Getting Started with Snapchat for Business

The younger generations are using the “traditional” social platforms less every day. The average age of the Facebook user is going up, and the number of folks under 25 is decreasing at alarming rates. While Facebook is still a must-be-on platform for businesses, Snapchat is certainly worth investigating.

Before we dig into the how, let’s look at the why. Stats provided by Snapchat Ads:

  • 178 million Snapchat users use the app daily.
  • The daily Snapchat user opens the app 25+ times per day.
  • The daily Snapchat user uses the app 30+ minutes per day.
  • 300 million Snapchat users use the app at least once monthly.
  • 71 percent of Snapchat users are under 34 years old.
  • Approximately 70 percent of Snapchat users are female.

The first step in getting started with Snapchat for your business is of course to download the app and create an account. I’m going to assume you’ve done that and skip ahead to the next step.

The second step is to start adding friends. Tap the ghost icon in the upper left corner of your screen. This takes you to your profile. From here, tap the Add Friends button. You may see some suggested friends or friends who have added you. You can also search through your phone contacts to add folks who are on Snapchat. Finally, you can add by Snapcode. Each Snapchat user is given a unique Snapcode (the picture of your ghost icon with a number of dots surrounding it). You can take a picture of someone’s code with your camera’s phone, and then use that picture to add them to your friend list.

In addition to adding friends, you can follow businesses. You add businesses as friends just like you do your personal friends, but they won’t automatically show up in your recommendation lists. You’ll need to find their Snapchat username or Snapcode to add them. A quick Google search will help you find them!

Once you’ve added some friends and followed a few businesses, let’s look at the Friends and Discover pages. Both individuals and businesses can share stories. Stories are publicly shared pictures and videos that are viewable for 24 hours.

To see your friends’ stories, tap the icon in the lower left of your Snapchat screen that looks like a comment bubble. If any of your friends have added to their story, they’ll be in the list on your Friends screen. Simply tap to watch it. If friends send you Snaps directly (or you send them to your friends directly), they’ll also show up in this list. Direct snaps are only viewable by the recipient, and they can be replayed just one time in 24 hours.

To see business stories, tap the icon in the bottom right of your Snapchat screen that looks like two cards. This takes you to the Discover feed. Here you’ll see stories shared by the businesses you follow as well as stories recommended for you and promoted stories.

Now that you’re a bit more familiar with Snapchat, let’s build your audience. The easiest way to build your audience is by adding friends, like we’ve already done. Much like other social platforms, they’ll be notified you added them, and they’ll be given the option to add you in return.

You can also share your unique Snapcode–on your other social platforms, on your website, in your email signature, you name it! Simply go back to your profile page as discussed above, and take a screen shot of your profile. Using your phone, crop the image down to just the Snapcode, and start sharing it. If you’re comfortable with image editing, you can also add a custom image into the ghost portion of the Snapcode. Or, you can link your Bitmoji account, and your avatar will be shown in place of the ghost. That might be more than you’re ready for, so don’t stress about that just yet!

Now that you’ve grown your audience a bit, it’s time to start Snapping. It’s important to add to your story daily to keep your audience engaged. Remember, stories only stick around for 24 hours, so you need to keep adding new content. Every time you add new content to your story, your story simply gets longer. The 24-hour restriction starts when the content is added. For example, if you add your first bit of content to your story at 8 a.m., that content will last until 8 a.m. the next day. If you add a new element at 3 p.m., that portion will last until 3 p.m. the next day. For more instruction on creating Snaps, view this post.

The biggest question I get is: Well what do I post? That’s a bit of a loaded question, and it totally depends on your industry! For industries that already use images regularly, it’s pretty easy. Share pictures and videos of your products, DIY projects, and more. For industries that don’t use images as much, it can be a bit trickier. In my experience, followers of these types of businesses love seeing the behind the scenes. For example, post pictures of the view from your office, the making of your product, or your prep for a client meeting or trade show. You can also create short how-to or product in-action videos (10 seconds is the maximum per Snap video).

Getting started with Snapchat can be overwhelming, as the app includes tons of features and options unlike any other social platform out there. It can also be tough to keep content available at all times, as you’ll likely need to add to your story at least twice daily. If you need some help getting started or just learning the basics, contact me today; I’m happy to to give some one-on-one instruction.

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