The fact that social media have become an integral part of our lives over the past decade is no secret. Businesses of all types and sizes are using social-media platforms to connect with their patrons.
Nearly eight out of 10 Internet users (79%) are on Facebook, according to the Pew Research Center, and over 75% of Facebook users use the platform daily, so it is easy to see why nearly all businesses have a presence on the easy to use platform.
But what about social media’s newest giant, Snapchat? Should your business be using it?
By the numbers
When Snapchat filed to go public with the SEC in February, it reported for the first time publicly that about 158 million users used the platform daily at an average rate of 18 times per day. As a result, approximately 2.8 billion snaps are created every day.
Tina Jepson, a blogger for CauseVox, notes that as more people of all ages embraced the Facebook platform, younger Internet users migrated to other platforms to communicate. A large majority of Snapchat’s users fall in the 18-29 age range.
If your business is looking to connect with Millennials, it’s especially important to consider Snapchat.
How businesses can use Snapchat
To determine whether Snapchat is right for your business, explore the platform’s uses and costs. You will have to spend some time building and cultivating a Snapchat network before you will notice some interaction.
Danielle Corcione of Business News Daily recommends that businesses use Snapchat in the following ways:
- Document your company’s day-to-day operations. What’s a day in the life like at your company? Use the app’s Story feature to walk followers through business operations at your workplace.
- Upload content regularly. Don’t let your following forget that you exist. Use the app regularly to upload frequent, daily content.
- Sponsor a Snap Advertisement. Ten-second audio-visual clips are more traditional and allow you the creative freedom to drive an advertisement using video content as you would on Twitter, Instagram or a similar site.
- Sponsor a Lens. Inspire users to engage with your brand’s awareness by bringing it to life. Find a way an average customer would engage with your business’s products or services and apply it to a Lens. A lens is a filter sponsored by you brand that any Snapchat user can apply to their photos they take.
- Design a sponsored geofilter for your brand. If you use Snapchat in any McDonald’s across the country with your location settings on, a McDonald’s themed geofilter will appear while flipping through your different filters before sending a snap. You can do the same with your business. Geofilters use a user’s location to provide a specific filter to anyone located within a designated area.
Make your own Geofilter right in the Snapchat app! Perfect for commemorating a summer BBQ 🍔 the 4th of July 🎆 or ur dog's 21st birthday 🎂 🐶 pic.twitter.com/GSEOav1BOv
— Snapchat Support (@snapchatsupport) June 28, 2017
As with any advertising on social media, Snapchat charges for its advertising options. Unfortunately, several may be beyond the price range for many small businesses, nonprofits, or smaller divisions within a larger company.
Wallaroo Media has compiled an up-to-date list of prices for Snapchat advertising:
- Sponsored Lenses (filters) – Start at $450,000 a day (more on weekends & holidays)
- Snapchat Discover Ads – Start at $50,000 a day
- Snap Ads – Start at $3,000 a month
- Sponsored Local Geofilters – Start at $8 a day
Geofilters, which are active for a geographic location specified by the business, provide an inexpensive marketing option for businesses sponsoring events with large amounts of people in one place. Geofilter Studio, which helps clients create geofilters for Snapchat and other apps, reports that the average geofilter on Snapchat runs anywhere from $8 to $35 for everything except stadium filters. The cost of the filter depends on the size of the active area and the amount of time the filter is active.
Small businesses and Snapchat
With such high advertising prices, how can small businesses, nonprofits, and units within a company effectively use Snapchat? Not all businesses will hold large events, and some businesses don’t want to pay for social-media advertising.
CauseVox’s Jepson suggests that nonprofit organizations should simply have a Snapchat presence so that they can connect with a new, younger audience that they may be missing in their primary marketing campaigns. Having a Snapchat account allows your organization to be in front of a captive audience. They can see your brand on a daily basis without feeling pressured.
Nonprofit organizations could consider using the platform like DoSomething.org does in this video below:
Affordably using Snapchat as a business
Brazen Technologies offers other suggestions on how your organization can use the platform:
- Send one-to-many snaps. If your business and patrons are following each other, you can send a direct snap to all of your patrons. Use caution with this method so you don’t burn out your followers. Only use this method to share big news.
- Create a Snapchat Story. Create as many stories as you want. Your patrons choose whether they watch it, so you don’t have to worry about overloading your followers.
- Create a Snapchat Live Story or a permanent geofilter. This is for larger organizations with regular visitors. Businesses can pay for affordable live, location-based stories or a constant geofilter. Both options allow all Snapchat users to see your content and not just your followers.
- Do a behind-the-scenes look. Your patrons don’t get to see what you do on a daily basis and what makes your business function. Take them behind the scenes with employees of your organization.
- Organize a takeover. Nonprofits can let volunteers take over the account for the day. Universities can let students take over for the day. This allows inside looks at what is going on, and the business doesn’t have to create content. Just make sure you outline guidelines for the takeover!
- Highlight events, accomplishments, milestones, and people. People want to see the good that is going on in your business. Let them know what is exciting and highlight the positives when you can.
Does Snapchat fit with your culture?
Fortune reports that with the 2.8 billion daily snaps, there are over 8 billion video views each day. Consequently, Snapchat is now virtually tied with Facebook for daily video views — a number that definitely requires businesses to evaluate the platform.
It is important to note that Snapchat is a mobile-only platform that requires users to be out and about to produce the most appealing content. Nobody wants to see a snap of an employees office desk every day.
Snapchat may not fit with your business. However, if your business is open to Snapchat-specific marketing tactics, the audience you will reach may reap long-term rewards.