How To Use Snapchat For Business and Branding
“How do I use Snapchat for business?”
It’s the question everyone’s asking.
Marketers and entrepreneurs are finally starting to catch on, but there’s still a herd of naysayers who claim that Snapchat simply isn’t worth your time.
Of course…there were also herds of naysayers for television, blogging, Facebook, and self-propelled automobiles.
[bctt tweet=”Snapchat haters are the modern version of people who said ‘TV will never catch on’ #HatersGonnaHate” username=”kitty_lusby”]
Why Use Snapchat for Business and Branding?
Smart businesses start blogs because they humanize a brand.
Smart businesses use Snapchat because it shows the humans behind the brand.
That’s a powerful thing.
Even if your audience isn’t completely on Snapchat yet – they will be soon.
Snapchat is the fastest growing social network according to someone else’s blog last year (at least I cite my sources) and as it grows in popularity, it also grows in useful features.
Since intelligent marketers go where the people are, and intelligent companies (like Snapchat) want to make money from those marketers, you can expect even more business friendly changes in the future.
That’s why it’s so smart to jump in now:
You’ll learn about new features as they’re introduced, so it won’t take you so long to adjust to changes.
If the bulk of your audience doesn’t Snap yet…that’s fantastic.
That means you get a chance to learn the ropes without everyone watching.
If your audience is on Snapchat and you’re NOT yet, then what the heck are you waiting for?
Download the stinking app!
How to Use Snapchat for Business
I’m not going to go into all the technical details here, like how to send a snap or how to apply a filter.
There’s a few thousand articles like that already, and it’s just not that hard.
There are even instructional videos.
You’re smart. You’ll figure it out.
Of course, just as your blogging strategy is personal to your brand and your resources, your Snapchat approach will also be personalized.
Keep your brand in mind, and you should be fine.
Here are some of the ways you can incorporate Snapchat into your outreach:
Make it Your Own Personal Reality Show
Your brand could be in front of millions of eyeballs every day…
But your content has to be interesting enough that people want to watch it.
Sounds difficult, right?
The Kardashians aren’t exactly offering high-quality intellectual entertainment, and yet more than 2.5 million people tuned in last year to watch.
You don’t have to be eloquent.
You just have to be a little engaging.
Your brand’s Snapchat “reality show” can show pictures and clips like these:
- Behind-the-scenes footage of the daily operation of your business
- Glimpses into the lifestyles of you and your team
- Real-time updates about what’s going on in your company
- The latest happenings in your brand’s community and network
- Occasional expert advice and life lessons from key players in your company
If you travel a lot, walk through the knick-nack stores and play with the quirky souvenir paperweights and postcards.
If you work from home, share a video of you bouncing business ideas off your cat Brutus because he’s your favorite “coworker.”
Snap a photo of the stack of outgoing mail while you’re fulfilling orders.
Use your phone’s Snapchat camera as a mirror while you put on your winged eyeliner for a business presentation.
Share quick updates from the gym, your favorite lunch restaurant, and the grocery store.
It’s not that complicated.
Essentially, your Snapchat lets people get a peek at what’s going on throughout your day.
Don’t think too hard about it.
Just be careful not to share anything that’s contrary to your brand’s central mission, and go out there and be a person.
Snapchat Takeovers: Modern Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is an effective way to gain new readers and get new content.
Snapchat takeovers are pretty much the same thing…
Except more fun.
You can invite influencers, business associates, or even fans of your brand to take over your Snapchat account for a day.
They’ll give your followers a fresh perspective and attract new people to your Snapchat account, and you’ll have a day that you don’t have to send any snaps yourself.
On top of that, you’re giving more value to your audience…
Blogging strategy works pretty well with Snapchat.
Snapchat takeovers work the other way around, too:
You can take over someone else’s Snapchat for a day and reach a whole new audience, too.
Make sure that while you’re snapping on someone else’s account, you’re giving value to their audience and not just looking for more exposure for yourself.
Not only will you make a better connection with the business owner and their followers…
You’ll also probably get invited to do more takeovers for other companies that are using Snapchat for business.
If you’ve used Snapchat, you’ve probably played with the various geofilters that are already in your area.
(In case you’re not familiar, a geofilter is basically an image overlay for your snaps – it appears based on your geolocation, thus, geofilter. The example snap with a community filter was taken in a Las Vegas casino.)
Geofilters are a fun way to spice up your snaps and show your followers where you are and what you’re doing.
You should definitely use them…
But did you know you can create and submit your own geofilters?
Visit Snapchat’s website for the full details and to download templates to make your own filters in Illustrator or Photoshop.
There are two types of geofilters you can submit:
Community filters are free to upload, but they can’t contain any trademarked names or brand logos.
You would use a community filter for a public park, a tourist attraction in your area that isn’t trademarked or branded, or some other specific non-branded location.
On-demand filters cost money, and you specify both the location where they should appear and their duration.
You’d use an on-demand filter for an event (like a concert or a business conference) or your business location.
You can even submit a sponsored filter for an event that isn’t yours – for example, a restaurant near the beach might make a Beach Week geofilter that appears when snappers are on the beach nearby.
In both cases, your filter will be available for everyone who uses Snapchat within the physical area you specify.
That means that people you don’t know (and that don’t follow you) will be using your filter.
Pretty cool, right?
It’s called Snapchat for a reason.
Snaps are the pictures and videos you take and send to your followers or to individuals.
But you can also chat one-on-one with your Snapchat friends.
As you post snaps for your audience, some of those people are going to respond with chats.
Just like you do with your blog comments, when people express an opinion, ask a question, or even criticize, respond!
Most businesses are terrified of 2-way communication.
What if someone isn’t 100% completely satisfied and has *gasp* an opinion we don’t want them to have?!
Congratulations, you have intelligent human beings following your brand.
Treat them like the smart, capable, interesting people they are, and your brand will be bulletproof.
You can (and should) invite your followers to send you chats during a certain timeframe.
Gary Vaynerchuck is brilliant at this – when he has a few minutes waiting for a flight at the airport or between projects, he sends out a snap telling his followers to interact with him.
And they do.
Do you think that strengthens his brand and his relationships with his community?
Did you notice what wasn’t included?
When you’re using Snapchat for business, branding, and marketing…
You’re NOT using Snapchat for sales messages.
How often do you turn on your television to watch the commercials?
Aren’t you frustrated when you can’t skip the ad on YouTube?
Then why the heck do you think people are going to follow you on Snapchat to watch your crappy cell-phone-recording commercials?
The same rule that applies in blogging applies here:
If you’re spamming, you’re losing.
[bctt tweet=”On Snapchat, if you’re spamming, you’re losing. #SnapchatNotSpamchat” username=”kitty_lusby”]
A Few Extra Tips for Snapchat Success
- Your Snaps don’t have to be (and really shouldn’t be) a professional production. It’s cell phone video and snapshots. Just roll with it – perfection is overrated.
- You should Snap throughout your day, but consistency isn’t nearly as important in Snapchat as it is in other social mediums. If you go a day without a snap, it’s no big deal, but be sure you’re letting your audience join in your interesting moments.
- Humor wins. Even if you’re “professional” and “corporate” – humor still wins. It doesn’t matter if you’re a magician or a mechanical engineer, don’t take yourself too seriously. Be open to a little silliness.
- Snap with other people. It builds the feeling of community and there’s an element of social proof.
- Be genuine. Let your actual personality come through, and don’t force it. There’s nothing worse than an old guy trying too hard to be trendy. YOLO, what’s on fleek, my peeps? Fire 100 100 #swagger
If you don’t have Snapchat downloaded, you’ll need to do that before you can complete this homework assignment.
You’re going to take a goofy selfie.
Snapchat has facial filters that change the shape and appearance of your face.
With your camera facing you, touch and hold your finger on the image of your face until the filters pop up along the bottom of the screen.
Scroll through until you find one that makes you laugh, and take a selfie.
Share it to your story!