Snapchat 101: A marketer’s beginners guide to starting a Snapchat

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A little over a year ago, I recommended that brands should be considering Snapchat — and now more than ever, I stand by this statement.

Snapchat has had an increasing positive impression on brands, as the platform is reaching audiences beyond teenagers, or anyone under 25. On any given day, Snapchat stories are reaching anyone between the ages of  18-34 years old. And its popularity will only continue to increase as the daily activity of the platform also increases. Note, the average user would spend 20-35 minutes on the platform. This is not as impressive as the 10 billion media views the app receives daily, according to Bloomberg.

So why develop a Snapchat? Just to hop on the bandwagon? Just to stay relevant with your audience? Just to have that opportunity to reach a new audience? It should be for all these reasons, actually.

Here are a few questions any beginner should be asking when thinking about using Snapchat for business.

What do I use Snapchat for? 

Snapchat is essentially sharing content to a story board and a platform where friends can really get to know the ins and outs about you.

What are some of the things I can do on Snapchat? 

If it’s for personal use, then the answer is to simply have fun with it and share moments of your day/life to friends. However, as a brand, the usage has to be a bit more strategic. You want to build a connection. You want to engage. You want to inform. You also want to showcase a little personality behind the unformed business.

How can people find me?

In order to make any impact on the platform, you have to establish a following somehow right? You can cross promote your Snapchat on your other networks with sharing a screenshot of your Snapcode. It’s one of the easiest ways to allow others to find you on Snapchat. You can also share your Snapchat URL (located in the ‘add friends’ menu and the ‘share username’ selection).

To take this step further, share an interesting piece of content from your snap story and use it as a method to entice new followers to your Snapchat. It’s a good way to reel them in.

What are some ways to engage on Snapchat?

Snapchat is a world where you can allow your creativity to run wild and free. The best snap stories are the ones that display personality and humor. Consider hosting a Q & A. Promote a meet and greet. Arrange a contest.Run a poll. These are just a few ideas on how you can engage with your audience on Snapchat. However, do not just use the platform for simply posting videos and photos – that’s what Instagram is for.

For great, creative ways to engage your audience on Snapchat, check this out.

What are GeoFilters?

These are pieces of art that enhances the video or photo you are uploading. The GeoFilter is placed over your photo or video. They are not just a good way to indicate the location of the snapper, but it’s a great marketing technique. More marketers are investing in sponsored Geofilters for users to plop onto their content. It’s a great way to to promote your brand and allow others to have fun with the messaging of what you do.

Here’s a great resource for understanding GeoFilters and designing one for your brand.

For those really new to Snapchat, you can access the more animated filters (or Snapchat lens)  by holding down the screen while the camera is on selfie mode. Snapchat lens tend to update by the day, and they’re pretty fun to play around with. If you wanted to cash in on your brand having its own lens, it would cost a pretty penny.

Learn all about the cost and popularity of Snapchat lens.

What do I measure on Snapchat?

For those who invest in paying for sponsored GeoFilters or Snapchat lenses, they provide insightful analytics on the performance of your content. For those just using the platform to upload to stories, you can measure simply from the views in your Snapchat story. You can also monitor the amount of messages you receive from a particular snap. You want to identify the kinds of content that gets you the best engagement activity.

What are the best days and times to post on Snapchat?

There is not a defined time that researchers suggest you post on to the platform. However, keep in mind that the content in your Snapchat story does last 24 hours. To ensure you get the most views you can, you should try to post at different times in the day. Being that the platform is popular among the young audience, posting around the evening times should guarantee most engagement.

You should also consider posting frequently if you are going to be active on the platform.

How often should I be posting?

Do not overdose on posting. You don’t want to scare your audience away. What would happen is they’ll then begin to tap over your snaps and not fully grasp what’s going on. Just like with Facebook where you post maybe two times a day and Twitter six to eight, with Snapchat you should consider posting about three to five times in the day. This rule doesn’t always apply when using the platform, but the key is to be mindful of what you post.

Still not sure why I should use Snapchat?

You shouldn’t feel obligated to use Snapchat. However, keep in mind that if your audience is on the platform, you should follow them to where they are going. Let’s be honest, you don’t want to miss an opportunity to reach as many people as you can.

Snapchat offers a great way to keep up with what’s going on in the world. Unlike following trending topics through hashtags on Twitter and through their Moments section or seeing what’s trending on Facebook, Snapchat event stories are more visually engaging and can truly capture the moment in what’s happening.

Nevertheless, your brand should follow suit. You would want to have Snapchat because it provides a unique approach towards capturing the essence of what you’re all about.

Stay updated with me and follow me on Snapchat, yaboitae. Also, sign up for my monthly newsletter here.

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