Over the past few months, marketers have heard a lot about Snapchat and its takeover of social media audiences. If you haven’t, check out my post 7 reasons why it’s time for marketers to stop ignoring Snapchat.

Maybe you’re convinced that Snapchat can help you gain and secure the attention of millennials and mobile users — but you’re not sure how to get started with Snapchat for marketing. The expert is here to help.

Kate Talbot is a marketing consultant and author of the new book Oh Snap! You Can Use Snapchat for Business. The book is the marketer’s guide to all things Snapchat, from setting up your account to understanding the intricacies of storytelling and amassing a following with geofilters and influencers.

On this week’s episode of the Marketing Cloudcast  — the marketing podcast from Salesforce  —  we asked Kate for her top Snapchat tips so you can make the most of this highly visual channel in your own social media strategy.

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Subscribe for the full episode and the complete insights. Here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Kate and five things to know before you embark on a Snapchat-inclusive social plan.

1. On Snapchat, you can’t fake transparency.

Snapchat’s transparent, behind-the-scenes storytelling style is changing the way people communicate — and what they expect from brands. It might sound overwhelming, but if you start small, you can learn the unique storytelling method and develop a unique Snap approach for your brand.

But one thing’s for sure: you can’t fake transparency and authenticity here. Everyone from Kim Kardashian to GE uses Snapchat to show the real side of life, not the Instagram-filtered kind.

“[Snapchat is] really changing the way that people are engaging with one another and it’s showing an authentic side, not only to brands but to people and their stories they are creating on a daily basis,” says Kate.

Customers want to hear from you in a human way. Snapchat is the space in which to do it, and more consumers are spending their time there.

2. It’s not the most intuitive app to learn.

Unlike Facebook or Instagram, which are easy for just about anyone to use, opening Snapchat for the first time can feel confusing. There’s no clear step-by-step guide to using the lenses or geofilters or creating your first story. All of this makes the app feel a bit exclusive and intimidating.

But Kate says, “Once you understand the app, you can see why it’s so crucial for brands to really utilize it in their marketing mix.”

So acknowledge that Snapchat won’t be the easiest channel to master. It will take time to discover all the functions, options, and styles. Kate suggests dedicating at least 30-60 minutes to experiment and explore the first time you download to the app.

3. Snapchat adds value to your influencer and location-based marketing strategies.

We asked Kate for her top strategies for marketers to get started right away with Snapchat, and she suggested influencer marketing and geofilters as surefire wins for just about any company.

Snapchat allows influencers to provide the behind-the-scenes experiences that consumers love. And these don’t have to be celebrity-status influencers like Kylie Jenner. More often than not, your most valuable influencer is someone who speaks to your niche audience. Finding those key individuals and arranging for their involvement can be an engagement goldmine.

Geofilters are another fantastic tool to utilize for any location-based events or launches. They are a fun, timely, and exclusive way to draw awareness to your brand by overlaying your creative design on all photos and videos that consumers capture there.

4. Your best and worst content alike goes away in 24 hours.

“For Snapchat, if it works, it works. And if it doesn’t, it [goes] away in a day,” Kate wisely advises.

One of the defining features of Snapchat is its ephemeral nature. Every post disappears in 24 hours, which increases the pressure for consistently engaging content. You can’t just post once every few weeks and expect to rest on your laurels.

Kate recommends having fun with it and experimenting with a new type of Snapchat story. Check out brands like Taco Bell, who regularly experiment with quizzes, screenshot contests, and other emerging forms of Snapchat stories. (More examples of Snapchat success are in the full episode.)

5. Snapchat has no publicly-facing comments or likes.

Snapchat has flipped the book on social media publishing. Not only does all content disappear within 24 hours, but no content shows publicly facing comments or likes — which greatly reduces the pressure for engagement on a single post.

Unlike Facebook or Instagram likes or Twitter retweets that are seen by everyone (and compared to our competitors), Snapchat is a totally 1-to-1 channel. You publish your snaps; others can view them and reply via private chat or a return Snap if they want, but there’s no public way to express likes or dislikes.

That’s why a lot of celebrities like Snapchat. They can publish whatever they want without having to deal with thousands of troll-y comments. Think about what this means for the content your brand publishes, too, and how you might encourage customers to engage with you on other channels.

Thanks to the 1-to-1 communication style, you can also consider using Snapchat for customer service use cases, asking customers to send you videos or photos of the problems they’re experiencing as you reply in kind.

And that’s just scratching the surface of our conversation with Kate Talbot (@KateTalbot2). Get the complete low down on Snapchat business strategy from a Snapchat expert and author in this episode of the Marketing Cloudcast.

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