The announcements of the death of Snapchat look more than a little premature from where we’re sitting. While it’s recent, well-catalogued, troubles look like they may cause shares to fall and its user base is grumbling about changes to the way the app works, if you’re in business, Snapchat remains a great way to keep in touch with consumers.
So try the following – experiment and see what works, and what doesn’t:
Give exclusive deals
This may not work if you have an enormous Snapchat following (it could be too expensive), but if you have a relatively small number, then special deals can incentivise those people into action and keep them on the ‘inside’. It will encourage users to monitor the account, and encourage others, by word of mouth, to join up. You could also reward the more dogged followers by offering a discount or promotional code at the end of a Snapchat Story. Only those who watch until the end will have the information and instruction they need to get the prize. Then they’ll have to listen to you…
You might be on the verge of something significant – launching a major project or hitting a particular milestone (your one millionth customer perhaps). It’s key that you don’t let these moments drift away in the kerfuffle, but that you use these signifiers of success to remind everyone what a great company you are. Snapchat Stories are a pretty good way to deliver some swift (and easy) marketing without having huge meetings to check if everything is ‘on brand’. It’ll feel immediate and relevant to your audiences, without huge effort on your part.
Quite rightly, the idea of influencers is often mocked. But they can be helpful in making a business grow. ‘Micro-influencers’ is an annoying name for a bunch of people who have small, knowledgeable audiences in just your market. These are people who can help. So build a relationship with these people (the ones with a Snapchat presence at least) and see if they would like to try your products or services, or who might even take over your channel for a day, if you trust them.
Share live events
Snapchat is perfect for real-time marketing since it can give audiences direct access to live events, so consider using it for product launches. It’s a great way of providing a sense of occasion and excitement and providing an ‘authentic’ experience.
Promote your other social media
You can encourage cross-fertilisation of your social media accounts by, in the first instance, simply asking them to follow your business on Instagram/Twitter/Facebook, but you can also take a more hard-line approach and ask them to post the Instagram with a hashtag to gain entry to a competition, or to tweet with that discount to earn a discount. Or comment on a Facebook post for access to unique content… You get the idea.
Drive traffic to your website
Snapchat, like Instagram, makes driving traffic cumbersome. It doesn’t allow clickable links, so you have to drive people to memorable links, rather than clickable ones. Something that people can remember well enough to type into their browser (or cut and paste). Encourage them to do so by asking them to perform an action – download something special, or comment on a blog post.
So don’t listen to the doomsday predictions about Snapchat (not unless you have shares, anyway). It’s still a useful way to inform and engage your audience. Used well, it’s another way to grow your customer base and its loyalty. What will you lose by trying it out?