In this second part of Gruen’s Guide to Snapchat for Businesses, we will walk through how to organically benefit from Snapchat. Whether you are starting from scratch or already have a robust base of followers, this should give you insights to constantly improve.
Part 1 of our Guide includes how to create an account and advertise on Snapchat using paid placements.
Start by Reaching Out to People You Already Know.
By Phone Contacts
Snapchat links to the contacts in your phone, so start by adding existing contacts you have collected over the years. This can be done by swiping down from your home screen and selecting “Add Friends.” Snapchat will sort through your address book and determine which of your contacts have the app. From here, select those friends you would like to connect with. You can even invite contacts to join the app if they don’t have it.
You can also reach out to your contacts from other sources like Facebook and your CRM. This is where businesses can really benefit and establish their target base.
By Facebook Contacts
To add contacts from your company’s Facebook account, first make sure that your Facebook account is setup on your phone. Then, from your phone’s home screen, select Settings > Facebook > Make sure the app is installed and enter in your credentials > Select Update All Contacts.
From here, you can then open your Snapchat and repeat the process described above for adding contacts, since this effectively expands all of the contacts in your phone to include your Facebook friends.
If your company has a Customer Reputation Management system (CRM), you can similarly add the contacts to your phone and then to your Snapchat friend group. Since each CRM is different, the process will vary slightly but generally you can do it by segmenting the contacts’ by phone number, importing those names and numbers to your contacts on your phone, and then repeating the directions above within Snapchat to add them as friends.
If you have email lists stored, you can always send an email blast featuring a blurb about your Snapchat account. You can include your username or better yet, your Snap code, and let them know what kind of exciting stories they can expect.
Probably the easiest thing you can do is get your Snapchat presence visible on your website. This can come in many forms. You can reference your profile and username in a blog article, or place it in your “Contact” section. Often companies will include it on the bottom of pages alongside their other social media links. Should you decide to go this route (I highly recommend it), you can link it to your personalized url which Snapchat automatically sets up as snapchat.com/add/yourusername.
First, generate a Snap Code. This is free and just requires that you have an account set up. Go to https://scan.snapchat.com/ , log in, and you can create different Snapcodes that either lead to your Snapchat account, or to a targeted URL of your choice (much like a QR code if you remember those).
In the context of driving friends to your account, set up the former. Include a graphic inside the ghost-shaped icon for a creative touch, but be careful not to cross the outline with it. And be sure not to alter the dimensions or color of the icon.
You can then place this Snapcode on anything your heart desires. Place it on business cards, print it out and put it on your storefront, and place it on any other Out of Home Advertisement. Using professional sticker and printing companies can help make your Snapcode look professional and more desireable.
You can even place it in digital ads. If the viewer clicks on it with their mobile phone, they will be directed into their app to add you as their friend. Facebook ads enable you to target your ads to individuals under 30, by mobile device, and other qualifying factors to get the most out of your campaign.
Why not take advantage of the hard work that you’ve already put into your other channels and periodically promote your Snapchat account on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and any other social media account that you and your company have?
You can even incorporate your Snapchat username onto the covers of your accounts. You can also turn the launch of a new account into a special social media event and use your snapcode as the branded profile image of all your other social media accounts for a brief period of time.
Try dedicating a full day to ceasing activity on all of your other channels, referring followers to your Snapchat account for a special reveal or deal. This can be more successful than a simple shout-out, and it will give you a break from posting on your other accounts.
Send Direct Messages to Contacts on Other Social Media Platforms
Sending a note to your selected followers can go a long way. You can do this manually by drafting a direct message and sending it to selected friends, or by utilizing automated services that send custom messages based on triggers. For instance, every time a new friend is added on Facebook, send a message to their inbox thanking them for connecting and invite them to follow you on Snapchat.
Snapchat influencers are individuals that are established social media users with their own robust base of followers. Strategically choose an influencer who will represent your brand. You can find influencers by doing your own research, or by utilizing companies that connect brands and influencers based on fit.
The most popular Snapchat influencers (DJ Khaled, Kylie Jenner, etc) can be extremely expensive. But companies are now emerging that represent more local influencers that are much more affordable. If your company operates on a regional level, explore local influencer reps.
Ask to be Suggested
Snapchat recently added a feature which allows a user to send an a follow invitation of one friend to another (or others, as they can be sent in bulk to selected friends). Asking connections to do this can help increase your organic reach.
Focus on Consistently Creating Quality Content
People will only want to follow you and view your snaps if they enjoy your content. Often your content can be limited to one video or picture, but the most engaging content utilizes multiple snaps and a storyline starting with a hook and ending with a sign-off/resolution. Here are some ideas to keep your followers engaged and delighted.
Creating a tutorial about how to use your product, how to perform a related activity, or other how-to videos linked to your product can be fun, entertaining, and valuable to viewers.
Feeding questions from followers either via snapchat or from other social media platforms and then creating snaps that answer those questions are a good way to 1.) be relevant with the mind of your followers, and 2.) let other’s generate ideas for content when you are feeling stagnant generating your own.
Giving a loyal customer control of your snapchat for a day provides a captivating change of pace for your viewers. Especially if the customer is an influencer. Reaching out to these customers and offering some of your product in exchange for their day of snapping and promotion is a great way to cross promote, engage, and experiment with what works to delight your followers. Use your other social media platforms to promote the day–this will offer new intrigue and incentive.
Polls are interactive and can range anywhere from silly and inconsequential to providing important information that can help you improve. They also provide an opportunity for shares.
To execute, you’ll have a series of snaps. The first should introduce the poll– letting your viewers know what you are seeking and how to vote. A vote should be cast by a screenshot, which will register with your own tally that snapchat attributes to each singular snap. Provide a snap for each of the options, then end with a thank you snap. Better yet, include a call to action in your last snap, like a swipe up option to visit a landing page of your choice.
Source: Shorty Awards, Sour Patch Kids Story.
Call for User-Generated Content
Ask your friends to send snaps about a fun topic. First give an example snap of your own personal answer to the call, then provide a snap asking them to send theirs. For example, if you’re a peanut butter company, make a snap about why crunchy peanut butter is tastier than smooth. Then, ask them which they prefer and why. Screenshot your favorite submissions and create a story from the best submissions.
Periodically post discounts and deals. Let your viewer know to screenshot to redeem!
Take Viewers Behind the Scenes
If you are a distillery, take them to the back rooms where the stills are and show your master distiller in action. This will build a strong connection to your brand and make it feel familiar–less akin to a corporation– while building an affinity to your people and artistry.
If you are putting on an event, snap a scene backstage or show them the setup process. If you are having local celebrities for it, snap a personal message with them to align your brand with their image.
Follow Other Companies for Good Ideas
When all else fails, look around at what other companies are doing! Follow your favorite companies and take notes. Some companies that do it well in different fields include: Taco Bell (tacobell), Sour Patch Kids (SourPatchSnaps), Amazon (amazon), Acura (acura), and Everlane (Everlane).
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