Snapchat is no longer just relegated to the realm of teens and young adults, although most users are young people. A mid-2015 survey found that over half of the Snapchat’s global users were between the ages of 16 and 24 while another 32 percent were 25 to 34 years old. Just over three quarters of American Snapchat users are millennials. That’s the generation that grew up with the digital age. For a digital generation you might think about expanding your digital platform to include Snapchat.
So what is Snapchat? Simply put it is a photo and video messaging application that launched in 2011. But since it beginnings the app has added several features that have made it even more popular. Perhaps the most unique feature about Snapchat’s service is that the video or photos taken (snaps) only last for a few seconds before they are erased forever (unless you take a screenshot or download them to your phone).
This almost-live aspect of Snapchat keeps users communicating in the now. The app has added a Story feature which lets followers of a fellow Snapchatter observe what they have been doing for 24 hours. These are only those snaps which the user decides to post however.
You can start with Snapchat by downloading the app to your device and signing up for free. Snapchat opens with your phone’s camera view, which can be a little startling to the uninitiated. Swipe up to go to the add friends screen Swipe back down to go to the camera screen again. Snap a photo by pressing the circle in the bottom center of the screen, or hold it down to take a video.
Pressing the little circle in the bottom left of your screen allows you to determine how long your snap can be seen by a friend. Select the friend to send it to by pressing the blue arrow key on the bottom right.
There are other features as well. Swipe right from the camera screen to go to the Stories screen, and swipe right once again to go to the Discover screen. The Discover screen offers an opportunity to see Stories and content from major online publishers. From the original camera screen swipe left and you can even use the chat feature to text with other friends online or use a direct video interface. Remember to have your volume set high enough to hear!
It’s cool, but how do I use it for my small business?
Good question. The best answer is whatever way works best for your particular product or service. You can invite customers to follow you on Snapchat. The big advantage of this particular app in dealing with customers is that it easily allows them to touch base with what’s happening with your company several times each day, if you provide the snaps.
This isn’t a platform where you post new products or services once or twice a month when you happen to think of it. To take full advantage of Snapchat for business you should plan on making one, or even better, a few new snaps each day to keep your customer base interested and up to date.
Are you a shoe store that just got in some gorgeous new heels? Grab a staff member who would make a good model and snap a video of them strutting their stuff in them. Or are you a concert promoter who just booked a great new act? Snap a video of some ticket buyers reacting to their purchase.
Enthusiasm is contagious and Snapchat thoughtfully offers the chance for a stronger bond with clients. Do you have a customer who has an item on back order that just came in? Don’t call them. Snapchat them by leaving a friendly snap or chat with them directly by video or text.
The opportunities to take advantage of Snapchat for business are almost endless. And the time is now!