Is Snapchat essential for small business?
First, let’s first understand what IS Snapchat?
Snapchat is essentially sending messages, otherwise known as ‘snaps’, that are only available for a short period of time. These snaps can be sent privately to selected users or publicly to your story board. Snaps sent privately can be viewed for 1-10 seconds before they disappear. Snaps posted publicly to your story board disappear after 24 hours. Users interact with other users via virtual stickers or filters on their pictures, most commonly with selfies. As of February 2018, Snapchat has 187 million daily active users. In other words, a huge opportunity for small business owners to showcase their brand!
I have to admit, I think my daughter uses my Snapchat account more than I do. Snapchat seems so foreign, and dare I say, young, for me? But the more I dabble and the more I research, the more Snapchat makes much sense for small business!
Sure Snapchat is most popular among teens and college students (clearly, if your business targets these genres, you MUST be on Snapchat!) but it seems as though Snapchat is elevating towards other age-specific users to become a bit broader.
What I’ve been sharing thus far about social media marketing pretty much goes right out the window when it comes to Snapchat. Hashtags? Not on Snapchat! Comments? Not on Snapchat! Likes? Think again!
Snaps (as mentioned earlier, quick seconds of videos or pictures taken right from the app and shared with chosen users or to your story board) can be an effective way to enlighten your brand and taking it to new levels.
Let’s look at specific why’s for Snapchat for small business:
Up close and personal
Snapchat seems to be the easiest tool to bring your users, potential customers, behind the scenes. They become up close and personal to the human behind the screen. People want personal details. They want to know what is behind the scenes. Sure, other social media platforms are just as critical to share knowledge and product information. But Snapchat gives small businesses an opportunity to get up close and personal with their customers. They can show their customers everyday life, quick glimpses or even teasers on the product/menu/sale/coming soon/insert your business feature here. Snaps can show your customers the fun your company has behind the scene, mistakes to amplify you are human too. Snaps can provide glimmers of your daily operations that customers may never otherwise see and keep them interested, wanting more. The fun side of the business can come through.
Small businesses can create their own Snapchat filter!
Remember when I mentioned that snaps can have filters? Perhaps it has a virtual sticker, a lens that augments your appearance, or a catch phrase or wording. Snapchat updates specialized filters for holidays or specific times of the year.
Well, any small business can create their own filter…customized for their own brand! Only other Snapchatters within a certain range can utilize the custom filter. You can upload your logo and set a target range. Your custom filter then pops up on other Snapchatter’s filters. Instant opportunity to promote your business, sale, new merchandise, menu item, or insert your business feature here! Prices begin at $5 and you can specify the time frame in which to utilize your custom filter.
For example, let’s say you are a new local restaurant ready to drum up business. Wednesday night happy hour features special prices and a featured menu item. Patrons eating this special menu item can snap themselves with your yummy appetizer and mark with the custom filter. Their friends and others viewing the board can see where they are and where this delicious new menu item can be found. Take it a step further and offer a small discount to anyone who utilizes this special filter! It is a super easy way to promote your brand or your product and requires instant engagement with your customers….and essentially your customers are then promoting your brand or product as well! Why not utilize a custom filter to announce a new launch of a product, or perhaps a new location? The opportunities are endless!
Blink and you’ll miss!
Also previously mentioned, Snaps disappear after it is viewed. Content is lost forever and no one wants to miss out on popular content. This is a big motivator for Snapchat users not to experience a snooze, you lose-type moment. If you are consistently posting engaging content that draws in your fellow Snappers, they will always be looking for your Snaps so as not to miss out. How can this further work towards the advantage of a small business? Why not introduce coupons that work within a certain time frame? Remember, stories disappear after 24 hours. Knowing something exciting, one of a kind or limited is on the horizon will make Snapchatters follow your business so that they can act promptly on the amazing deal or coupon or special you throw out to them.
Are you on Snapchat? Find me on Snapchat under Linda M. Here is my Snapcode:
Let’s explore Snapchat together. Some of the filters are fun…some are creepy…but they usually elicit many smiles and laughs. I think of it as the happy social media forum. As always, reach out to me for tips or help.