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A Beginner’s Guide to Snapchat – 4 Steps

Snapchat is a new social media platform that has been taking over our lives and minds by way of our cell phones. As today’s shiny new toy, it works like texting but with disappearing photo and video messages.

If you’re not a natural early adopter, you may be hesitant to add yet another platform to your social media marketing strategy – one that will require time and resources. However, you could be missing out on reaching millions, 30 million to be exact, of users ready to interact with your brand.

Here are four simple steps to getting started with Snapchat.

Step 1: Create an Account

If you’re on the fence about whether Snapchat is right for your brand or not, you might want to consider creating a user name now anyway. The longer you wait, the more the possibility that someone will grab up the name you want to use, or fans will begin to publish Snapchat stories as your brand. You can always secure the name and then use it once you have a strategy in place.

Here are a few quick stats from Digital Marketing Ramblings that might help you decide if this is the right platform for your brand:

  • 32% of US teens use Snapchat
  • 70% of Snapchat users are women
  • 77% of college students use Snapchat
  • 50% of male college students share selfies on Snapchat
  • 58% of college students would likely purchase a product from a brand that sent them a Snapchat coupon

Step 2: Set Goals

With Snapchat being such a new platform, there are not many existing measurement tools, which means proving ROI will be that much harder. But still, setting goals is important. If you decide to use Snapchat for contests, do you have a goal for number of entries? If you plan to use Snapchat to drive in-store purchases, do you have a way to verify that? Do you just want to start building brand affinity with entertaining photos and videos?

Step 3: Develop a Strategy

Just because Snapchat is a new platform used (mostly) by teens, doesn’t mean you can skimp on your strategy. Think of content and campaigns that will resonate with your audience and meet your goals. You’ll want to think about how many times a week you plan to upload a story and what content that will entail. Taco Bell uploads stories weekly that are entertaining, in the common language of their audience and engaging.

Taco BellTaco Bell 2

Step 4: Start Snapping

One of the main features making Snapchat unique is the time limit for photos. Use this feature wisely – no one wants to see a photo of your new summer product for the full 10 seconds. Trust me, poorly-timed snaps are the surest way to drive away a potentially loyal audience.

To learn more about Snapchat, follow the company blog. They’ve just introduced geo-filters to some markets – it’s only a matter of time before brands will be able to do so much more with this platform.

What’s keeping you from using Snapchat in your social media marketing strategy? Tell us in the comments below!

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