Snapchat as a Marketing Tool
Snapchat is one of the newest and most domineering social media crazes to hit the digiverse with an estimated total of over 60 million app downloads thus far. If you are not a Snapchat user, there is a strong chance that you have still heard of it.
Snapchat involves instantaneous back and forth picture and video messaging that works to either temporarily store sent multimedia messages, or to not store them at all; it is all under the control of you, the user.
Recently, Snapchat has expanded from being used mainly by individual millennials to being used by businesses.
A growing number of businesses are beginning to use Snapchat as part of their marketing and advertising. As well as to grow their brand by appealing to a greater range of demographics.
If your business wants to use Snapchat or has recently started using it, we at VPDM Digital have this useful article on the basics on how to use Snapchat for business and how to use it properly and efficiently.
How Your Business Can Get Started Marketing on Snapchat Today
1. Choose Your User Name Wisely
The username you choose for your Snapchat account is very important. This is how you will appear on the contact lists of your Snapchat friends. The username is also what people type in in the “add friends” search form to find you on Snapchat.
When picking a username for your business, make sure that it incorporates your business name in some way. This helps establish a clear connection between your Snapchat account and your business.
One of the main purposes of using Snapchat as a business is to more closely connect to clients and followers of your company. Snapchat can show a raw and real glimpse of the processes involved with your business.
It is important that the username is not too distracting or varied from the image or name of the company.
For example, our client in Niagara Falls, Nightmares Fear Factory, is on Snapchat as “nightmaresfearf”. This name clearly represents the company. Consider this when choosing your username.
2. How to Accept Friends on Snapchat
You will mostly be utilizing Snapchat to post stories to your followers (we’ll explain further down in this post). This means that you will not necessarily have to accept friends as you can set your account to post stories to everyone. Including people you have not accepted to your contact list.
However, when starting a Snapchat for your business, you should manually accept friend requests in order to initially build your contact list.
The following steps will tell you how to accept contacts on Snapchat. First, open up your Snapchat App. This should immediately bring you to the camera screen where you will then click the ghost icon in the top-center of the screen.
Click the “Added Me” bar and you will be brought to a list of usernames. To accept requests of people who have added you, all of the usernames need to have the box to the right of their name checked off.
You can accept them by tapping the grey boxes beside the usernames; which will then turn purple and show a check mark to signify that they have been added to your list.
3. Taking a Picture or Video on Snapchat
To take a picture or video, open up your Snapchat app and you will be brought directly to the camera. You can change the camera to face toward you (selfie style) or as a point and shoot; using the top right button that looks like two arrows surrounding a circle.
Take your picture, from there, you can pick how long you want your picture to show up once it is posted (which can be anywhere from 1-10 seconds).
If you are taking a video, the video will last as long as you have recorded it for (which can be anywhere from 1-10 seconds).
You can record a video by pressing and holding down the image capture button on the screen; some phones give you the option to record videos by pressing the side button on the left side of your phone.
You can not edit the length of a video once it has been shot.
To save the picture or video you have taken, click the button that looks like an upside down triangle sitting on top of a horizontal line. You will see a bar across the screen that states that your video or picture is saving. Do not exit the screen during this time until the word “saved!” appears; in which you may then exit the screen or shoot another snap.
To post the picture or video as your story, click the symbol that appears as a square with a plus sign; wait until the phrase “your story has been posted!” appears before moving on. Snapchat story positing is what you will be predominantly using your Snapchat account for.
4. Snap Chat Symbols
It is important to turn off pop-up notifications for your account, so you are not bombarded with snapchat notifications from all of your followers . It is not recommended to open up snaps sent from your followers.
The purpose of being a business on snapchat is to post stories and gage interaction. The goal is to be viewed as a company and not as an individual operating a Snapchat account.
If you do however, wish to responded to snaps, it is recommended that you have some sort of snapchat signature (similar to an email signature) or that you respond with some form of branding involved in your images, videos or chats.
If you wish to view snaps that are sent to you, open up your Snapchat App and click the square in the bottom right corner. This will bring you to a screen with unopened snaps (you know they are unopened because the shapes beside the usernames are solid instead of being an outline of a shape); press and hold the shape.
For your information: pictures that are snapped to you appear as red squares, videos that are sent to you appear as purple squares and chat messages that are sent to you appear as blue squares.
5. Snap Chat Stories
After posting a story, you are still able to save it. To do this, open up your Snapchat app and select the three lines in the bottom right corner of the center screen. This will bring you to your “stories page”.
To save an individual story you have posted tap the “My Story” bar and it will bring you to a drop down list of all of your posted stories. Select the story you want saved and snapchat will open up your story in a viewfinder for you.
Select the save image icon found in the bottom right corner of the screen and your story will save. To save all of your posted stories at the same time (which will be saved into a reel like format) click the image of the arrow pointing downward.
6. How to Edit on Snapchat
Snapchat provides you with filters (which you have to allow in the permissions section in your settings page). Once a video or picture has been taken, continually swipe left to see a range of filters that can be placed as an overlay on top of your snap.
You are also able to place a caption on your posts. Once a snap has been taken, tap the image or video and a text bar will appear. It is important to note that the length of your caption is restricted.
Once you have typed your message you can either post it or choose to manipulate the text or emojis used in the caption. To do this, tap the uppercase T in the top right corner of the screen. This will enlarge your text.
To be able to manually manipulate your text with your fingers, tap the T a second time and from there you can enlarge, shrink, move or rotate the text on the picture or video using two fingers.
You are also able to draw on an image with the pencil and colour bar on the right side of the screen. These features allow you to get fairly creative in terms of editing.
7. How to Block Someone on Snapchat
If for whatever reason you feel that you no longer want a particular individual on your Snapchat account; you are able to block them. This will ensure that they can not contact you or view your posts anymore.
To do this, open up your Snapchat app, click the ghost image in the top of the centre screen, click on “my contacts” and you will be brought to a list of all your contacts.
From here, you will be able to scroll down or tap on the letter grid found on the right side of the list to find the user that you wish to block.
Tap their name, click the grey wheel that appears and then click block. This person will now appear in the blocked list in your Snapchat settings page (which you can access from clicking the ghost icon in the top centre screen, followed by clicking the red wheel in the top right-hand corner, and then scrolling down to the blocked section).
You are able to unblock a contact at any time by going to this blocked list and selecting their name. This person will then be notified that you have re-added them.
Snapchat has become a domineering force in the mobile app world. As one of the newest and top front runners in social media, you should be open in letting Snapchat elevate the digital marketing for your business.
Be sure to choose a username that reflects or utilizes the name or mission statement of your business.
Learning how to post stories on your Snapchat account is essential as this is what you will primarily be using it for.
Having creatively edited posts and catchy captions for your Snapchat stories is vital in order to sustain your Snapchat audience.
Please stay tuned for the Part 2 of our “Snapchat How To” series as we will inform you on the do’s and dont’s of Snapchatting as a business.
To see examples of businesses on Snapchat add VPDM Digital Marketing to snapchat with our username “vpdmdigital“.
While you’re there, check out the Nightmares Fear Factory snapchat and add them with username “nightmaresfearf”.
If you’d like some guidance building your Snapchat marketing strategy for your business, please contact us today to start your digital marketing disruption.