10 Reasons Your Business Should Be On Snapchat

When Snapchat first launched in 2011, it wasn’t until 2013 when the co-founders turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook when people really paid it attention. Following, many tech experts were left wondering what brought on their decision to decline such an offer.

There are many social media channels, with Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest being the most popular.

Earlier this year my attention was brought to Snapchat. I had briefly tried it last year, but didn’t give it much thought. At least not until I came across an article about the growing importance of using it for business and marketing purposes.

There was two particular points that resonated with me, encouraging the readers to be amongst the earlier adopters of this app for business purposes and how it is predicted to be as big as Instagram and Twitter are within the next 3-5 years.

I was a late joiner to Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest. I was only interested in Twitter because it’s quick. I can post on the spur of the moment. You can post frequently without being over-bearing (still within reason though). After using Snapchat on a more regular basis, I found this same appeal. Posting on the spot and don’t have to worry so much about creating the perfect picture. It’s so organic.

I am still learning the ropes of Snapchat, but it’s pretty safe to say I’m becoming quite the addict! I started off following some of my favorite bloggers. My first thoughts were that I was pleasantly surprised to see such a different side to some of them, a less serious side and they’re messages feel a lot more personal.

With Instagram in particular, pictures are curated, edited and have far more thought put in to them. It’s also easy for us to develop a perception of someone on social media without really knowing them. With Snapchat, it’s far more ‘human’. Some share little snippets when they’re shooting, or give tips on how they do their layouts for a photo for example. It can be both a great learning tool as well as providing brand awareness.

You don’t have to worry so much about posting ‘the perfect picture’. It disappears after 24 hours.  And really do have fun with the filters. Don’t be afraid, a little laughter never hurt anyone. I can get pretty goofy on there, because why not? I worry so much about my content on other platforms, sometimes I think life is too short to take yourself so seriously all the time, so it’s nice to let loose and enjoy the ever-changing face filters Snapchat provides, or stick emojis on an image.

Quick note: If someone screenshots your snap, you are notified. Even though Snapchat stories disappear after 24 hours, they can be screenshot. Always be careful what you post online. If there’s something you really wouldn’t want anyone to see, do not post.

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Here are my 10 reasons why you should be joining the Snapchat platform:

1. Get it while it’s hot

Yes, it was perceived to be more popular amongst teens, but more brands and social influencers are joining. Jumping in early and growing your following on one of the fastest growing apps of today is only going to be beneficial to you and your business.

Many tech experts and entrepreneurs are going big and raving about this app, and some of these experts are the same ones who raved about other platforms such as Twitter and Instagram in their early days, so you might want to listen to them!

2. You can offer special content exclusively to your Snapchat fam

If you have a giveaway or a special offer, make your Snapchat followers feel extra special by directly giving them early access or make it so it’s exclusive only to your Snapchat followers. This is also one way to help drive followers from your other social media channels.

3. More focus

Snapchat is fast-paced. You can record for up to 10 seconds, or simply share a photo also for up to 10 seconds.

Let’s be honest, how many times have we scrolled down our Instagram feed and hit ‘like’ without really paying attention to the image or caption? I like to be as authentic as possible, even with my ‘likes’, but I (not proudly) admit at times I have sped through my feed when I am pressed for time.

In this current ‘social’ age, the likes of bots and auto-likes has become increasingly popular amongst many users. It can be hard to tell which accounts are run by humans and which by automated systems.

Snapchat is purely (at least for now - and please co-founders of Snapchat, keep it this way!) human users. Because snaps are so short, I watch people’s stories with more focus. You can skip through though. Say if a photo is up for 10 seconds and you want to move to the next, you do so by tapping the screen once. Knowing stories disappear and I can’t keep going back after 24 hours, this encourages me more to pay attention.

4. Show behind the scenes

If you’re at an event or shooting your vlog, provide sneak peeks or share parts of the events for instance. This quick content isn’t really appropriate on other platforms on a regular basis and spur of the moment, so this way you can share almost live snippets of your day to your followers, who can watch in their own time.

5. Direct engagement

You can have direct one-on-one communication with other users, provided they are following you. They may ask you a direct question and you can send either a quick video answering back or however works best for you. But how wonderful to be able able to communicate in a more personal way rather than just a message?

Remember, it’s the little things that brands and influencers do via social media that can make the biggest impressions.

6. Takeovers

Want to show users an exclusive look at an event your followers would be interested in but can’t be there yourself? Collaborate with someone who will be there perhaps who can do a takeover of your account (provided you have a formal agreement on the content style and so forth). Get creative with how you use your account to its full potential.

Plus, if they have a large following they can direct users to you as well if they publicize to their community that they’ll be doing a takeover of your account.

Note: To use your Snapchat account on another device you have to log out from your device.

7. Give your brand more personality

As mentioned earlier, this is a very organic platform. Many brands only show product through their other channels, but who are the people behind the brand? It’s always nice to see a human element when it comes to brands. Personally, I think it’s important to remind people that there is someone behind the screen.

8. Product teasers

Have a new product coming out or in stock? Quickly share with your followers or give them a little teaser as to what’s coming. It’s especially awesome when done only on Snapchat, makes these followers feel more special. It’s best not to share the exact same content across all platforms too, otherwise people won’t feel inclined to follow you on all.

9. Quick tips and tricks

Depending on the nature of your business and content, share quick tips and tricks frequently. With Instagram, many pre-plan the content to be posted. But say you’re a make-up artist and you’re getting ready in the morning, share the lip gloss you’re putting on, show the brand, color, perhaps you’re mixing two colors, so show how you mix them.

10. Feels less ‘sale-sy'

Most big social platforms today have become inundated with ads and promoted posts. This is how they grow and one way or another we have to adapt with them. But right now Snapchat is free of algorithms showing you what they want to show you or ads popping up. I don't know about you, but this is a plus for me. I don’t see forced content. I can watch exactly what I want to watch and when I want to watch.

Give it a shot if you haven't already and just have fun with it until you figure out your voice and how you wish to use it to benefit your business or blog!

Alexis Shaak