Snapchat your way to business growth – The beginner’s guide

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Snapchat… be honest, did you think that this social network was the sole preserve of the likes of Kim Kardashian and hipster Vloggers? That it couldn’t possibly hold any value for your equestrian business? Given that the app is chocka-full of filters and amusing voice effects, this view isn’t so surprising. While Snapchat has come a long way since its early days, it’s still mistaken and misjudged by many to merely be the social app of the moment for tweens and teens. In this blog, we bust a few myths, mull over Millennials and share simple, quickly actionable tips for snapping your way to business growth.

 First of all – what exactly is Snapchat?

In the simplest sense, Snapchat is a messaging app that allows for videos and photos to be shared for between 1 – 10 seconds. After this time the content (known as a ‘snap’) disappears. On each ‘snap’ you can add text, emojis, doodles and use filters.

“Snapchat really has to do with the way photographs have changed. Historically photos have always been used to save really important memories: major life moments. But today… pictures are being used for talking.” – Evan Spiegel, Snapchat CEO

A Snapchat story is complied from the snaps you post to your account over the course of 24 hours. In order to create a story, you’ll manually select the Snaps you wish to show. A Story can be viewed by all Snapchatters (public); just the user’s followers (private) or a custom group.

Finally, there are chats – which are private messages between friends that can include text or images. These work in a similar way to Facebook messaging or Twitter DMs.

You can download Snapchat here

 Let’s set the record straight…

Snapchat is home to 100 million daily active users, with 400 million snaps created every single day. It’s growing, rapidly – in fact, it’s the fastest growing of all social networks, and businesses in every industry, niche and sector want in. Why? Because…

Users actively engage with businesses on the platform – far more so than on other platforms – 50% of Snapchatters will open a brand’s story, while more than 85% will then go on to watch the entire story.

Users willingly follow companies – with 55% of users saying that they follow one or more brands or businesses.

Professional marketers already know of its value – with 64% having an active account

But before we move on, we need to talk about Millennials…

We began this blog attempting to bust the myth around the average Snapchat user. While it’s true that all types of businesses do embrace Snapchat, and the users are indeed diverse, it’s also true that 7 out of 10 Snapchatters are Millennials (with Millennials defined as those born between 1982 and 2002, or 2000 according to others).

In the B2B environment, these users are becoming more central to marketing efforts, with the average age of the typical business buyer falling in recent years. And even if your contacts are nowhere close to this age range, research has found that 73% of Millennials are involved in B2B purchasing decisions. So if this age demographics isn’t currently your target market – they either soon will be, or already are and you just don’t know it.

All in all, this can be incredibly good news for you, as Millennials are both engaged with brands and willingly embracing technology as the solution for purchasing goods and services. So much so, that they can be as much as 57% of the way through the buying process, before contacting a company.

Ten Simple, Snappy Tips for Snap Chat

1. Start by learning from others

The best way to remove the intimidation of Snapchat is to spend a week or so using it and researching how other equine brands are using Snapchat (ideally within the same niche as you). There’s also a lot to be learned from those in the wider agricultural industry. This article from AgGrad provides a top 15 list of brands, businesses and individuals who have mastered Snapchat in this field.

2. Mention your Snapchat account on all your other marketing channels

From your website and Instagram page, to brochures and emails, make sure you include your Snapchat details with a short call to action as to why they should follow you. When writing your call to action bear one question in mind – what value does your Snapchat content give your audience? Tips? Entertainment? Offers?

3. Hand control of your account to an equine industry influencer or brand

Being associated with a well-known face or brand in the equine industry can give your business instant credibility. So consider collaboration, such as their using your account for the day. There will most likely be a fee involved for this, however the value of this marketing tactic can be judged from the influencer’s number of followers.

4.… Or take control of an influencer’s account

On the flip side of the tip above, you could reverse the roles, and take over the industry influencer’s or brand’s account. If you consider this option, be sure to have an idea as to how you’ll make your content engaging while fitting in with the general theme and tone of the content they typically create.

5. Tell your followers about interesting milestones

Is it your birthday? A new baby in the office? A brand-new team member? These events are incredibly Snapchat friendly, and can add an element of ‘behind the scenes’ footage to your marketing, helping your customers feel as though they know you.

6. Showcase user-generated content

Ask your followers to send in pictures or videos of them using your products or service, and repost it on your Snapchat. You could encourage this by offering a prize for all those you feature.

7. Keep it simple – by offering a 24-hour discount code

Discount codes and promotional offers demonstrate good results when the product or service is chosen with the audience in mind, especially when they’re exclusive to Snapchat (which can also grow your following). A final advantage is that the 24-hour format creates a little urgency to act, which may improve conversions compared to the traditional sale set up.

8. Stay active

Remaining active on any social network is always important if your page isn’t to leave your customers with the impression you’ve closed down. However, as Snapchat deletes your posts after 24 hours, it’s critical that you post regularly to stay top of mind. According to marketing whizz Neil Patel, the optimum posting structure is to update your Snapchat three times per day, every four to five hours.

9. Reply to every message

Unlike Facebook and other social networks, it’s only you and those who send you a message that can see the interaction – there’s no public page or feed comments. However this doesn’t make engaging with those who get in touch any less important – and you should always try to reply as soon as you’re able to. Younger generations and business buyers have today come to expect more from businesses on social – with many expecting a response within minutes, not hours.

10. Drive people to your website

A recent addition to Snapchat stories is the ability to add links – so be sure to use this where relevant (such as with promotional codes or product pictures).

11. Go vertical

This one’s straightforward – vertical videos are watched 9 times more than horizontal videos on Snapchat. So only use a horizontal video format when the content absolutely demands that you do.

12. Demonstrate your product

Being visual and engaging in terms of how long a viewer will stick with a video for, Snapchat is probably the best social network to demo products.

13. Address relevant industry issues

From ethics to the environment, don’t be afraid to have a say on the matters that are affecting the wider equine industry – being outspoken on topics such as these can be the strongest way to create debate.

14. Be innovative – with a geofilter

Geofilters are custom filters that Snapchat now allows anyone to create. You’ll simply upload your own or use the Snapchat template, pick a time and set an area within which Snapchatters can use the filter – such as at your sale, event or exhibition.

Submitting your filter design is simply – and once approved it’ll then be ready to use within one day. The graphics are simple, but the results can be seriously impressive.

Starting at just £5, this marketing tactic is undoubtedly cost-effective.

 

Ready to find out what snapping could do for your business? PressPoint Countryside & Equestrian can put together a strategy for leaping over the competition. Call our team on: +44 (0)1953 851513 or email us: [email protected] and we’ll be in touch.

 

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