This is a guest post by Vivian Michaels.
Starting your small business is the first step you might have taken towards building your future empire. However, it all depends on how you do your business. With the ever increasing competition in the business world, you need to be a step ahead of your competitors to survive.
This means you have to be very keen on any opportunity that will help sail your business to the next level. One such critical point is ensuring that you have a grasp of the changing technology advancements and adopting the latest innovations such as Snapchat.
At the time of its launch, a few years ago, not so many people especially business entrepreneurs took it seriously because it simply featured instant messaging and taking selfies that are inclined to teenage life. However, within the last few years, Snapchat has become the talk of the day everywhere, including businesses.
At this moment, Snapchat is the social media platform to watch out for. This is particularly attributed to the insane population using the app across the world; over 150million!
Billions of videos and stories are shared across this platform, and as an entrepreneur, this should mean something for your business- a billion opportunities!
Why Does Your Small Business Need Snapchat Anyway?
Smart small business entrepreneurs are those that see potential and grab the opportunity; Snapchat has that potential to grow your business. Research analysis done in the U.S indicates that more than 60% of people aged between 13 and 34 use Snapchat! This would be a great opportunity for your business if you tapped it smartly.
What is more interesting is the young demographic on this platform; a generation that has potential in driving the economy and so your business could benefit a great deal.
Business brand awareness is often perceived as the hardest part of doing business since it needs you to make as many followers as possible who will be talking about your brand and spreading the word.
So far this is what Snapchat is helping business entrepreneurs to achieve. You also need to include it in your marketing mix as well as other social media channels.
With Snapchat, you will be able to take your audience behind the scenes of your business
Many people especially the customers are obsessed with trying to have a glance on a behind-the-scenes overview of the businesses they adore.
The leading social media channels like Facebook only show the end products in the best light that have gone through a series of modifications and editing. What people need is seeing the original way things are going down in your business, and with a short video, you will thrill your audience more than you ever imagine.
Your audience needs the real-time process before the end products are realised. Knowing the real life behind the business is a way of making people believe in whatever you are offering them and wish to be part of the backstage of the events and processes going down. With Snapchat, they will get the real feeling about the processes involved and such.
You can, therefore, use this fast growing platform to tease your audience from time to time with real-time photos and videos of what is happening behind the scenes. The app offers tremendous video experience which ensures that you take powerful photos and videos that other platforms have failed to achieve in their entire operations.
Jessica Maslin, a DayDreamCinema directing partner shares an amazing experience with Snaphat where she says that Snapchat has greatly influenced their company’s operation through the videos they share to their audience, giving them a glimpse of the real lifestyle of the company.
When people are wondering how a company manages to bring forth amazing films, you show them exactly what happens behind the scenes. Snapchat does this well compared to other social media platforms available.
Snapchat helps take your business’ advertising to the next level
As a small business entrepreneur, advertising means a lot to you. With Snapchat introducing innovative features such as Snapchat-for-business, now you have your gateway to promoting your products to the entire world using this amazing app.
Snapchat Ads between stories is what many businesses are tapping into today to ensure they reach out to masses within the fraction of a second. You can’t sit back and watch when your competitors are taking advantage of this. Better still as a marketer, you will be able to add other actions such as directing your audience to your blog or website which is great in converting the followers into customers.
If your business is in IT and intends to have your apps installed, you can do this on Snapchat through the Ads which direct users to install your apps.
According to a survey study that was conducted by Snapchat and Media Science, it was noted that this app claimed more than 1.5 times and 1.3 times visual attention from consumers as compared to the giant Instagram and YouTube counterparts respectively.
This is just to show you how powerful Snapchat has become in the advertising field. The study also revealed that Snapchat ads generated over two times intent to purchase and more emotional response.
Large companies are rushing to this new platform; this is a clear indication of its potential in boosting business growth. Recently, the music app Spotify came on to leverage Snapchat ads in the quest to promote their annual campaign. These are just examples to show you how influential this app is in the present business world.
Snapchat offers easy and instantaneous promotional opportunities
This is enhanced through the introduction of the Geofilter technology which you can create and customise to reach out to Snapchatters who are within range.
With the ability to upload your business trademark or logo, it makes it simply unique in influencing the target users. As a small business, you can start with the much cheaper on-demand geo-filters to brand events as you continue growing your business.
According to Jay Hawkinson, a senior VP of Client Success at SIM Partners, Snapchat Custom Geofilters are going to be the game changers in business since they help communicate the “Where and When” of a single uploaded snap. This way brands can quickly engage with the audience instantly and created shared experiences with them.
Though the filters expire as soon as an event is complete, you can be sure they would have garnered a lot of attention from viewers all over the world.
Snapchat will help create a sense of urgency to act by the consumers
Snapchat features a self-destructive snaps feature that prompts consumers to act fast or miss out. This is a smart way to increase engagement that would work wonders for small businesses. The uploaded videos and photos auto-destruct themselves after a particular time thus prompting consumers to always be on the lookout for the content you provide and consume it as soon as it is available.
This is a smart way in which your business creates scarcity for the content consumers want, and you can be sure they will be on their phones waiting for an opportunity when new content is uploaded. This is a motivator strategy to engage your consumers and inspiring them to take action.
As a small business, you can use this strategy to share coupons on Snapchat so as to capture and build brand loyalty. In this way, you will be compelling Snapchatters to be bound to following your business on Snapchat and act for them to avail the coupons offered by your business. A good example is Grubhub, a food delivery service that set this up in the quest to boost their following by giving a reward to the people that participated. It was referred to as a scavenger hunt contest that lasted for one week.
By posting a challenge for users and offering $50 takeout, users were prompted to following them so as to earn the takeout and by the end of the week, they had garnered over 30% of their total followers!
These are just but some of the benefits you will get from using Snapchat for your business. It is a straightforward and cheap process but will guarantee immense results as concerns your brand building.
How to get started using Snapchat
Getting started on Snapchat is quite easy, just download the application and create an account. However as outlined in this slidedeck by Hans van Gent on using Snapchat for your business, you need to take a couple of things into account.
Snapchat for a brand is different from Snapchat for a person. As an individual, you worry about things like privacy, who has the ability to send you content, and of course, who can see the content you share.
This means you want to ensure that EVERYONE can view your stories. Initially, that sounds odd but for a business – It’s actually very important.
You want to ensure that anyone who has added you to Snapchat can look at your stories because it’s only going to be a matter of time until your contact list is so full that you’re unable to scroll through and select every single person as the recipient of your snaps.
And of course, you want to enable “Login Verification” for enhanced security in case someone tries to take over your company Snapchat account in ways that you don’t want 😉
Various Ways On How To Use Snapchat For Your Small Business
Snapchat for business is meant to create deeper connections with your audience and followers.
This will go a long way in building an engaged following that guarantees loyalty and maximum brand visibility. The advantages of using Snapchat are immense and convincing. If you intend to include this platform to your marketing strategies, then let’s show you how to go about it.
Reveal the behind the scenes look off your business by staging and influencer reveal
Using an influential figure is crucial when revealing the behind-the-scenes of your business. All the same, you can start by using an influencer to help push for more followers. If you do this properly, trust us, within a short period you will be surprised of the millions of people following your business. Consumers want to feel and know the story behind your business and you should offer them exactly that.
Allow an account takeover by other Snapchat users
Allowing an account takeover by a Snapchatter with immense influence and following may mean a lot to your business at the end of the day. This is a smart way to boost connections within a short period of time. The Snapchat user who takes over your message must have a command of a huge following for this to be effective.
Use promo codes and coupons
Many people are thrilled when they hear of coupons and promos. Using this strategy will without a doubt help amass followers while promoting your products. You can do this by offering a discount for all your customers that use your products and snap themselves and share on Snapchat. Within a short period, your followers will be increased and brand propelled to greater levels.
Offer your followers a VIP access to all your business events and promotions
It usually takes time for events to be realised they took place in the first place. Besides, some people may never have the chance to attend although they are interested. Why not treat them with a VIP access through Snapchat so they don’t miss a thing that takes place during the events?
Involve your followers in your feeds
Sometimes it is touching when you feature your followers on your feeds. More followers are bound to come in because they will believe they are part of your business and that you regard them as such important.
Featuring followers offer them value and involving them in content creation makes them feel they are partners in business rather than just followers. Involving your followers may also include involving sponsored blog posts from the followers.
Demonstrate your products
You can use Snapchat as a guide for your company’s new products. Usually, when new products arrive, customers get confused on whether to try them out or not because they are not sure of how they work especially in the technology field. You can easily use Snapchat to introduce the products and show guidelines on how to use them. This is quite engaging especially to the interested but doubting lot.
Use of media personalities and other influential figures is a great way to showcase your business and products to the world through Snapchat. When this is done in the right way, the influencers will influence a good following that influences more and more. This is what is referred to as micro-influencer marketing.
Some companies go to the extent of paying their influencers for them to sell the business brand to the world.
Always be relevant
It is important to be real and talk about relevant issues if you ever want to attract a good following. You simply need to be authentic for you to convince users to follow you bearing in mind of the current hyper-social network.
There are many people who may not have the privilege to attend certain events and concerts for various reasons. Taking your time to share the events and happening at the concerts won’t go unnoticed especially from the eager and interested followers who only had the chance to access the happenings at the events through your Snapchat sharing.
Whether you are a startup business or an established company, these fantastic tips can be of great help in boosting your brand loyalty among your customers and users on Snapchat.
This platform gives room for immense growth as you share your stories, create memorable moments and try to know your target audience.
Tell the world who you are and promote your business today through Snapchat, and you will never regret a bit. Over the past few years, Snapchat has slowly but steadily grown to become the best social media marketing platform you can use to gain an edge over your competition.
Are you already using Snapchat for your local business? If you do, what things are you doing on Snapchat? And how is this working out for you?
Vivian Michaels is a huge tech enthusiast, who likes to write articles on evolving technology and internet marketing. He has written for various websites like Socialnomics, IamWire, ProvenSEO, etc. Vivian is also a fitness trainer and never forgets to renew his Netflix subscription.