In recent years, social media has become one of the main vehicles for marketing, promotion, and branding. There is a variety of social media outlets to choose from to market your brand, but the key is to determine which outlets are the best fit and most relevant. Snapchat is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media outlets. So, what is Snapchat, why do you need to become familiar with it, and how easy is it to learn how to use Snapchat?
What Is Snapchat?
Snapchat is an application that doubles as a social network and a platform for messaging. The mobile app is available for iOS and Android. It began as an application for sending messages and photos to friends and followers.
Within the last few years, it has gradually progressed into a vehicle for promotions and marketing, in addition to its ever-growing social aspect. With nearly 180 million users, Snapchat is the perfect social media outlet to build and promote your brand to an extremely large platform. This makes it important to learn how to use Snapchat and its features.
When Snapchat was originally created, it was used for sharing photos privately with individuals. Since its inception, however, Snapchat has added several features that have made it less of an impersonal private communication tool to a platform filled with options to help promote a variety of brands. Understanding these features will help you better learn how to use Snapchat for branding purposes.
In learning how to use Snapchat, it's necessary to understand the lingo. Snapchat is mostly used by millennials, but that doesn’t mean other followers and supporters of your brand outside that demographic won’t use the application. It's also important to note that not all millennials understand Snapchat well.
When you take a video or photo on Snapchat that is sent or received, it is referred to as a snap.
A link of snaps joined together as a reel that is only available for 24 hours unless it’s saved to your private storage.
If you've ever seen the infamous flower halo or a dog with a tongue on other people's pictures, those are Snapchat lenses.
A filter adds an overlay such as the time, color, or a geofilter on a picture.
Speaking of a geofilter, it is used to add decoration to your snap. Based on your location or if you’re in attendance at a specific event, a geofilter will become available to use on photos. They make for great branding and marketing.
Using the Bitmoji app, you create an avatar that normally looks like you, which you can link to your Snapchat.
Is There a Need to Use Snapchat to Boost Your Brand?
As previously discussed, Snapchat's most significant demographic is millennials between ages 18 to 35. For brands interested in appealing to and developing relationships with that particular age bracket, learning how to use Snapchat to boost your brand is necessary. Snapchat has turned into a great outlet for marketing and branding, in part because it is a conversational application. So, why else should you use Snapchat to boost your brand?
Snapchat Can Increase Your Presence on Social Media
With Snapchat having a significant number of daily users, using it will increase your followers and engagement on the platform.
Snapchat's Geofilters Are Great Marketing Tools
Using a geofilter with details about your brand or any special events is a quick and easy promotional tool and a great way to drive traffic to your website.
Snapchat Is a Great Outlet to Share New and Exclusive Details
Thanks to Snapchat’s disappearing feature, it is a great way to tease exclusive content. Once it's gone, it's gone unless followers screenshot and share, which should be one of your goals for posting. It will increase engagement, mentions and ultimately turn followers into clients or customers.
How Snapchat Can Boost Your Brand
Snapchat is one of the best social media outlets for boosting your brand. Its fun, engaging and has millions of daily users. It only makes sense to learn how to use Snapchat as a marketing tool.
1. Post Regularly
Posts on Snapchat disappear after 24 hours, so it’s essential to post more than once per day to keep your brand relevant and your followers engaged. Remember, you’re only as relevant as your last post. The recommendation is three to four times per day for updating.
2. Use Your Other Social Media Accounts to Promote
Building followers organically is the best way to promote your brand and ensure you have followers that are actually interested in your brand. Adding your Snapchat details to your other outlet's bios or sharing on the platform is a great way to target the best followers for your brand; hopefully, this will engage them with the hopes of converting them to clients or customers.
3. Interact with Followers Using Direct Messages
There may be interactions that your followers would like to have with you that they would prefer to keep private. Followers may use direct messages (DM) as a way to engage. Some messages may be spam or not related to your brand; those that are not should receive a response. You don’t want followers to think you are ignoring them. Responding to dm’s can help you build a relationship with clients and engage them in a different way.
4. Link Your Website to Your Snaps
Snapchat now allows you to add your website link to your snaps or story. With this added feature, you can add an additional marketing tactic to your Snapchat usage and drive traffic to your website.
5. Take Advantage of Snap Ads
Snap Ads are paid ads to reach a larger demographic than your normal followers. Snap Ads can be photos or videos, and you can and should include a call to action to viewers.
6. Create and Use Geofilters
Yes, once again, geofilters directly related to your brand are a necessity when using Snapchat. It is a marketing tool that can be easily used by your followers and other individuals that may be at your event or near your location. Geofilters that include details about your brand drive traffic to your website and help you to gain new followers, customers, or clients.
7. Connect with Social Media Influencers
What better way to promote your brand than to allow a social media influencer to take over your Snapchat account. Influencers help to expose your brand to a larger, and sometimes different, demographic. Their followers tend to engage with the brands they do, so allowing them to take over will help to build your following, thus promoting your brand.
Is There a Need to Use Snapchat to Boost Your Brand?
Learn How to Use Snapchat
Now that we’ve discussed what Snapchat is, how it can boost your brand, and how you can use Snapchat to market your brand; the next step is to learn how to use Snapchat. Snapchat can be a confusing social media platform, especially with all the changes and updates Snapchat has gone through since its inception. There are key features that will help any user understand the basic dynamics of Snapchat.
The camera screen for Snapchat is literally your best friend. It is the feature that you will obviously use the most when utilizing Snapchat. Immediately, upon opening Snapchat, the camera screen is the first screen you will see. The camera is the function you will use to send and respond to photo and video messages, add filters, and use frames and lenses.
To use the camera to take a snap, you need to press and hold the capture button to record a video. For a photo, you simply need to press the capture button, unless you are adding a filter or lens. You can also edit your snap with the text, sticker, or pencil tools after you have recorded your video or have taken a photo.
The memories screen is where you save your past snaps before they delete in the 24-hour time frame. From the memories screen, you can share previous snaps, as well as create and edit stories. If you’re someone that has saved a significant number of snaps, there is a search feature on the memories screen to find snaps easier.
As with most social media platforms, there is a chat screen available on Snapchat to have private, one-on-one conversations with followers and friends. You can send videos, photos, cash, or even start a live video in a chat. Users can even create group conversations in chat on Snapchat. Once all parties have left the conversation, it is automatically deleted unless it is saved.
The discover screen on Snapchat provides breaking, local, and national news and even celebrity gossip to users. To get to the discover screen, you simply swipe left on the camera screen.
One thing to note, there is no option for users to share available snaps. The only way anyone can share or keep snaps is to take a screenshot to save it for later.
Snapchat has developed into one of the most utilized social media platforms to date with no signs of slowing down. If you are looking for a platform that will help you grab the attention of a significant number of followers, especially millennials, to create or increase your brand’s awareness, you should learn how to use Snapchat as the vehicle of your choice immediately.