Should Small Businesses Use Snapchat?

 In Social Media

In the digital age, brands of all sizes and from various industries have integrated social media into their marketing strategies. Due to the proven value of attracting new and younger customers, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are now staples in digital marketing.

But there is a new venue establishing a strong presence in the world of social media – Snapchat. This unique smart phone app allows users to send real-time pictures and videos to each other; the catch, however, is that these images only last for 10 seconds or less before they disappear forever.

Snapchat was originally launched in September 2011. Since then, it as accumulated more than 100 million users, making it the fastest growing social media of all time. Let’s take a look at some more statistics that demonstrates Snapchat’s power and influence:

  • Snapchat is the second most popular social network behind Facebook.
  • Snapchat’s video views are now greater than Facebook; about 10 billion videos are watched every day.
  • Snapchat has more users than Twitter, LinkedIn or Pinterest.
  • 57 million Americans use Snapchat, reaching 11% of Americans.
  • 60% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18 and 34.
  • More than half of new Snapchat users are over the age of 25.

Despite these impressive numbers and obvious popularity, many small businesses are left puzzled how to capitalize on this social network. Reports show that only 2% of small businesses use Snapchat for marketing, as of September 2015. You may be thinking, “Why would anyone want to miss out on this great opportunity; the numbers are too impressive to ignore.”

Snapchat’s Limitations

The harsh reality is that while Snapchat has amazing advertising opportunities, it also has huge limitations especially for small business.

  1. First, it is difficult to measure the results of campaign and prove ROI. As of now, Snapchat does not currently offer traditional marketing measurements such as impressions, click-through-rates, mentions and so on.
  2. Second, if you were hoping to utilize Snapchat to increase your web traffic or direct your audience to a landing page, you’re going to be in for disappointment. There are no click-through options available because you cannot embed links into your posts.
  3. Finally, advertising on Snapchat is expensive! If you want to utilize the “Discovery” advertising feature, you’re going to have to spend a large amount of money. Due to this feature’s high cost, only top-name brands like CNN, McDonald’s or The Food Network currently use this feature.

These limitations make it difficult for small businesses to compete against the larger brands in their industry. If your small business wants to try to use Snapchat strictly for advertising, you may want to focus your efforts on other platforms like Facebook. However, if you’re looking for a different approach to attract users, then there may still be some opportunities for your brand to leverage Snapchat.

Many small businesses are now using Snapchat to increase brand awareness and establish an engaged and loyal audience!

Tell Your Brand’s Story

Over the years, Snapchat has become multifaceted. The app is no longer exclusively a photo and video sharing service. Since its release, new features such as filters and geo-tags have been released that can truly make your pictures special.

One particular feature that brands can utilize is the “Story” feature, which allows you to add a series of photos and videos that all of your followers can view any number of times they wish. This allows small businesses to create a presence without spamming followers with a plethora of sent videos and photos.

Furthermore, while snaps usually disappear after being viewed, you can still save the original photo or screen capture to your camera roll. Brands can use this to their advantage because they can repurpose these images as content, and then promote it across multiple social media platforms.

Engage with Your Followers

Snapchat can allow you to engage with your audience, network with others, and create personalized relationships with customers – as long as you provide your audience with something of value. If your business is holding a promotional deal for a new product or service, Snapchat is an excellent way to incentivize your audience to participate.

For example, you can offer exclusive deals to customers that engage with you on Snapchat. Snapchat is also a great way to provide exceptional customer service to your customers. Perhaps you can post a video that answers your customers’ questions about product concerns.

Integrating Snapchat into Your Marketing

Snapchat isn’t going anywhere. As the app continues to increase in popularity and new features are added, it can become an invaluable marketing tool for your small business. But remember that it is important to have fun with Snapchat as you discover how to leverage it for your marketing goals. Snapchat’s strength lies in creating fun moments for your audience and raising your brand awareness. If you would like more information on Snapchat or would like to set up an account, contact the social media experts at Premiere Creative. Call (973) 346-8100.

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