The days of Snapchat being used solely for sending pictures between friends are over.
This social media platform has evolved. And while it doesn’t have the same level of impact it once did, there are plenty of opportunities to monetize an account.
It’s absolutely necessary if you’re focusing on Generation Z as your target market. That’s because 52% of Gen Z use Snapchat daily, and it’s the fourth most popular platform for this generation.
While Snapchat is known for its popularity with teens, its market penetration also retains interest amongst millennials.
Snapchat is a viable marketing channel if your current target market falls anywhere between the ages of 12 and 34. But keep an eye on these trends as older generations may continue adapting to this platform.
In Q1 of 2023, Snapchat hit 397 million active daily users. The platform has seen more than an 18% growth rate in terms of daily users in the last year.
There is no sign of a slowdown, and we expect these marketing trends to continue in the future.
What exactly does this mean for your business?
It’s great news. You now have another viable marketing channel to engage with your customers.
But this may be intimidating or confusing if you’ve never used Snapchat before and don’t know how to apply it to your business.
Fortunately, you’re in luck. We’ll show you the top 15 ways to use Snapchat for your business.
1. Post to your story often
Once you’ve created a Snapchat account, you must ensure it’s active. The best way to approach this is by adding content to your story on a daily basis.
Anything you post on Snapchat will disappear after 24 hours. Posting content often will keep your brand fresh in the minds of your followers.
Just don’t go overboard. Posting 20 times in one day isn’t effective.
That’s because people will skip over your posts. Depending on how many people a user follows on Snapchat, they’ll have many stories to view daily.
But that doesn’t mean they will watch every single post in its entirety.
According to Flora Fountain, engagement drops by 36% once users reach the fourth snap of a story. They also discovered that roughly 80% of your followers will see your post about four or five hours after it’s been added to your story.
What does this mean for you?
Based on these numbers, I’d recommend updating your Snapchat story thrice daily, every four or five hours.
This will help keep your engagement high and prevent your followers from skipping over your content.
2. Promote your Snapchat account on other marketing channels
For your Snapchat strategy to be successful, you need followers.
Rather than trying to conjure up followers out of thin air, you can try and lure your existing audience to Snapchat.
Likewise, Snapchat is doing its part by allowing more cross-platform linking.
This is really important for you, especially if you just created a Snapchat account for your company. Nobody’ll know you have an account unless you tell them.
In addition to Instagram, you can promote it on your Facebook and X (Twitter) accounts. You can even work this promotion into your YouTube videos.
Tell your email subscribers to follow you on Snapchat and pitch it on your website too.
The more channels you promote it on, the greater your chances of getting more followers.
3. Create a sponsored lens
People love to use Snapchat filters and lenses.
It’s estimated that marketers could reach 40-60% of Snapchat’s daily users with custom Geofilters. These filters are a way for people to take creative photos.
Snapchat has plenty of them built directly into its platform. Instead of posting a basic selfie, users can make the image black and white, apply a filter to make their eyes abnormally large or make their noses disappear.
Some filters for video snaps can even change the pitch of your voice.
All of these were created to make users have more fun. They’ll send a snap to their friends with one of these filters because it’s entertaining and often humorous.
Let’s keep something in mind when we consider filters — your Snapchat demographic:
Here’s one of our favorite custom filters Taco Bell published a few years ago.
As you can see, the filters themselves are silly, but they create brand awareness and help you create engagement.
Back in Snapchat’s halcyon days, marketers dished out between $100,000 and $750,000 for ad filters for large events like the Super Bowl.
Now, Snap Ads starts from $3,000 per month in ad spend.
4. Let social influencers take over your account
Social proof is another great way to get more followers and increase engagement.
Celebrities and other influencers already have a steady following on social media. Take advantage of that.
If you allow someone else to take over your Snapchat account, you can expose your brand to a much wider audience. Some of these people may not even know your company existed until they saw an influencer talking about it.
You may need to pay the influencer to do this unless you have some other mutual agreement or common interest in whatever you’re promoting.
Here’s a great example of what I’m talking about from iHeartRadio:
They allowed singer Hailee Steinfeld to take over their account. As a result, she promoted the takeover to her fans on social media.
That’s important for you to keep in mind as well. You may find a professional basketball player with 10 million Instagram followers, but if sports aren’t related to your industry, their followers may not be relevant to your company.
5. Feature user-generated content
Ask your followers to send you pictures and videos of them interacting with your brand or using your products.
You can repost this content on your Snapchat story.
A great way to encourage user-generated content is by running contests and similar promotions.
GrubHub used this strategy on Snapchat a few years back. Their campaign was a huge success.
They ran a contest called SnapHunt, which lasted for a week. Every day they posted a new challenge. A winner was selected for each challenge and won a $50 gift card.
During this contest, GrubHub’s followers grew by 20%. Furthermore, 30% of their followers participated in this contest.
It’s safe to say engagement was high.
6. Offer discounts and promo codes
Not sure what to post on your story?
When in doubt, give your followers something they can actually use. Send out discounts and other promotional offers via Snapchat.
This strategy will also help you drive sales and increase conversions. Forever 21 uses this strategy to offer their Snapchat followers 40% off a purchase.
When posting on Snapchat, keep your company’s overall goal in mind. Don’t get distracted with all the other bells and whistles.
You want sales.
Offering discounts is a great way to accomplish this.
7. Take over another account
Earlier, we talked about letting someone else take over your Snapchat account. But another effective strategy is taking over another account yourself.
When someone else takes over your account, you’re relying on that person’s followers to add you on Snapchat to view your content.
But when you take over an account, the audience won’t have to do anything. It will be your job to convince them they should follow your brand.
Make sure your content is engaging.
Even if they don’t add your Snapchat account, you’ll still be able to create brand awareness with a new audience.
8. Promote a new product
Keep your followers up to date with any exciting news from your brand. A new product launch is definitely worth mentioning.
Even if your product hasn’t launched yet, you can build hype and anticipation—consumers will be ready for it when it is finally released.
Here’s something to take into consideration. How often do people visit your website? I’m willing to bet that the average consumer isn’t checking your website on a daily basis for any updates.
But they are checking Snapchat every day.
Just because you’re promoting a new product launch on your website doesn’t mean that people will see it. That’s why you’ve got to take advantage of other marketing channels.
Here’s an example of a new product promotion via Snapchat from McDonald’s:
Try to follow their lead the next time you want to tell your followers about a new product or service.
9. Provide exclusive access
It’s unreasonable to let your social media followers walk into your office and check things out.
But with Snapchat, you can give them that same exclusive feeling by providing them with behind-the-scenes content. Show your followers what it’s like in your office or production facility.
If you’re at an event, take snaps of some of the action backstage.
This type of content will keep your followers engaged because it makes them feel like they are getting VIP treatment.
10. Reply to your followers
Most of your Snapchat strategy should focus on uploading content to your story. However, that’s not the only way to engage with your audience.
Followers may reply to your story and send you direct messages as well.
Everyone can see whether you respond to followers on other social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, or X (Twitter).
But on Snapchat, only you and the person sending the message know whether you’re responding. So it’s easy for companies to ignore comments on Snapchat.
But you should still make an effort to reply to your followers.
Getting a personal response from a brand will make the user feel special. Ignoring their message shows them you don’t care about what they have to say.
68% of customers say they stop using a particular brand because they don’t think the company cares about them.
You can easily avoid this by simply responding to those private messages.
11. Post relevant content
Your snaps shouldn’t be mindless images of your products. You can use this platform to show your audience your brand is aware of various topics.
You could talk about charities or any other type of social involvement of your business.
Here’s an example from Dove. They used their platform to discuss self-esteem issues:
Their Snapchat story featured interviews with 30 women and various psychologists. They wanted to have an open discussion about self-esteem issues to help women enhance their self-images.
As a result, the campaign had more than 130,000 views.
Just make sure you tread carefully when you’re approaching something like this. It’s best for businesses to stay away from issues involving race, religion, politics, and other controversial topics.
12. Promote an upcoming event
If your company is hosting or attending some meeting or event, tell your audience about it.
Depending on what kind of event it is, you could even try to get your followers to come and show their support.
67% of people are likelier to purchase tickets to an event after watching a similar event on a live video stream.
While Snapchat technically isn’t live video, it’s pretty close. You can assume the percentage of people interested in the event will be similar.
13. Drive traffic to your website
Snapchat recently introduced a new feature allowing you to add story links. To do this, take a photo or video using their camera as you normally would.
Then click the paperclip icon before adding it to your story.
Now you can add a link to your post. Users can access the link if they follow the prompt at the bottom of your story to swipe up.
This is a great way to increase your website traffic.
14. Inform your followers about an important milestone
Keep your Snapchat audience informed about important dates for your company.
Is it your 10th anniversary? Is it your CEO’s birthday?
You can even discuss other milestones, like getting your 10,000th follower on a social media platform.
All of these are great excuses to post on Snapchat. It’s a nice break from the same boring posts that get shared on a daily basis.
15. Mix it up
This piggybacks on our last point. You don’t want your content to be boring.
Many of the tips we’ve discussed so far are useful and should be applied to your Snapchat marketing strategy. But with that said, don’t just pick one or two and use the same ones every day.
You’ve got to keep things interesting.
If your followers aren’t entertained, they’ll stop following you. Once that happens, it won’t be easy for you to market to those people again.
You can avoid this by keeping your content fresh.
Snapchat is growing in popularity. If your company doesn’t have a Snapchat account, you must create one ASAP.
But once your account is active, you must get and keep followers engaged.
Overall, you want to ensure your Snapchat marketing strategy improves your business. In addition to creating brand awareness, you want to drive sales as well.
Whether Snapchat is new for you or you’re looking for fresh insight to spice up your existing Snapchat marketing campaign, the tips I’ve outlined above are a great place to start.
Use this guide as a reference for increasing engagement on Snapchat.