investigating as an option even for small businesses.
Regularity and consistency is an important part of any social media strategy but it is particularly the case for Snapchat. Unlike other platforms, you can’t schedule content so you need to plan time to be able to use it regularly. To be successful you have to be involved in Snapchat and regularly snap content that will appeal to your audience.