[This post was originally published at Social Media Examiner, an awesome publication with social media tips for small businesses.]
Are you interested in using Snapchat for your marketing? Snapchat presents a unique opportunity to reach a new audience that is receptive to clever, creative marketing.
In this article you’ll discover how to use Snapchat for author social media marketing.
Listen to this article:
Why Use Snapchat?
Snapchat is the fastest-growing social network with more than 100 million daily active users. Of the businesses that market on social media, most use Facebook, but only 2% use Snapchat. The lack of competition on Snapchat means that your business has a great opportunity to stand out and shine on the platform.
Unlike other social networks, it doesn’t matter when you post content on Snapchat. Your snaps will never be buried in a busy timeline; they stay unopened until your followers have time to view them. After snaps are opened, they’re available for only 1 to 10 seconds.
Snaps disappear so quickly, so you may be wondering if Snapchat is worth the effort. If you think about it, most social content is viewed right after it’s posted. Content tends to last longer on platforms like Pinterest and Tumblr, but it’s far more common for social posts to have a short shelf life. Snapchat makes this short shelf life an explicit part of the platform.
Because snaps vanish after one viewing, you have users’ undivided attention. In this way, disappearing content is actually a boon for marketers.
Here’s how to get started integrating Snapchat into your social media marketing.
#1: Develop Content
First, you’ll need to develop content for Snapchat. Here are some ideas that you may want to try:
1. Create valuable tutorials about something in your area of expertise. For example, show people how to easily thread a needle or explain how to choose a secure password.
2. Give users a glimpse behind the scenes. Show them your writing process, or share the inspiration and ethos a particular chapter.
3. Show your product in action. For example, show someone reading your book.
4. Ask users for pictures or videos of them reading your book, and send out snaps featuring them.
6. No social feed should be 100% self-promotion, so tell interesting stories that relate to your industry. Share a cool tip from an industry leader or give an opinion on a recent event.
#2: Invite Participation
Social media should be social, not a one-way megaphone for promotions. Replying to every snap isn’t practical or scalable, but you can certainly do it every now and again. Imagine how great it would feel if your favorite guitar brand replied to your snap of a song. You can give your followers that feeling, too.
Ask people to reply to your snap or post a reply on another social network.Sephora has used this tactic with sweepstakes. They asked users to take pictures of themselves with makeup doodles and post them to other social networks.
Consider following people back on Snapchat. When they send you snaps, read them and reply if appropriate. This goes a long way towards letting users know you’re a real person or a real social team behind a brand.
#3: Get Creative
After deciding what content you’ll develop, think about how you can present it in a creative way. Here are some ways to do that:
Draw or write on pictures to add humor or emphasis. Dove uses Snapchat to inspire viewers to celebrate their own beauty. In this snap the company drew on the image with bold colors to emphasize their message.
Find clever ways to get people to sit up and pay attention. GrubHub used a series of images showing a pizza being eaten slice by slice to create suspense before revealing a discount code in the last image.
Tell a story with a series of snaps. This one is a natural for authors, and the short time frame of a snap can be a fun challenge. Here, Taco Bell teases a story about how they bring people together.
If you share still images rather than videos, play music in the background. However,make sure that the music has a Creative Commons license or that you have the rights to use it.
#4: Add a Call to Action
If you want users to take action after seeing your snaps, try these tactics:
Ask followers to take a screenshot of a snap. (Bonus: This is something you can measure.) Send a snap saying that you’re about to give out an exclusive discount code and suggest viewers take a screenshot of it. Then reveal the code and measure how many people opened and watched the snap, and how many took a screenshot of it. You can also track use of the discount code, since it was distributed exclusively on Snapchat.
Ask viewers to visit your website, but make sure there’s a strong incentive for them to do so. For example, start a story in the snap, and then tell viewers that it’s continued on your website. Track the effectiveness of this strategy by creating a special page with a URL that you give out only on Snapchat (like givingbooksavoice.com/snap) and track it with Google Analytics.
#5: Build a Following
The challenge in building an audience on Snapchat is that the platform has no hashtags, search or any other means of traditional content discovery. You can create a following by letting people know you’re on Snapchat and giving them a compelling reason to follow you.
You can learn more about snapcodes here.
The way forward
Snapchat marketing is still largely uncharted territory. But you have a great opportunity to be an early adopter and grab the spotlight for your business.
For help getting started with the app, try Snapchat Marketing: What Businesses Need to Know.