First things first – What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a free messaging app for sharing moments.
You can take a photo or a video, add a text caption or draw a doodle. These updates can be sent privately to a friend and when they open the message it appears for up to 10 seconds. Updates can also be shared publicly to your “story” (timeline) where they are visible for 24 hours. Who sees these public updates depends on your settings, which can be public (Anyone that “Adds” you – which is like a follow on Twitter, will see them) or “friends” (when you both have added each other) only. After this, the content disappears.
There is also a live messaging/chat feature where you can have private conversations with users.
Here’s a quick breakdown of all the common terms and phrases used in the Snapchat world.
- Snapchatters: Snapchatters are Snapchat users.
- Snap: A snap is a photo or video taken with Snapchat. You can send a snap to a Snapchatter (or multiple snaps to multiple snapchatters), but it can only be viewed by the recipient for a limited amount of time (1 to 10 seconds).
- Snapback: A Snapback is a reply to your Snap.
- Story: A story is a snap you can share with your friends or the public. Recipients can view it an unlimited amount of times in 24 hours. You can also send multiple snaps to your story in one day. They’ll be compiled to create one story.
- Scores: Your Score is the total number of Snaps you have sent and received. It appears next to your name in friends’ contact lists and vice versa.
- Chat: Chat is a feature that lets you privately message with friends on Snapchat.
- Here: Here is a sub-feature within Chat. It lets you broadcast live video and audio to friends while chatting.
Who Uses Snapchat?
Everyone uses Snapchat. It is directed toward teens and adults. But Irish Demographics show:
- 22% of social messaging users in Ireland use snapchat
- 8% of 35-44 year olds use Snapchat, with 1 in 5 using it daily
- 35% of 25-34 year olds have an account, with 51% using it daily
- 84% of 15-18 year olds use snapchat with 85% using it daily
Is Snapchat right for your business?
Before we start with how great Snapchat is, Snapchat has a number of limitations too – there isn’t a search function; if you’re a small business, you can’t just start snapping away and hope for people to stumble across you. It’s not like Twitter or Facebook, there’s no sharing or virality, people need to add you by username in order to see your content. So there’s no point starting out on Snapchat if you don’t have a social presence elsewhere – try Twitter, Facebook or Instagram first.
Snapchat also has limited analytics so it’s difficult to work out your ROI. Yes, you can see how many times your snaps have been viewed (and who by), but you can’t measure a lot after that; you can’t even see how many total followers you have. So you’ll need to come up with creative ways to use it to understand if you’re making a difference e.g. snap an exclusive voucher code for your online store and measure how many times it’s been used or see how many people screenshot your images or questions etc.
You will need to use the assistance of your other social media channels to spread the word that you are on snapchat, and possibly saving stories, pictures & videos and sharing them across your other social media channels.
Why do people love Snapchat?
Some feedback from Snapchat Businesses and Snapchat Users:
“I love snapchat from a business perspective as It’s a very easy and quick way to reach people” Tara O Farrell – Makeup Artist, Model & Blogger (@Tara_Makeup)
“Snapchat is great for getting your message across really quickly, something that can be talked about or recorded in a couple of minutes would normally take a couple of hours for a blog post or news article” Makeup Artist & Beauty Blogger – (@Charlenefmakeup)
“We like snapchat because we can connect to customers and fans of the brand in real time, real life, unfiltered. It helps us build a community following. From using snapchat the past 2 months we have increased our following to nearly 10k and our other social media accounts have increase too. We have also gotten lots of new business from it. With the likes of influencers and bloggers, snapchat would be our now preferred way to receive stats. They can’t be altered and as a brand owner it gives you a good gauge on the reach. Then you can look at that persons other social media stats to see how it would progress” Ellen Kavanagh – Owner of Waxperts Wax (@waxpertsellen)
“I love snapchat because you don’t need to look up analytics to find the best time of day to upload, its very quick and convenient and if your users are logging in every day you are sure they won’t miss your updates.“ Business Owner (@SusanneShort23)
“I love snapchat because I can show what goes on behind the scenes and show how easy it is to cook up recipes, whereas on Instagram and Facebook you can’t express enough how easy it is to do something” Ursula Kaiser – Fitness Blogger (@MomFitnessDiary)
“I love snapchat for the simple reason that you see into peoples lives, behind the scenes and somewhat the “real” person, you see the non-edited side to them.” Snapchat User (@Jennie4680)
“I love snapchat as it helps promote my blog and Youtube Channel without having to edit my content, it’s also a very low maintenance social media platform.” Youtube Blogger – (@Nishi.V)
What content can I share on Snapchat?
Everything and anything really.. Snapchat is a platform where you get the chance to talk to your users and let them into a side of your business you normally wouldn’t be able to on other social media platforms:
Ask your customers to post you questions to give you a base for what to talk about! Answer them live on snapchat and add them to your story.
2. Weekly stories
Some users have themed days like Tanning Thursday, Waxing Wednesday, Monday Motivation where they post short stories, photos, videos on their theme or ask people to share their photos and videos.
3. Provide behind the scenes access
Show people around the office, say hi to employees or let other employees take over snapchat and let users see inside the runnings of your workspace. Let people know what you are up to and how your day is going.
4. Exclusive content
Fashion Brands such as Michael Kors have used snapchat to debut their collections before they even hit the runway, so it gives users that feeling of importance or that they are getting the information first hand.
5. Access to events
Bring users along with you at your own events or events you are attending. Take photos of speakers, presentations and let them into your day.
6. Just relax and be you
What snapchat users have outlined they love most about snapchat is that everything is real and non-edited, just talk to your users, show them how passionate you are about your business and your brand and the questions and love will just flow.