Posted on Jun 8, 2017

Should Your Business Be on Snapchat?

If you’ve been hesitating to join the Snapchat revolution, or don’t see it as a major competitor in the social media space, it’s time to sit up and take notice. Snapchat reached over 200 million users strong in 2017, and is no longer the third wheel in the social media game.

Snapchat is only six years old, but is already a viable contender for businesses using social media marketing to attract leads and convert customers. Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean your business should rush to Snapchat, leaving your other social media channels behind.

It all depends on who you’re targeting and what type of product or service you’re selling.

Snapchat works well for some demographics and marketing campaigns, but isn’t a good fit for every type of business. Depending on who you’re targeting and what you’re looking to accomplish with your social media marketing, you could find your dream platform for social media engagement in Snapchat.

Here’s a look at why your business should be on Snapchat – and who should steer clear:

Your Target Market is 18 to 24-Year Olds or Millennials

According to The Washington Post, once Facebook went mainstream, young people left in droves and took to Instagram, Snapchat and other emerging platforms in the social media space. Today, one of the only ways to really reach that demographic is through Snapchat.

Thirty-seven percent of Snapchat users are 18 to 24-years-old. However, the next leading demographics is the 24 to 34-year-old Millennial set making up 26% of Snapchatters. There’s also a small demographic of 35 to 54-year-olds on Snapchat too, though the Baby Boomers haven’t converted to the platform in large numbers yet.

It stands to reason, therefore, that if you’re selling products to teenagers and young adults, then you should already be cultivating a strong social media marketing plan around Snapchat. But if you’re looking to attract that Baby Boomer and senior citizen customer base, Snapchat won’t yield the results you’re looking for.

You Want to Partner with Young Social Media Influencers

Just like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – Snapchat cultivates its own group of social media influencers. Businesses looking to partner with a Millennial influencer can look to Snapchat to find someone with a loyal and engaged following willing to promote your product.

For example, Chelsea Votel, otherwise known aPat Flynn Snapchat profiles @ietpickles1111 to her Snapchat fans, is a social media influencer and traveler who interviews and shares stories about what’s going on around her, as well as different brands and culture.

And then there are internet stars who were famous in their own right long before Snapchat came along, like Pat Flynn. The passive income expert uses Snapchat to interact with his fan base and connect on a more personal level to build relationships.

Influencer marketing can produce impressive ROI for your business. According to Tap Influence, influencer marketing content delivers 11x higher ROI than traditional forms of advertising. And because Snapchat is usually video driven, you’re looking at an even higher return than other types of marketing. Native ads with rich media like images or videos drive up to 60 percent more conversions than those without.

Image Source: Pat Flynn – Twitter

You Cater to Mobile Audiences

Snapchat is nearly 100% mobile with users who are hungry for content shared over their smartphones. And when you consider that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before making big purchases, Snapchat can be an effective way to meet eager Millennial shoppers.

It’s no wonder some retailers are crushing it on Snapchat with no signs of slowing down.

London-based luxury fashion retailer Burberry sells accessories, outerwear and other items like cosmetics and uses Snapchat to promote its line.

In 2016, the retailer promoted a series of beautifully filmed “Snaps” following the story of two models who broke into a Burberry store and played dress-up before getting caught. The fun, highly visual narrative was a huge hit on Snapchat and gained media attention for the campaign.

You’re Promoting Location-Based Events

According to EventBrite, Snapchat was built with live events in mind, given the way it harnesses Snapchat’s users’ fear of missing out on what all of their friends and followers are doing. Advertisers use Snapchat’s fun and unique filters and visual ad styles to promote – among other things – location based events. Businesses can promote their event in real-time so followers can see their friends at events while they’re actually happening.

Snapchat also entices small businesses with a geofilter function that adds illustrations to photos taken within that geographic area. Businesses can post photos of their events with their filters to help raise awareness. Even though Snapchat stories and communications between users disappear quickly, Snapchat users may still download images with your filter to share or post to their other social networks.

You’re Looking for an Incredibly Engaged Client Base

Businesses looking to attract engaged customers who are highly active on social media see a solution in Snapchat. More than 60% of Snapchat’s users are active on the app’s chat function every day, and 25 percent post content to their stories daily.  

But while a high level of engagement sounds like a good idea in theory, ask yourself if it’s necessary. If your business isn’t planning on harnessing Snapchat’s chat and engagement as part of your marketing campaign, it’s may not be necessary to devote your marketing spend to this platform.

That said, keep in mind that engaging with fans and posting a lot of videos isn’t the only way to promote yourself on Snapchat. Consider tapping into the promotional filters we mentioned earlier to raise awareness.

For example, a non-profit looking to promote a cause like World AIDS Day could create their own filter to help spread the word. When Snapchat Users login, they’d see their friends using filters to raise awareness so that, even if they aren’t actively engaging with your specific content pieces, they’re still embracing your promotional filter, letting your brand to be seen and heard.

World AIDS Day Snapchat filter

Image: HootSuite

You’re Looking for Quick, Highly-Visual Promotions

The Snapchat ghost logo gives a nod to its quick and ephemeral style of engagement, through which users send videos, texts and images to each other that disappear when viewed. You can also post a video or other element to your story so followers can see it for 24 hours, making Snapchat’s highly-visual medium a perfect fit for businesses that don’t like writing a lot of blog content (or that suffer from writer’s’ block when working out their content strategy).

While retailers often use Snapchat to run promo codes and raise awareness of flash sales, TV networks are also tapping into Snapchat audiences eager for visual content. In the image below, MTV takes Snapchatters behind-the-scenes of shows like Teen Wolf:

Teen Wolf on Snapchat

Image: AdEspresso

Meanwhile, Arizona Iced Tea caters to fans looking for lifestyle content like professional skateboarding:

Arizona Tea Snapchat campaign

Image: AdEspresso

Visual content fits the needs of many brands, but it’s not the right fit for every company. As an example, Snapchat may not be ideal for an older demographic of CEOs looking to consume business-minded content that’s based on statistics and case studies.

You’re Looking for a Unique Social Media Marketing Experience

There are a lot of similarities between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even LinkedIn, including the ways businesses can creates pages and publish visually-rich content that promotes their brands and educate their audiences.

However, not only is Snapchat is still relatively new to the social media landscape – and is still seen as relatively unique and trendy among teens and young adults – it also offers fun filters that let users transform the way they look to others. The spirit of youth and enthusiasm on Snapchat, therefore, requires a brand that’s capable of creating content and running campaigns that  embraces this youthful nature.

Snapchat Filter

Image: Bustle

Snapchat is also unique in that interactions between users are private and not for public consumption. Adespresso by Hootsuite reports, “Going viral isn’t the objective; getting your content to those will engage with you is the only goal here.” The Snapchat mentality is perfect if your ultimate goal is engagement, but it won’t work if you’re looking for the longevity Facebook or LinkedIn’s Pulse feature can offer.

Snapchat: The Final Verdict

There’s a strong case to be made for small businesses to adopt to Snapchat – some small businesses, that is. If you’re targeting an 18 to 34-year-old demographic, are looking for a visual medium with engaged mobile users, and are looking to promote flash sales and events – Snapchat could be the perfect solution for you. If some or all of these are untrue, you may be better off investing elsewhere.

As with any good social media marketing plan, take the time to get involved with your audience on Snapchat and get to know the landscape before diving into the platform’s promotional options. Make your content visual, fun and hold on tight for the ride. After all, Snapchat’s users engage quickly, then move on to the next story.


Has your business adopted to Snapchat yet? Let us know about your experience and how it’s worked for you by leaving a comment below:


Header Image: Pixabay