Marketing Bootcamp

4 Ways to Boost Your Business Using Snapchat

4 Ways to Boost Your Business Using Snapchat

The VidCon crowd.

Image credit: VidCon | Facebook

Whenever a new social media outlet pops on to the radar, I know what you're thinking: Oh, no! Not another outlet I have to post on! 

Related: Snapchat Sees 6 Billion Video Views Every Day. But What Does This Figure Actually Mean?

Your frustration is warranted. With so many channels now out there, you don't want to spread your company too thin on social media. But make an exception for Snapchat. If your customers are younger -- millennials, for instance -- you definitely want to include Snapchat on your "social" list. Here are four reasons why:

1) Give your customers a 'behind-the-scenes' look.

What differentiates Snapchat from other channels is that the picture disappears. Therefore, the content generated is typically less "staged," and more organic. For example, you wouldn't see a perfectly edited picture of a model wearing your product on Snapchat. You'd see a picture from behind the photographer at the photo shoot.

People want to feel that they know more than others. When our company was swamped with holiday orders, we Snapchatted a picture of our warehouse with boxes on top of boxes ready to be sent out. Pictures or videos that give your customers a peek behind the curtain make them feel that they're on the "inside" and help you gain their trust more quickly than you might with carefully curated content. 

2) Offer exclusives.

Again, from the theme of being on the "inside": People like to feel that they've found a hidden gem. So, offer exclusives on your Snapchat account that give your followers a feeling of "winning," along with the opportunity to follow you on the platform. 

For example, when the recent snowpocalypse hit our headquarters in North Carolina a few weeks ago, we offered a free shipping "snow day" promo code but only on Snapchat. The promo code was included in the picture of the snap, so people had to view it in order to access the code. We then announced on our other channels that there was a Snapchat exclusive offer, leading to a boost in our number of followers. 

Your own exclusive doesn't have to be an offer. It could also be a sneak peek of a new collection. So give your followers on Snapchat the first chance to view your new spring products before you release them anywhere else.

Related: Brain Break: Watch Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner's Freaky Snapchat Face Swap 

3. Give people a live stream of your company.

Are you at an event? Attending a trade show? Give people a live stream of what's happening with your business. For example, my company donates headbands to kids with cancer. So, we will put together a Snapchat story (basically a string of recently taken pictures and videos, put together) of our day at the hospital.

We'll take visitors through every part: getting the headbands together, our trip over, the arrival, the distribution, the empty box at the end: You get the picture.

With most social channels, you put all your energy on to one post. But, Snapchat gives you the opportunity to take your followers through "a day in the life." 

4. Change the voice of your Snapchat.

Partner with influencers to do Snapchat takeovers, where someone posts your content for a day. This influencer could be a celebrity who brings followers to you. Or, it could simply be a different voice. For example, if we attend a wholesale trade show, we'll have our wholesale director take over our Snapchat to walk us through the booth set-up and all the events at the show.

Snapchat offers you more opportunities to personalize this "curator," so your posts aren't just about the company, they're about who's posting. 

Of course, Snapchat isn't for every business, so think about where your customers are. It's easy to stick with what you know, but what's the point of posting if your target market isn't reading your content?

Related: As Ad Business Struggles, Investors Question Snapchat's $16 Billion Valuation

On Snapchat, what you share may not be perfectly edited pictures, but instead the personality of your company -- and that can't be Photoshopped.