Skip to main content

Get Snappy: A Snapchat Guide for Business

So you want to target the youths? This can be difficult. As devices get smarter, attention spans get shorter. For this reason, getting and keeping the focus of your millennial or Gen Z audience can been down right impossible. So what’s the solution? Aside from changing the wifi password for the entire world. Reach them on their level. What’s that? You’re already on Facebook? Cool. Maybe their grandmother will share your page with them. COME ON. Stop thinking so 2008 and get with the times. It’s. All. About. Snapchat.

Alright. So now that we’re on the same page, let’s get a game plan together. How the hell do you use a photo messaging app to sell your products/services to these damn kids? Well if we knew that we’d be millionaires and probably not writing blogs. We’d probably be on a beach somewhere. Drinking something fruity with a tiny umbrella in it. Getting fanned by a tall, dark…oh wait, blog writing. Professionalism. Sorry, I’m back. What were we talking about again? Right, marketing to the youths. So listen up. The following are some best practices/helpful guidelines for targeting your customers through Snapchat. And for that extra special pazazz, we’ve thrown in some real world examples from our own Snapchat, @bbrcreative.

1.  Keep it special: At this point, Snapchatters expect to get the inside scoop in return for following you. Whether it’s a new delivery of inventory to a clothing boutique or Drew Brees warming up before the Saints game, users want to see it. These snippets invite users into your world and make them feel a part of it. The more exclusive content you provide, the more likely they are to open your snaps and *fingers crossed* tell their friends about you.

  • BBRafied: We offer people a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of our [kickass] agency by showing off the two main pillars of BBR: our work ethic and our culture. Snaps have included videos of the artists working away in Illustrator and a meeting to review concepts they’ve developed to birthday parties and our, high stakes, monthly Timesheet Bingo game.

2.  Keep it moving: Tell a story. That’s what you’re doing. Like it’s called Story for a reason. Adding a snap to your Story is an entry into the overall narrative you’re delivering to your followers aka audience. Never forget that all your snaps will play back to back, in most cases. Tell your users a story. Grab their attention. Maybe it’s the unfolding of an event. A pic of the first guest’s arrival. The start of the ceremony. Action shots throughout. A goodbye snap as you close the doors at the end of the night. Whatever the content, think of it as a narrative. Snapchat keeps Stories live for 24 hours so that they can be that. A Story.

  • BBRafied: On a recent trip to our Baton Rouge office, we decided to take our Snapchat followers along for the ride. We started with shots of the outside of the building, then snippets of the tour we were being given, and ended with the smiling faces of our BBR BRers waving good bye. This accomplished two goals. First, it gave followers that, all important, behind the scenes look at our inner workings *cough* keep it special *cough*. Secondly, we were able to subtly reiterate to followers that we, in fact, have a Baton Rouge office. And it’s pretty cool.

Check out two of these snaps from our Story:


3.  Keep it classy: Snapchat’s target audience is 16 to 28, however it has managed to capture the attention of users as young as 10. When creating content for the app, it is imperative that you keep this fact in mind. There is no way to limit content to users of a certain age. So keep it PG. This means no cursing, suggestive images, or really anything that might make your grandmother blush. You don’t want to be that company that makes the news for making a joke that led to a 12 year old asking their parents what…actually let’s move on. Don’t want to go putting ideas in your head. Now the overall voice of your brand might occasionally win out and lead to some more “suggestive” posts throughout your Snapchat journey, the potential audience you’re reaching should never be something you lose site of. And, when in doubt, just ask yourself if you’re staying true to your brand.

  • BBRafied: While it may seem simple enough, BBR does occasionally struggle with this. We have to remember that the BBR Snapchat is not meant just to “be cool” or  “seem hip” or “make us all still feel relevant within the youth based culture,” but rather to connect and inform. Although it may seem like “#ProfessionalAF” is the perfect caption, it may not be the most #ProfessionalFTW choice.

4.  Keep it simple: 10 seconds. That’s it. 10 seconds. 1. 2. 3…,you get the idea. That is how much time you have to get your message delivered. Snapchat purposely limits the 10-second span and character count of your content. When engaging users through the app consider yourself in the business of levity. You’re there simply to prove a glimpse. That’s it. Save your novel-esque sales pitch for Facebook and make it snappy. …get it?…Snappy.

  • BBRafied: Some companies using Snapchat struggle with this concept. We try to never allow our Story to become overly choreographed or staged. Authenticity is a huge part of success on this platform. Tell the story, don’t sell the story.

5.  Keep it actionable: While being interesting might be important, being profitable is the overall goal here. For this reason, you should always be asking yourself how your content can convert into sales. Are you including the price of the item you’re showing off? Maybe you’re leading customers to your website? No matter the approach, always keep in mind that while you may not be able to make the horse drink, you have to lead them to the water first.

  • BBRafied: In the crazy, cool world of BBR, our goal is to either acquire new clients or new talent. Those themes are always what drive our storytelling in Snapchat. We want to show potential clients how skilled we are and show potential employees how fun we can be.

6.  Keep it social: Never forget that this is social media we’re talking about, here. And like in any good friendship, the sharing should be a back and forth exchange. Encourage users to participate as much as possible. Request feedback, ask questions, promote shared content, anything really. Snapchat, much like Twitter, offers brands the ability to content directly with consumers. They can send you a message or snap just as easily as they would their best friend, so use that. Find out what they want and then give it to them. In the world of Snapchat, you are in the business of pandering to the masses. Keep in mind, today’s youth love nothing more than attention. So be sure to give shout outs to users that play along.

  • BBRafied: Even though Snapchat is dominating the social media landscape these days, it is still a fairly new company. For this reason, reporting metrics are limited. Currently, the best way to determine how many followers you have is to track the average views on your snaps. So how do you learn more about your audience when you don’t know who they are? Ask. We do this through cross-platform sharing. Some of our better content from Snapchat will get shared on our Facebook or Instagram and vise versa. This allows us to engage with our audience and drive them to our other mediums.

At the end of the day, the number one rule of Snapchat is to keep it fun. If someone is following you, make it worth their while. Entertain them. Engage them. Make it the best 10 second of their day. And don’t forget to follow us, @bbrcreative, on Snapchat as we keep on keepin’ on.