It seems like you always have to be on your guard. You’re minding your own business when suddenly – wham! A new social media craze happens. While everyone else is worrying about how to filter their photos and get as many friends to follow them as possible, your prerogative as an entrepreneur is always this: how can I use this to help boost my business?

Social Media outreach is how many a small business owners are finding their footing in the world of online marketing. It enables everyone to fall into an even playing field. A once barely visible business can now get more retweets than a well-established company because their content went viral. Because social channels are so accessible and easy to use, it’s no wonder everyone is using them to up their engagement stats and increase lead generation.

The most recent addition to your social media smartphone app folder is Snapchat. While the app has been around since 2011, our current year are seeing more snap activity than ever. According to Techcrunch, Snapchat is raking in 6 billion daily views, which is triple the views of their last recorded study – and these are stats from November of last year.

With so many billions of daily views flooding the social app, the question is: is this something businesses should start utilizing as yet another vehicle for mobile and social marketing?

How Snapchat Works

When Snapchat hit the market, it wasn’t met with open arms from many. With an interface that focuses on quickly deleted photos, the tool was lauded as an affair and sexting app that would only be good for immoral means. Now it’s 2016. Teens are using it for selfies, celebrities are using the app to connect with their fans and Snapchat content has been going viral.

Now that the app has expanded to include filters and other features that make it more accessible for a business’ brand.

Other new features include:

  • Auto-advancing stories for constant content flow.
  • 10-second video looks.
  • Audio note capabilities.
  • 200 stickers for private chatting.
  • Phone and video calls.

HubSpot blog author Meghan Keaney Anderson sums it up rather nicely here:

“On their own the features are interesting, but it’s the message behind the features that really caught my attention. Together, these features amount to a very clear benefit: The removal of limits to how you communicate with others remotely.”

Why You’re Hesitant

During the 2014 Super Bowl, the Brooklyn-based agency Huge released a Snapchat ad campaign, making it one of the first of its kind. After sharing simple images with captions and animals, the company received 100,000 views during the football game’s broadcast.

This is a prime example of how Snapchat isn’t just for image-obsessed teens and millennials. If you want to up your marketing game, then keep reading.

Being clear, we aren’t telling you to drop everything and start using Snapchat as your main or only social marketing platform. In fact, you should just test the waters for now. While it’s good to be an early-adopter, you don’t want to jump into a platform that hasn’t been fully business-tested without some hard numbers and more than one successful example.

Being hesitant to even make an account is a common pattern with new social platforms.

When new apps and venues for social media come out, it’s instinctive to write them off as just a new fad and keep on moving. Twitter and Facebook went through the same movement in their time, and look where they are now. Snapchat is an app that doesn’t look like it’s useful for much more than simple photo sharing and videography, but it’s time to get creative.

Why You Need It

Look past Snapchat’s quick photos and silly video filters to take a glimpse at the bigger picture.

  • Snapchat is an app about communication.
  • Communication is another way to talk about engagement.
  • Snapchat is an app based on engaging with others.
  • This can be used for businesses with a very clear purpose – connecting intimately with consumers.

Snapchat is also very opt-in. There’s no paid ads for customers – which might sound like something to put in the “con” column at first. While you can’t pay to have your business touted on the social app, you can rest assured that if someone is following you, they want to. This kind of opt-in engagement gives you the perfect platform for directly targeting consumers that care about you.

Through the Discover channel feature that allows select publishers a permanent place for posting content, it’s easy to share content with all of your followers and others. There are currently 21 channel partners that can use this feature, and you could be one of them one day.

Some Fast Tips

This infographic from SurePayroll and Ghergich & Co. offers you some easy tips for growing a following on Snapchat, and we want to share the best of them with you:

  • Don’t forget to share your Snapchat with your followers on your website and your blog content.
  • Do the same on other social platforms.
  • Use Snapchat as a teaser platform – don’t release full images, but tease consumers with what you’ve got coming down the pipe.
  • Never neglect the power of influencers. Get a social influencer to notice you and you’re going strong.

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