Snapchat to engage consumers

The following post is contributed by Stephanie Fereiro, IMC Candidate 2015-2016

Three (Totally Free) Ways to Use Snapchat to Engage with Consumers and Promote your Brand

My love for Snapchat comes in waves. I’ll go weeks on end without using it, and then, out of nowhere, my friends are bombarded with a deluge of cat videos, midnight selfies, and pictures of perfect salads. Snapchat is for stuff I don’t want to post on Instagram but still want someone (well, eight or nine people) to see — but only for seven seconds.

It’s no surprise that the world’s fastest growing social network, with 100-million daily active users, is quickly becoming a vital platform for digital marketers. It’s also no surprise that Snapchat charges a premium for advertising — $750,000 per day, or so they say. So, how can brands with smaller budgets use the app to connect with consumers?

Screen Shot 2015-10-23 at 11.37.01 PM
Logo from Snapchat.com

Here are three ways to promote your brand on Snapchat without spending a cent:

1) Tell a story and show off your brand’s personality: Your Snapchat story is a series of snaps that play back-to-back and can be viewed for 24 hours by your contacts or the public, depending on your settings. Your story can include anything your customers would find interesting or exciting: insider access to a special event, a tour of your store or company headquarters, or a teaser for a new product. The more exclusive your content, the better.

2) Engage in two-way conversations: Send private snaps to individual contacts (or multiple contacts at once) to give them a little one-on-one attention. Private snaps allow you to engage on a personal level, which is the most important part of any brand’s social media presence. Customers can also send you pictures and videos of themselves interacting with your products, which you can screen-cap to publish on other social channels — just don’t forget to ask for permission.

3) Use direct messages to chat in private: Snapchat now allows users to send private messages (text-message style) to their contacts. Direct messages are just another way you can engage with your audience, using words instead of photos or videos. If you want to respond to a snap but aren’t sure what to send, a few thumbs-up emojis in a private message should do the trick.

Just like all social platforms, Snapchat has to be treated professionally if you’re using it to represent your brand — even though snaps can only be viewed for a few seconds, users can (and will) take screen shots. Come up with a plan for how your brand will present itself, and go forth and snap!


Further Reading:

  • “Your Guide to Using Snapchat for Marketing” on Forbes
  • “Snapchat Is the Fastest Growing Social Network” on Adweek
  • “5 Ways to Use Snapchat for Business” on Social Media Examiner 
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