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Snapchat Marketing: How Your Business Can Capitalize on the Selfie Generation

By Katie Thompson on September 1, 2016 in Digital Marketing

Odds are you’ve seen your friends donning puppy ears and a slobbery tongue in some of their pictures and videos. Or maybe you’ve seen the eye-sparkling, face narrowing beautifying filters added to profile pictures around the world. I personally love the face-swap filter, which Cody and his niece totally nailed:


Nowadays, almost every person has been exposed to Snapchat even if they haven't personally used the app. Take Cody's niece for instance, she's only a year old and has already become snap-famous via this blog!

Snapchat is a visual based app that allows people to “snap” pictures and videos of themselves to send or share with their friends for a designated time. If sent directly, snaps can last up to 10 seconds before disappearing. Users can also add content to their Snapstory, which is available to view for up to 24 hours. The timeframe quickly expires, bringing consumers back every single day for more.

With the new addition of facial/voice altering features and geofilters, the brand has created opportunities for people and businesses to personalize the content shared. We’ll save the Selfies 101 post for another day, and will focus on how businesses can capitalize on the popularity.

According to eMarketer, Snapchat is expected to grow 27% this year alone. That’s a pretty big number. In fact, Snapchat is expected to pull ahead of both Twitter and Pinterest in the United States for the first time ever. Marketers love it because it provides real-time numbers for engagement. At any second of the day, it allows you to see how many people view, reply, or screenshot your content. Maybe your brand already has a Snapchat account or is looking to enter this booming social media platform -- either way you need to make sure you are accurately reaching your desired audience.

Test it internally before inviting followers. It’s important to determine your brand voice among your team before sharing it with the world.


One of the most important factors in setting up and running a Snapchat account is cultivating a fanbase. There are several different ways to grow your following. 

Within the app, each account has a unique snapcode that makes it easy for people to start following. Screenshot your snapcode and add it to your current social media accounts to cross promote. You can even change your profile picture to the snapcode so that people don’t have to go searching for it in your feed or bio.

Follow other celebrities, brands, and industry leaders to see what kind of content works for them.

Now that we have examined the setup stages of your account, let’s dive into some possible uses for the app within your business.

tyler-snapchat-filter-cedar-fallsBehind the Scenes - Give followers a look at your brand culture. Let them feel more involved and a part of what you do. This is a great way to showcase why you love your company. Ultimately, your employees will become your digital brand ambassadors.

Geofilters - Creating filters based on people’s locations makes it easy for users to engage and promote your brand to their own friends. One of the biggest perks is that you never know who will use your filter. If somebody famous or noteworthy uses the filter, they can greatly broaden your audience and reach. Hello (almost) free advertising!

New Announcement - If you have a new product, service, or brand announcement you can use Snapchat to feature it’s launch. Demo the product, show why it’s so great, and give people exclusive previews of what’s to come. Announcing the launch on Snapchat builds the excitement in a VIP, behind-the-scenes countdown.

Live Events - Live snapping at an event allows people to follow along even if they aren’t there. (This is especially relatable for people with FOMO.) Once the event is finished, save the snapstory and voila– you have an already produced timeline of the event. You can then share the video to various social channels to recap.

Feature your followers/clients - Nowadays, people need to know that they can benefit from brands. Hold contests, share user-generated content and hold giveaways. You can even post exclusive discounts or coupons to engage your followers.


Overall, you need to give people a reason to follow and engage with you. People aren’t going to stay interested if the content is strictly advertising a product or service. (We’re bombarded by that enough already.) Posts need to remain relatable, engaging, and fun for users. If they don't find it entertaining then they'll look like Shane.

The ultimate takeaway is to make sure that your Snapchat feed is for your followers, not your business. Happy snapping!

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