How To Use Snapchat For Business

For the purpose of this post, I’m going to assume that you understand the basic mechanics of how Snapchat works. If you don’t and you’re completing stumped– check out this Beginner’s Guide to Snapchat. My mom actually loved this breakdown + texted me as soon as she read it saying “I finally get it!”. No shame mom, there is a bit of a learning curve to this mobile-based social platform. Trust me, when I first launched the app, I felt clueless too! From that moment, it took me a couple months to join the Snapchat bandwagon and if you read this post, Do You Need To Be On Snapchat?, you’ll know that it took even longer for our company to begin testing.

Since then, we have seen the light + are absolutely head over snaps for Snapchat.

Snapchat is used for so much more than just sending face-swaps to your friends. More and more businesses are jumping on the bandwagon to use Snapchat for their business. If you are interested in learning about how to use Snapchat as a marketing tool for your business, read on!

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For those of you who are anxious to dive into this platform to amplify your business, or for anyone who has already joined in on the Snap fun, here’s what you need to know about using Snapchat for your business…

What’s Makes Snapchat So Unique

Snapchat is certainly one-of-a-kind when it comes to social networks. The main purpose for Snapchat is to share real-time, instant, and “unfiltered” content. Now when I say unfiltered, I really mean in a spur of the moment kind of way. There are filters you can add to your Snaps for certain effect, context, cohesive branding, and location-placing but for the most part, Snapchat is all about what is happening right here, right now.

Snapchat is quickly becoming one of the forefront platforms in social media marketing with an average of 9,000 photos Snapped per second. (DMR) What’s even more impressive is that Snapchat just surpassed Instagram as the “most important social network” among teens, according to a recent Piper Jaffray report. SHOCKING right?! I would have thought so too until I went to Disneyland with my husband this past weekend. Everywhere I looked, on the rides, at the churro cart, waiting in line to get a picture with Mickey, practically every teen we saw was Snapping!

So what do these statistics and my personal (totally scientific– wink!) findings tell us about the future of Snapchat for business owners– Snapchat usage is on the rise especially in younger demographics (for now). We have found in our own testing that our Snapchat audience does tend to be a bit younger. Which is no surprise, as I said, there is a major learning curve and the platform is not as naturally intuitive as Instagram might be. Snapchat users are required to be a little more savvy but lucky for you, we’ll be sharing more tips + tricks for using Snapchat here in the coming weeks! Stay tuned…

Snapchat For Business

Knowing that Snapchat lends itself for a smaller subset of your overall social audience, it’s important to approach this network with a strategic mindset. Your Snapchat strategy will need to be different then the strategy you would use for Facebook and it also needs to support + align with your overall business goals. Need some help with this? We can help during a one-on-one consulting session!

To get you started, here are a few strategic tactics you can use on Snapchat to meet your business goals…


One thing we like to do on our Snapchat is to encourage our Snap audience to join us on other platforms. In the past we’ve shared about a giveaway we were hosting on Instagram and reminded our Snapchat community about the contest, what the details were, and we’ve even gave an inside look to the prize we were offering. This was a fun way to get our audience really excited about it and also to ensure we had a successful giveaway. Learn more about hosting social media giveaways here!

Humanize Your Brand

With the casual atmosphere that Snapchat supports, there’s some really fun ways you can use your business Snapchat account to humanize your brand and show your unique personality to your audience. I was recently on a branding panel hosted by Latergramme with Jeff Mindell professional photographer + brand ambassador. Jeff mentioned that he loves to give his social community a look behind-the-scenes into what his job is really like and what goes into the images he captures for brands. He also mentioned how powerful this can be to your online community who may have previously only seen who you are in terms of the “polished look” or the final product that is so often shown on other social platforms. Now, with Snapchat you can show more dimensions to your brand by sharing “day in the life” themed Snaps.

Build Your Community + Engage with Your Audience

One tactic that I think is underutilized at the moment is getting your audience to go beyond just viewing your Snapstory + getting them to the next level of interaction. There’s several ways you can make your Snapchat community feel valued + encourage them to engage back with you…

  1. You can ask your Snapchat audience if they have any questions + instruct them to chat them in. Grainhappy Photo Tips does a great job of this!

  2. You can instruct your community to take a screenshot of something. Nordstrom did this to measure a Snapchat contest– so smart!

  3. You can build your credibility while giving high value to your audience by sharing helpful tips + tricks. Fit Andy shares so much valuable nutrition + fitness info!

  4. You can tell your Snap peeps to go somewhere or do something like visit a website link, comment on your blog post, the sky’s the limit! Just make sure you’re using bitly links to track if your Snap audience is taking action.

Drive Traffic

I’m starting to see more and more of this which I LOVE! Remember above when I told you can instruct your Snapchat audience to visit a website link? Yep! This is huge! If you’re a blogger and you have a new post that just went live, what a great way to share a sneak peek with your audience! The Skinny Confidential does this a lot but a word of advice from my marketing mindset, make sure to give your Snap audience a unique link so you can have some bases to measure the impact that your Snapchat has on your traffic.

Increase Sales

It seems like these days, most entrepreneurs want to know how their social media efforts can directly affect their bottom line. Hey, I hear you! I’m business owner too. I want to remind you that social media marketing is all about building authentic relationships, not just about the end sale. You’re welcome to read more about our mindset on this here, but for those of you that are thinking– I know, I know, but it is possible to increase your sales with Snapchat– the answer is YES absolutely, but you have to show, not sell! We used our Snapchat to promote our new email course, Empower Your Brand + Define Your Audience a couple weeks back during the launch. That day we sold one of the courses directly from Snapchat (and we know this because we used a bitly link!) Exciting right?!

Okay, that’s where I’m going to stop today! I’m still playing around with the platform, experimenting + always looking for new inspiration! Tell me, who are your favorite Snapchat accounts to follow?

Jessica Howell Social Studio Shop