SnapChat is not child’s play.  If you’ve seen hipsters taking selfies on the street, you’ve probably seen SnapChat in action. This application is rapidly growing in popularity. The fastest adopters of this app are tweens, teens and college students. Are they your target demographic?  If so, you are missing out on a new, robust platform to engage and listen to your audience.

How SnapChat works

If you’ve never used SnapChat before, here is how it works. The pictures are temporary. You only have between 1-10 seconds to look at an image (the sender chooses how much time the viewer will have to see the picture). This creates time sensitive material that will vanish after viewing. You can also send out video clips and mass snaps to an entire “friend” list, where everyone can view the material at their leisure.

Think SnapChat isn’t worth your time? Think again.

  • There are 26 million active users.
  • 400 million snaps per day.
  • Women make up 70% of the SnapChat demographic.
  • 18% of iPhone users are on SnapChat.

Big brands have leapt at the opportunity to pursue these free avenues of marketing. It doesn’t matter how you reach your consumers, it only matters that they get the message.  If you are currently utilizing some digital marketing techniques, then add SnapChat to your arsenal.  Here are some ideas that have worked for other brands:

Taco Bell– Beefy Crunch Burrito resurrection! Taco Bell used SnapChat to advertise the return of a fan favorite. Users felt “special” receiving a snap from their favorite fast food place. Make your customers feel appreciated and recognized! Word of mouth is a powerful advertising tool. (also note: the simplicity of design, nothing fancy, you do not have to be a graphic artist to harness this power.)

16 Handles– Send 16 Handles a picture of you eating their product and they return the love with flash coupons with discounts from 16%-100% off but the catch is, you have to wait to open the coupon until you’re in the store and at the register. This is an excellent way to engage and retain current customers.

Karmaloop– This clothing company pushed their SnapChat account hard and offered exclusive discounts available only via SnapChat. This encouraged people to “friend” them

Acura– Acura sent out exclusive video clips about their new NSX prototype.  Nothing like sneak-peeks to keep people coming back for more!

Grub Hub– Rewarded their first 100 friend followers with exclusive coupons. This is an excellent way to gather friends.

MTV UK– They used SnapChat to promote a new show and by launching ads and premier reminders pre-release to gather a fan base.

Wet Seal– Wet Seal utilized SnapChat for branding purposes. They gave a 16 year old girl their account for 2 days and gathered 9000 new SnapChat friends. If you don’t have enough time to work your own account, give it to a younger employee and let them run wild. The best way to relate to a demographic is to BE the demographic.

How Small Businesses can use SnapChat

So, how can you stand out in the crowd of Snap Chatters? Give the people what they want: pictures, pictures and more pictures! Here are a few ideas you can use SnapChat for promoting:

  • Contests
  • Sneak peek & exclusive content
  • Coupons & discounts
  • Behind the scenes
  • Snapchat Stories
  • Intro of a new product
  • Invite fans
  • Flash Coupons