We're sure by now you've heard about Snapchat, but if you haven't you may want to stop playing Snake, put down the old Nokia, and find yourself a new phone while we explain this relatively new social app, and how you can use it to market your business.

So What is Snapchat and What Brands Are Using It?

Snapchat is an app found on iOS and Android devices used to send friends, family, and followers short, self-destructing pictures and videos. Recently Snapchat has gained some bad press as users found out their Snaps weren't truly as private as they had thought--leading to being labeled as a hub for sexting and other "dirty" messages. However, these claims are largely media overexaggerations with most Snaps being more cute & funny.

Recently, several major brands have found opportunities to leverage Snapchat to market their brands on the app in large part thanks to one of its newest features, Stories, which we'll covere here shortly.

Taco Bell, the New Orleans Saints, and online clothing retailer Karmaloop are a few of the earliest adopters we have noticed using the app for marketing purposes.

Downloading & Getting Started

The first thing you'll want to do is download the app on your smartphone or tablet and setup an account. We have included download links below. For futher instructions you may want to take a look at Snapchat.com.

Download for iOS

Download for Android

Snapchat Stories

Snapchat's newest feature allows users to view Snaps that you have published to your Story an unlimited number of times for 24 hours. Previously, sending out branded messages was a headache as a user had to individually select hundreds or thousands of individual users to be sure that everyone received the message, but stories are automatically sent to all of your followers and can be made public after changing your settings or edited with custom lists.

So now that we've got the basics down. What else should you know about this social network to market your brand?

The Good

Snapchat users send more than 400 million snaps daily. Although Snapchat has yet to disclose all the numbers, we do know that the userbase they currently have is very active.

It's growing. Fast. In June, users were sending 200 million messages daily, so its activity has doubled in five months. It's growing so fast that Snapchat declined a $3 billion offer from Facebook for purchase the service.

More numbers here. Over 20% of iPhone users have download and installed the app.

Snapchats are personal. Because Snaps are sent on-location in real-time, followers will be able to connect with your brand and see things from a different point of view.

The Not-so-Good

The biggest trouble for marketers is that Snapchat has very little data on its users. When signing up for the service, Snapchat collects email addresses, birth dates, and mobile phone numbers. If you're used to very locally & demographically targeted messages via Facebook or Google, you may relate Snapchat to throwing darts.

Snapchat can be inconvenient. Because the app requires you to be on-location to record & send Snaps, you may have to train multiple employees to use the service.

Everything is organic (right now). There's no paid search, so you'll have to put in some legwork to build your lists and entice users to follow you. Start with good content.

The Conclusion

Snapchat started as a messaging tool for younger users, but has quickly evolved into a valuable asset for businesses, specifically consumer oriented brands.

Is Snapchat a good fit for your business? It could be. Contact us, tell us about your company, and we'll outline an effective way to utilize this new social network.

Written by


Marketing Communications

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