Snapchat for Business

Before Instagram Stories threw a wrench in its seemingly unstoppable growth trajectory, Snapchat was the most promising opportunity for brands looking to reach Millennials and teens. There’s a good argument that this hasn’t changed, but as brands and influencers have watched Instagram Stories dwarf their views on Snapchat, many are skeptical of pouring more energy into the channel, particularly when Instagram offers superior analytics and is introducing some amazing new features for influencers.

Abandoning Snapchat completely, however, may be shortsighted.

For the same reasons that users first fell in love with the platform, Snapchat has remained a force that brands can’t ignore. Instagram may have inarguably won the battle over analytics and audience size, but it still hasn’t replicated the authenticity that made Snapchat so unique.

Insights now show that Snapchat users are quantitatively the most engaged of any major platform, which means each user has a higher value to brands. The platform is also still favored among teens 35% to 24% over Instagram. Moreover, Snapchat is the only major platform to cultivate what marketers call “appointment viewing,” or that feeling of missing out on content if you don’t check in frequently.

All of this adds up to a resiliency for Snapchat and an ability to make an impact even without the reach or pin-sharp analytics of Instagram.

How to Approach Snapchat

The key is to remember that Snapchat’s appeal isn’t necessarily in the numbers. Snapchat isn’t a place to sell your brand the way Instagram is, particularly after Instagram’s latest updates, which allow verified viewers to shop looks through Instagram Stories.

As Instagram becomes more and more shopper friendly, Snapchat is holding true to its unscripted roots. Although analytics have improved along with options to save Stories, such as through Snapchat Memories, brands engage on Snapchat to embed themselves in the lives of consumers in a way that feels genuine.

Snapchat & Influencers

Recognizing that Snapchat is still very relevant given the statistics above, what’s the best way to use this channel? Given its unscripted nature, influencer marketing is incredibly effective for this medium, particularly if you view Snapchat as an opportunity to connect with consumers, rather than drive immediate sales. Snapchat relies on authenticity, so posting stories that feel unscripted is more important than simply posting out of professional necessity. It is therefore important to identify influencers who are genuinely inspired to share the kinds of personal, silly, lens-filled authentic moments that Snapchat favors, and who truly understand your brand.

Here are some quick tips for making the most of influencer collaborations on Snapchat:

  • Work with the influencer to get as much data as you can. Ask for screenshots of opens and replies, as well as a report of screenshots taken by others.
  • Coordinate your own social efforts with the Snapchat campaign, so you can direct viewers to the Story as it happens.
  • Ask the influencer to save their Snap on Snapchat Memories so you can view it.
  • Create a “Shoppable Snapchat” page on your site to reinforce the products you have featured through influencer collaborations.

Above all, remain authentic. Snapchat’s resiliency to competition has been its ability to remain delightfully noncommercial in the face of rapid commercialization of social media. Remain true to this unscripted spirit through the right influencers, and you’ll find that Snapchat can be a powerful tool for your brand.