Even Small Business can get in on the Act
As much as big brands like Audi, McDonald’s, Apple, ESPN and more are increasingly finding themselves on the charm offensive, this does not mean it’s exclusively their yard. No. With such high numbers of potential customers increasingly joining and getting addicted to this latest social craze, small businesses too should move in with haste to leverage this powerful marketing tool.
But haste here doesn’t mean to jump on the carriage without a plan of where you’re headed. You need a solid one if you are to have any chances of success. Because guess what? Snapchat can be a pain, unlike other social networks that are easy to figure out. Building a large audience itself is a herculean affair, let no one tell you otherwise, and to achieve this might call for cross-platform promotion. This is partly due to the absence of helpful features such as search, hashtags, or any modes of content discovery.
If you have a following you would term ‘decent’ in any of the other networks, that might come in handy. But don’t go in expecting to hit 500 followers within no time, otherwise you might grow frustrated. Give it time, be patient, invest time and effort into it.
The audience aside, you also need to put in ‘quality time’. Unlike a tweet or Facebook post that you can share with both eyes closed, Snapchat is all about the media experience you offer your audience: a rich media experience comprising photos and short clips that employ creative tools like digital crayons, fonts, filters and all those others.
But developing a winning strategy on Snapchat is more than just amassing a horde of followers and engaging media. For starters, you need to learn the basics (followed by that plan we mentioned earlier).
As with all social networks, the same rules also apply here.
- Content: Don’t just share for the fun of sharing. Ask yourself if the content is valuable to your would-be customers. Create valuable tutorials, lift the lid a little about your business, present it in a not-too-corporate vibe: keep it casual, and remember everyone appreciates some humour. These tend to leave a lasting impression way after the 10 seconds.
- Engage your followers: While you’re busy creating and sharing snaps, don’t get carried away by making it overly promotional. Once in a while, why not shake things up a bit by throwing in something totally unexpected: a Feel Good Friday-type of content, or Inspiration Monday kind of thing. This helps establish a bond with your audience that goes beyond business. They’re more likely to listen to you next time you come calling with your product or service.
- Creativity, creativity, creativity: That’s the name of the game. Device ways to pique your audience’s interest. Keep things fresh and avoid being too business-like. Make use of a series of snaps to tell your story. Throw in some background music for still images (just as you would with your Flipagrams). It could be something as simple as a video of a happy customer explaining why they like your service, or a few details of what you’re working on.
- CTA: A nice call to action never hurt any business. Provide a strong incentive as to why your viewers should complete a particular action, but need not be a $100 gift card every time.
Snapchat can be an extremely effective tool if used well. At the moment, it’s not saturated with businesses trying to carve out an audience for themselves, and the reason you need to get in early (with a plan) to give yourself enough time to bloom.
However, this does not mean every single small enterprise needs to be on Snapchat, let alone social media.
But if your business caters to a younger demographic (think anywhere between 16 and 39 – although even 13-year-olds are very active here), you stand a good chance of success. And particularly if that audience is female, a typically influential demographic that’s difficult to reach.
Go ahead, snap away.