Everything you need to know about Snapchat
Regardless of your age, you’ve probably heard about Snapchat. It’s one of the world’s most popular social media apps, and it’s relatively simple to use. It’s an easy way for people of all ages to share everyday moments in a simple, stylish way. We also think it’s fun!
It’s different from Facebook and Twitter, which broadcast everything that you do during the day. Snapchat is famous for its messages that disappear after being sent, face filters, stories and tagged geo-filters. More recent additions include games, quizzes, news and entertainment in bite-sized forms that rival Instagram stories, and creative editing tools for your photos and videos.
Like other social media apps, it has its pros and cons. It’s a good idea to understand how it works and how you can use it to create a positive experience for your brand.
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a wildly popular app that allows users to message each other through exchanging ‘snaps’ that consist of pictures, text messages and emojis. It even includes videos!
The snaps disappear after they’ve been viewed, but you can save individual snaps if you’re fast enough. One way to bypass a limited-time snap is to take a screenshot using your phone or a third-party app. However, using your phone will alert the other person that you’ve done this. Remember that nothing is really ‘temporary’ when it’s connected to the internet!
Snapchat is a pioneering photo app with massive social media integration. That’s is because it seamlessly combines the functions of taking pictures/videos, adding filters/lenses and other visual effects, which are then popularly shared on social media.
Snapchat has been crafted with a simple, fun design in mind. Many of the filters are lighthearted and include rainbows, unicorns and cute versions of animals. Some of the filters can also distort your entire face!
How does Snapchat work?
Snapchat is primarily a mobile app, meaning it can only be installed on your phone, tablet, or another mobile device. You’ll need to provide your name, email address and date of birth to create a profile. You’ll also be able to choose a handle, much like Instagram. You can select whichever grip you want, even if it isn’t directly related to your name.
You can sync your phone/tablet’s contacts with your existing contact list, or you can search for people that you may know. Snapchat has also introduced the ‘Snapcode’ feature, a unique QR code that each user gets when signing up. If you capture someone else’s ‘snapcode’, you’ll be able to add someone to your contact list automatically.
To begin a conversation, you typically need to take a photo and send it to your contact. This isn’t like WhatsApp, where the primary mode of communication is through texting. You can tap the large camera circle and tap to ‘snap’ or take a photo.
Photos in Snapchat
Once you’ve done that, you can use one of Snapchat’s many photo-editing tools. You can also opt to add a filter to your images or add a sticker to your phot. You can then send your photo to someone specific, or add it to your story. The story functions much the same as an Instagram story. Your story acts as a record of the past 24 hours and will expire after a full day has passed.
Snapchat has also recently added group texting and group stories, which allow every group member to communicate. The minimum age for using Snapchat is 13, but there is no strict age verification. If your child is below this age, you may want to consider the fact that they could be exposed to age-inappropriate content as a potential risk for using Snapchat.
Snapstreaks are another prominent feature of Snapchat. A ‘snapstreak’ occurs when two users have communicated with each other over three full days. You’ll be able to see unique emojis and stats next to your friend’s name once you’ve done this. A streak is essentially another way of determining how much you use the app.
Snapchat can be credited with popularising face lenses and world lenses, ‘geofilters’, ‘snapcash’ and memories.
There’s also the Snap Map. This feature displays your real-time location on a map, which can only be viewed by your Snapchat friends. Your contacts can also opt to turn this on – and then you’ll be able to see their real-time locations. There’s also ghost mode, which allows you to see the map but not be seen by your friends.
Snap Map is a crucial feature for news and social events. For instance, if there is a rally in Australia, it would show up on your map. As with other apps, be careful about who can see your location!
A Snapchat story is a combination of pictures and videos that can form a specific story. It’s important to note that Snapchat was one of the first to popularise the story format. It was because of Snapchat stories that Facebook and Instagram created this feature, too!
Snapchat stories are set to autoplay and can include both videos and images. Stories are only available to be viewed for 24 hours. If you think you have crafted a great story, you can send it to ‘Our Story’. Our story typically works as a broadcast for things like holidays, popular social events, sporting events and more. Snapchat complies and curates these, so it can be challenged to earn a feature. Remember that your story will be very public if you’re featured on Our Story, which can be great to gain some new customers!
Discover is the more commercial side of Snapchat. Discover displays content that has been created by celebrities, news houses, entertainment companies, magazines and more.
You can opt to subscribe to specific Discover sources to view their feeds. Discover often involves an array of news, offered by publishers such as the New York Times and Vice Media. Getting featured here is an excellent way to promote your brand or product.
Discover stories also ask viewers to ‘swipe up’ to buy or learn more. It’s a great place to engage with your customers by posting compelling content or ads.
Snapchat for your Business
There are many ways you can use Snapchat for your eCommerce business. This fact is especially relevant if you’re planning on targeting Gen Z for your products or services.
Some things you can do include posting often for engagement. Remember that snaps disappear after 24 hours! Regular posts will allow your brand to stay fresh in the minds of your audience. Recommended posting times include posting every three to four hours, three times per day.
Another useful strategy involves cross-posting your Snapchat profile to your other marketing channels. Cross-posting ensures that you gain more followers for your brand.
Next, you might consider creating a sponsored lens. Businesses can create sponsored filters that allow users to do things like add filters to their face, distort their background, add props to photos and so much more. Snapchat filters are synonymous with fun – so it’s a great way to show off your brand as young and lighthearted.
These filters are great for brand awareness and engagement, no matter how ridiculous they may look! The downside to this is that it can be costly. Creating a filter during a special event can cost up from $100,000 to $750,000 for a 24-hour filter.
Also, you might consider influencer marketing. Letting esteemed influencers take over your Snapchat account is a great way to garner social proof surrounding your brand. This type of marketing leverages the existing following of popular social media icons. The benefit to this is that you’ll be able to expose your brand to a broader audience than you usually do. Most of the time, influencers will name a price per piece of content posted.
It may be simple, but you can also post Promo codes and news to your Snapchat story. Promos are a useful strategy that let viewers visit your store and check out your offering directly. This tactic would work well for driving web traffic and sales.
Another option you might consider is featuring user-generated content. Like on Instagram, you can ask your followers to send you photos or videos of them interacting with your product. A driver for gaining this content would be to hold a competition. It’s a sure-fire way to ensure you achieve improved engagement from your customers.
No matter how you choose to use Snapchat for your business, there’s no doubt that it can help you gain more brand awareness and meaningful engagement with your potential audience.
In conclusion, Snapchat is a simple app that involves innovative features which are always evolving. It’s possible to use Snapchat for your business, especially if you’re planning on targeting Gen Z members for your business offering.
While it may seem complicated, Snapchat is quite intuitive when using it. Whether you decide to use Snapchat for leisure, marketing or research into a specific market, you’ll be sure to uncover a variety of cool features that can strengthen brand awareness for your profile.
Need help with your own eCommerce business? Get in touch with ShoppingFeeder today.