With such a focus today on Instagram and TikTok as the leading social media platforms to market to younger generations, it can be easy to forget about Snapchat and its potential for businesses. After all, the unique app is now over a decade old – hasn’t its moment been and gone?
Well, not quite.
Snapchat is actually still one of the fastest-growing social media platforms on the planet, and has proven time and again to be a leading channel for brands to connect and engage with a diverse selection of customers.
But how? To help, the Clearwater team have broken down everything you need to know on how to use Snapchat for your business.
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a visual, social media app allowing users to send and receive ‘self-destructing’ photos and videos. The app initially became extremely popular with young people (especially teenagers), but it is growing more popular amongst all demographics, with 332 million daily active users worldwide in the first quarter of 2022, up from 319 million at the end of 2021.
The point of difference with Snapchat, as mentioned above, is that the photos and videos sent through the app are automatically deleted after a certain amount of time. This makes it very different from other messaging apps like WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, which allow users to save or download messages.
This offers great appeal to many users, who can now adopt a more private way to share photos and videos than other social media platforms. Unlike Facebook or Instagram, where your posts can be seen by anyone, Snapchat also allows you to control who sees your content. Only people who are on friends lists will be able to view snaps sent from individuals.
Another reason why people enjoy using Snapchat is because of the variety of additional features available, including custom stories, Snapstreaks, filters, AR lenses, geofilters, chat functions, Bitmoji, and so much more.
With such a significant (and growing) base of engaged users, it is only sensible to consider how you can set up a Snapchat business account and start leveraging these features to grow your audience.
How to Create Your Snapchat Business Account
Businesses will have a slightly different user experience than individuals on Snapchat, and before you can launch any targeted digital strategies, you will first need to register a Snapchat business account. This is a breeze, taking only a few seconds:
Begin by Downloading the Snapchat Application
On your chosen device, either visit the App Store or Google Play Store and download the Snapchat app.
Create a Personal Snapchat Account
Similar to other social media platforms, if you would like to create a Snapchat business account, you will first have to set up a regular one:
- Select ‘Sign Up’ after opening the app. Enter your first name and surname as requested and click ‘Sign Up & Accept’.
- Input your date of birth before selecting ‘Continue’.
- Choose a username offering insight into your company (you will have a range of suggestions made but it is recommended to select your own to avoid future regret).
- Next, create your password, enter an email and phone number, and you will then receive verification codes to confirm your account. And then – you’re done!
Set Up Your Snapchat Business Account
Now your personal account is created, you can move on to setting up your Snapchat Business account through the Snapchat Business Manager. Simply log in with your previous username and password, which will then take you to a page requesting you to enter your:
- Business name
- Personal name
- Country of operations
- Preferred currency
That’s it – you’ve created your Snapchat Business Account!
How Do You Use Snapchat Business Manager?
You may be familiar with the Meta Business Suite and Business Manager – Snapchat Business Manager is designed in the same nature. It is the hub for all your creativity, publications and analytics related to your campaigns on the platform. You can use a range of exciting features to develop engaging snaps and use tracking tools to gain invaluable insights into their performance.
These features include:
- Instant Create & Advanced Create: These tools either allow you to develop a singular image or video ad, or build out a scaled campaign with narrowed objectives, split-testing and diverse ad sets.
- Snap Pixel: This will connect to your website and measure the cross-channel performance of your ad campaigns – simply put, you will receive data on all website visits by users who have seen your ads.
- Catalogues: Capabilities to introduce product inventories to your Snapchat in an effort of promoting a seamless, in-app purchasing experience.
- Lens Web Builder Tool: One of the more exciting tools, these customisable, branded AR lenses are terrific engagement tools for users to play within their content or messaging. They can be developed from scratch or using templates.
- Filter Creation: Images, illustrations or themes holding your branding to be found in users’ content.
- Audience Insights: Detailed data surrounding your audience and customers, including their behaviours and preferred content pieces
How to Use Snapchat’s Various Features for Your Business
Snap ads are short video ads appearing between Stories on Snapchat. They can be up to 10 seconds long and can include a call-to-action (CTA) button taking users to a website or app.
Snap ads have a vertical, full-screen format, but are skippable, meaning users can choose to watch them or not. Here are some tips to hold their attention:
- Create an attention-grabbing headline: Since Snap ads are skippable, you need to make sure your headline is attention-grabbing and makes users want to watch your ad. A good headline will be short, sweet, and to the point.
- Use engaging visuals: Snapchat is a visual platform, so it’s important to use engaging visuals in your Snap ads. This could include images, GIFs, or short video clips.
- Keep your ad short and sweet: You need to make sure your ad is quick & concise. Get your point across quickly and include a CTA so users know what to do next. This could be something as simple as ‘Visit our Website’ or ‘Sign Up Today’. Including a CTA will help increase engagement with your ad and encourage users to act.
- Test, test and test again: It’s important to test different versions of your Snap ads to see what works best. Try different headlines, visuals, and CTAs to see what resonates with your audience. Then, you can refine your strategy based on the results.
Geofilters are special overlays users add to their snaps when in a certain location. They’re a great way to add a fun and unique touch to your snaps, and a great way to show off your location.
Snapchat geofilters can be either public (available to anyone who’s in the designated location) or private (only available to invited users). Sponsored geofilters are public geofilters businesses can purchase to promote their brand and reach out to potential customers in the area.
How to Create a Sponsored Geofilter?
Creating a sponsored geofilter is easy! Just head over to Snapchat’s Create Your Own and follow the instructions. You’ll need to select the dates and times you want your geofilter to be active, as well as the location, of course. You’ll also need to select a design. You can create your own, adapt a template, or hire a professional to do it for you. Once your design is complete, just submit it and wait for the approval. It will then be live and available for anyone in the designated location to use.
In terms of the cost, this will depend on the size of the location and the length of time you want the filter to be active. Generally speaking, the larger the location and the longer the duration, the more expensive the filter will be.
Sponsored lenses are a type of advertising on Snapchat allowing businesses to create interactive, AR (augmented reality) experiences for users. These lenses can be used to promote products, services, or brand awareness in a fun and engaging way.
Here are some tips on how your business can use sponsored lenses on Snapchat:
- Keep it relevant: When creating a sponsored lens, make sure it is relevant to your brand and target audience. Your lens should be something users will want to interact with and leave a positive impression of your brand.
- Make it creative: Since sponsored lenses are a form of advertising, it is important to make sure your lens is creative and stands out from the competition. Use unique colours, graphics, and animations to grab users’ attention and make them remember your brand.
- Use calls to action: Include calls to action in your lens so that users know what you want them to do after interacting with it. For example, you could include a call to visit your website or follow your Snapchat account.
- Offer an incentive: Offering an incentive, such as a discount code, can encourage users to interact with your lens and promote your brand. Make sure to include a clear call to action so users know how to redeem the offer.
- Measure your results: After your lens is live, measure the results to see how well it performed. Snapchat provides metrics such as reach, views, and interactions that can give you an idea of how successful your lens was. You can also ask users for feedback on your lens to get their thoughts.
Discover is a section of the app featuring short-form content from a variety of publishers – their equivalent of a news feed. This includes everything from news stories from global organisations to funny videos from influencers and everything in between. It will appear directly below all the stories from those in a user’s contact list.
Discover gives businesses a way to reach an audience not yet familiar with their brand. What’s more, when someone stumbles upon your content on Discover, they’re more likely to give it a chance because it’s already been curated by Snapchat.
There are a few different ways you can go about getting your business featured on Discover. The first is to create content that is shareable and interesting enough to be featured by one of the many publishers on Discover.
If you have a story or video you think would be a good fit for Discover, you can submit it directly through the app. You can also partner with a media company that already has a spot on Discover. This is a great way to get your foot in the door, so to speak, and can help you reach a larger audience than you would be able to on your own.
Quick Tips to Improve Your Snapchat Business Performance
Regardless of your offerings or industry, there is always a handful of additions that you can make to your strategy for improved performance.
- Frequent Posts to Your Story: This will keep your followers engaged and interested in what you are doing. Plus, it will help you build a strong relationship with them.
- Cross-Platform Promotions: Doing this will help you reach a larger audience and potential customers from other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn & TikTok.
- Engage with Influencers: This can be helpful in terms of getting your brand name out there as well as increasing your followers.
- Encourage User-Generated Content: UGC is content produced by your audience and customers, not only increasing the chances of people using your product or service, but also getting free marketing from them.
- Offer Discounts & Promotion Codes: People love getting a good deal – so offer them one! This is a great way to increase sales, or at least clicks through to your website.
- Product Promotion: Snapchat is a great platform to showcase your products and services. Make sure to post interesting and engaging content that will make people want to know more about what you have to offer.
- Always Reply to Followers: This shows you are invested in your customers and care about their experience with your brand. It also helps build trust and loyalty.
- Promote Upcoming Product, Services & Events: Doing this will create a buzz around your brand and get people excited about what you have to offer.
- Push Traffic to Website Landing Pages: Make it easy for potential customers to find out more about your business by directing them to your website through clear CTAs.