Making Sense of Snapchat for Your Small Business

by Katie Cooper February 26, 2016
February 26, 2016

2 -24 blog

Welcome to Snapchat. You might not get what all the fuss about (these teenagers sure love to broadcast every aspect of their life, don’t they?), but we’re here to help you understand why and how this hugely popular mobile app can help your business and strengthen your brand.

The Snapchat Demographic and Growth

Before we dive into how businesses can use Snapchat, let’s take a quick look at the Snapchat demographics as provided by the Snapchat Ads page:

  • Snapchat has over 100 million active daily users.
  • 86% of Snapchat’s users fall into the 13 – 37 age range.
  • Up to 8x U.S. 13 to 34 year-olds view Live Stories vs. TV for similar events.
  • 5+ billion videos are viewed on Snapchat each day.

Those are some pretty powerful statistics! It’s also worth noting that although the company recently cut how much it charges for an ad to run on its in-demand platform to a more reasonable $ 100,000 – one that disappears, mind you — it’s still a lot to pay for placement, even on a social network that’s highly coveted by millennials. That’s why for now, unless you’re a big brand, your focus should be on growing your audience and sharing content with them organically. How you might ask?

How The Pros Use Snapchat (Vomiting Rainbows Optional)

  • Highlight Special Events: Snapchat is perfect for real-time social media marketing because it can give the audience direct access to live events without physically being there. You can use it for trade shows or one-of-a-kind events. Snapchat gets your audience excited because you’re providing a different, more authentic view of what your business is up to.

  • Tease New Products: Once you have your fans and followers hooked, you have a chance to engage them with sneak peeks of new arrivals. Generating buzz about new collections and products is a great way to ensure the sales fly high once the product is launched.

Cosmetics company Sephora loves to use Snapchat to release previews of upcoming makeup collections, exclusive holiday deals, #SephoraSnapSweeps, and more. They cross-promote a lot of stuff on their Twitter and Instagram leading into a big reveal, and only individuals who follow them on Snapchat have access to the surprise. The exclusivity and opportunity to send personalized content for a limited time makes Snapchat the perfect forum for these type of announcements.


  • Behind the Curtain: You can provide BTS content to your Snapchat friends, which helps create and engage a strong following. Show off your company and make sure to have fun with it. Capture birthday parties, Friday afternoons, or company outings. The sky’s the limit on showing how your brand differentiates itself with company culture. (See a shot from PETA’s Snapchat below.)


  • Snapchat’s Chat Feature: For a more targeted approach, why not actually converse with your audience? These days it’s all about showing your human side as a brand and Snapchat’s chat feature is perfect for forming that connection. You can create a surprise Chat session, handle customer service issues, or even spark engagement like GrubHub did with their doodle contest.


  • Take Advantage of Geo Filters: On Tuesday, Snapchat introduced a more accessible on-demand geofilter service that allows people and businesses to pay for custom filters. Snapchatters just have to design the filter, map the geofence where they want it to appear, and choose the times and dates. Prices for the filters start at $ 5 and go through an approval process. Have an event, party, new product launch coming up? Utilize this new feature so you can leave your own mark on Snapchat as a small business!

Extra Tips and Tricks:

  • Major Takeaway (as the King of Snapchat, DJ Khaled, would say): It’s important to have a designated Snapchat person on-site using the app on a regular or semi-regular basis.
  • Promote your Snapchat on other social platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.).

NBA snapchat

  • Great examples on building an audience here.
  • Reward followers with a use case – contest, product sneak peek, coupon, etc.
  • Distribute meaningful visual content through the platform to maintain engagement. *Remember that videos and images are only viewable for 10 seconds.
  • Leverage the “My Story” feature to reach all followers at once.

Inspired enough? If you sell to the under-34 crowd, particularly those under 25, Snapchat is likely one of the best uses of your marketing time and dollars. If you need a guide on how to set up a Snapchat account, this Business Insider article does a pretty good job at articulating the basics. Good luck and Happy Snapping!

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