How Can Small Businesses Use Snapchat?
Businesses small and large are turning to Snapchat to leverage their brand and tap into the hot Millennial crowd. With 100 million active users each month, Snapchat has become a staple to digital savvy users looking for a quick interaction with a friend or brand.
With 71% of their user base under the age of 34, Snapchat has caught the attention of brands (and even politicians) vying for Millennials’ attention in an oversaturated advertising market.
Snaps — pictures or 10-second videos shot on Snapchat — are a fast and effective way to not only communicate brand value and initiatives, but to humanize a business and incentivize customers. Small businesses worldwide are tapping into Snapchat to create brand awareness and to elicit actions from their Snapchat followers.
Offer Coupons and Giveaways
When Tuscon, Arizona quick serve restaurant eegee’s tried Snapchat (username: eegees), it didn’t take long for their Snapchat account to scale. Promoting their Snapchat account on their already successful Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, eegee’s grew their Snapchat followers to over 600 in less than eight weeks.
eegee’s recognized that 85% of their followers were under the age of 25 and fit the Snapchat coupon demographic. Since 77% of college students use Snapchat daily and are 58% more likely to purchase a product if they received a coupon via Snapchat, they encouraged user screenshots to give discounts to present in-store.
Discount Snaps worked for eegee’s. On the days a Snapchat was posted to eegee’s Story, daily sales across all locations jumped an impressive 23% in the 24-hour period following the Snap Story. To boot, 73% of responses on eegee’s Snapchat indicated taking an action, such as “I’m going to eegee’s for lunch now” or “I’m getting eegee’s if it’s the last thing I do.”
Promote Events to Build ExposureEach year, the United States Marine Corps partners with a U.S. city for Marine Week, drawing in participants from across the country to bring awareness and education about the Marines.
Debuting Snapchat during the 2015 Phoenix, Arizona event, the Marine Week Snapchat page (username: MarineWeek) capitalized on a specific event – ASU Day – as a featured Local Snapchat Story. While exact impressions are unknown due to the makeup of Snapchat, Marine Week assumes their five-story Snap resulted in over 5,000 impressions per snap.
One month following the event, Marine Week had a “few hundred” new followers, 80% sustained Snapchat view rates, and a 99% retention rate of followers according to Scott Harkey, the President of Owens Harkey Advertising, the agency responsible for the promotion of the event.
By introducing Snapchat during one of their largest events, Marine Week saw increased attendance throughout their weekly events and in a post-event survey of Phoenix residents, a 7% higher positive sentiment towards the military organization.
Use Video Snaps to Demonstrate the Product
With outlets like YouTube or Vine for quick how-to’s and tips, brands are successfully implementing short videos into Snapchat streams, too. Online retailer drunkMall.com (username: drunkMall) saw that customers could benefit from seeing a live demo of a product on their website and made video part of their Snapchat strategy.
Providing the best and weirdest items available for purchase on the internet, drunkMall leveraged video content in a Snapchat story to promote Brewsees, a pair of sunglasses with a bottle opener on each arm. Since the sunglasses could be used to puncture the side of a unopened beer, allowing the owner to ‘shotgun’ the beer, it made for a perfect Snapchat video.
Since most people do not request links, and clicking on links isn’t a big part of Snapchat culture, founder Tyler Mahan Coe measures the effectiveness of his Snapchat campaigns by its direct traffic to his site. Direct traffic the day before the Brewsees video was 36% of total traffic to his site. However, on the day the Brewsees video was live on Snapchat, direct traffic rose to 40%. And the day after, direct traffic peaked at 41%.
Small businesses can take a page from drunkMall’s playbook. Drive people to the website by using video to increase direct traffic. From here, correlations can be made between the increased traffic after a Snap video and any corresponding sales of that exact product, too.
Provide Immediate Transparency
Snapchatting his way through the majority of his day, DJ Khaled (username: DJKhaled305) includes a recent lost-at-sea experience and behind-the-scenes details of his personal and home life. His regular use of the ‘key’ emoji to give life-lessons and motivational support to his Snapchat audience has become so popular that brands are hijacking his key emoji to dish out major keys to success.
Small businesses are often more transparent by nature. Giving followers access to personal details, like Khaled, helps to humanize the brand and strengthening brand ambassadorship.
Cross-Promote on Other Social Channels “The most successful Snapchat campaigns do not rely on Snapchat alone but leverage other social channels such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, etc., to tell a more complete story” says Agnes Kozera, founder of FameBit, a self-service marketplace where brands and media influencers collaborate for product or service endorsements.
To bring attention to its fashionable, ecocentric brand, Lisa Blue Swimwear (username: lisablueswim) teamed up with FameBit to select a few key influencers to help push the brand’s contest for a trip to Australia. To spread the word, they tapped Snapchat and Instagram. On Snapchat, influencers asked followers to take a photo of themselves in their Lisa Blue Swimwear and hashtag the image #MissLisaBlue2015 on Instagram to enter.
Combining the two channels together was a crucial part of the success of the campaign. Snapchat influencers engaged their followers via Snapchat videos to announce the limited time contest, and Instagram maintained interest with a longer lifespan, increased brand awareness, and additional viewed content, which is more limited in nature with Snapchat.
The Lisa Blue cross-promotion campaign did not disappoint. Snapchat drove 350,000 opens within the first 24 hours due to the tight contest turnround time. Within two weeks of going live, Instagram posts drove over 200,000 likes, more than 5,000 comments, 500 contest submissions, and countless earned media placements, which still continues to grow engagement today.
Snapchat can help small businesses even when they’re just getting started by adopting cross-marketing efforts and initiatives. Not only will it help increase followers on Snapchat, but it contributes to an ongoing message long after a 24-hour Snapchat video has expired.
Is Snapchat worth tapping into? Yes, if your business is geared towards younger demographics, but it’s best to repurpose your content across streams. Many small businesses and entrepreneurs are tight on resources, so create messaging that can be used across a variety of social channels.