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Oh Snap! A Guide to using Snapchat in 4 simple steps

Post #5 of 6 in the series: Social Media Best Practices

According to a recent Social Media Week blog post, Snapchat’s core audience is between 13 and 25 and is 70% female.  With over 26 million active US members, Snapchat users send over 400 million snaps (photos or videos) per day.  Also noteworthy, a study by found that 77% of college students use Snapchat.  Furthermore, nearly half of students said they would open a Snap from a brand they had never heard of and 73% they would open a snap from brand they had heard of.  As Snapchat continues to grow in recognition, more marketers will find ways to incorporate it into their digital strategy.

What is Snapchat and how can businesses leverage it for marketing purposes?  Snapchat is a mobile-first application that allows users to share photos and videos via “Snaps” which last for a maximum of 10 seconds.  After 10 seconds the snap is permanently deleted.  Marketers can utilize this technology in distinct and creative ways.  Here are a few simple steps to getting started with Snapchat.

1. Create an account.  The best way to get the word out about a newly created account on Snapchat is via other social networks like Twitter and Facebook or other forms of advertising and marketing.  The account must be set up from a mobile device and will require an email address, password and user name.

2. Sending Snaps.  When creating and sending snaps, there are two types of posts” photo and video.  Use the camera function on your mobile device to snap a photo or hold down the button to record a video.  View your snap before sending and use the delete function as needed.  Then select the time lengths for a user to view the snap and the number of seconds before the snap will disappear.  There are several tools to enhance your snap, including text, fonts, drawing, storytelling and more.  When the snap is ready, send away.

snapchat user interface

3. taco bell snapchatGive them a donut (or burrito).  When asking people to engage with a brand or product on yet another social network, it is a good idea to offer something in return.  Taco Bell did a great job with this via Twitter when they started their buzzed-about Snapchat campaign last year.

4. Embrace best practices.  Some of the most compelling and successful business uses for Snapchat have been contests, coupons or sneak peak product demonstrations.  Acura created a campaign around their NSX prototype in 2013 by offering16 handles frozen yogurt the first 100 Snapchat followers a special preview of the car ahead of its wider release to the general public.

Similarly, a popular frozen yogurt franchise, 16 Handles, introduced a Snapchat campaign asking their followers to send
snaps tasting different flavors in stores.  They would later receive a snap from 16 Handles containing a special secret offer for their next visit to a store.  Because snaps only last 10 seconds, people had to wait till their next visit to unveil the savings.

acura snapchat