5 Ways you can leverage Snapchat for your business

Posted by Murray Sye

on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 @ 09:00 AM


Have you heard of Snapchat?

It's one of the hottest apps to hit mobile users since Instagram.

If your business is targeting the teen market, you should know about Snapchat.


Because Smartphones are in the hands of almost every teenager in America, making it easy to access social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. According to a new study by Pew Research Center, 92% of teens report going online daily – including 24% who say they go online "almost constantly."

Much of this frenzy of access is facilitated by mobile devices. Pew reported that nearly three-quarters of teens have or have access to a smartphone making phones and other mobile devices the primary driver of teen internet use.

So, if you want to deliver time-sensitive messages, especially to teens and young adults, then Snapchat may be the perfect addition to your marketing arsenal.

How does Snapchat work?

Snapchat is a trendy new way of quickly interacting with each other. Snapchat is a mobile app you can download to your iPhone or Android smartphone, which you can then use to chat with friends and family, send photos and videos without eating up your phone's memory.

But here's the difference. A Snapchat picture, or snap, is only available for a set time limit, from 1 to 10 seconds, once the user opens it. However, the new Snapchat Stories feature allows items to be available for up to 24 hours.

How do I use Snapchat for my business?

But how do you use it to sell your product and your brand? How do I get people to follow my company? Can I actually support marketing goals with Snapchat? Common questions that can be answered this way: the key to succeeding with most social networks is often about experimenting, seeing what resonates and what misses the mark. 


Snapchat users enjoy fast and fun mobile conversations! Snap a photo or a video, add a caption, and send it to a friend. They'll view it, laugh, and then the Snap disappears from the screen – unless they take a screenshot!


Effective ways you can leverage Snapchat for your business

1) Build brand awareness
One of the most common reasons brands use social networks like Facebook and Twitter is to promote and increase brand awareness. If your core demographic is to grow awareness among teens and young adults, speak their language with Snapchat, where personality and creativity reign supreme. Deliver fun, highly-shareable content, since peer-to-peer conversation holds such an important place in teen culture. 

Try Snapchat Stories, the popular feature offers a compilation of images and short videos that last 24 hours and act as a narrative of your day or whatever story you're telling. And in the social world, it's the best stories that get shared, which puts businesses of all sizes on a level playing field. 

Candy brand Sour Patch Kids used Snapchat to grow awareness among candy-loving teens across America with 120,000 new Snapchat followers not to mention the additional mileage they received on Twitter and stories in major publications like Adweek and Business Insider.


Sour Patch Kids put its own sour-then-sweet spin on cultural conversations relevant to teens. But the key pillar of their campaign was their partnership with social influencer Logan Paul. Together they took to the streets of New York City to deliver five consecutive days of sour then sweet hijinks from their back and forth pranking.

2) Reward customers with timely offers and coupons

Offering incentives is a classic marketing strategy that has become a staple for social media marketing. And because Snapchat is ubiquitous with its young target market, it allows brands to deliver offers and coupons in a matter of seconds.

Savvy retailers are using Snapchat to help drive customers into their stores. A study produced by Sumpto marketing found that 58% of college students would be most likely to purchase a brand's product or service if they were sent a coupon on Snapchat. They want a reason to buy from you.


New York frozen yogurt chain, 16 Handles did just that. The program worked like this: If you snap a pic of you or your friends at a 16Handles location tasting one of their flavors, you can send it to Love16Handles on Snapchat. In return, you'll receive a coupon for up to anywhere from 16% to 100% off on your next purchase. 16Handles had exchanged more than 1,400 images with users, and built a user list to which they could send future promotional material.

3) Showcase new products
What can you do in 10 seconds? Tease the market that's what. Acura sent its first 100 followers teaser footage of its NSX prototype in action. Such limited time forces you to work your creative muscles and find the most efficient way to describe or demonstrate a new product.

Fashion label Rebecca Minkoff gave away the first glance of their new collection to Snapchat fans a few minutes before they appeared on the runway. A company like Minkoff can't merely send a "blast" to every Snapchat user – in this instance, individuals requested to connect to Minkoff one by one. The move combined the desire for "exclusives" or incentives with marketing efforts to promotoe their new products.



4) Take fans behind the scenes
With Snapchat's feature Stories, brands can send out a combination of images and 5-second videos to tell a story. See how NFL's New Orleans Saints use this feature to keep their fans involved in what they do. If you have a lot of fun behind-the-scenes footage, offer your followers a taste with a story. At the end of the story, include a teaser and send fans to your website or YouTube channel.


5) Recruiting new employees
One of the more unique ways Snapchat has been used is in recruitment. Grubhub is a food delivery service that has made good use of Snapchat for marketing, but also found a way to attract and recruit employees. Grubhub posted a series of images to Snapchat showing interested candidates how to apply for a summer internship.

Applicants needed to show their "Snapchat Skillz" by responding with a snap of their best doodle. While this was a fun campaign it also was relevant to the skillset they required from an applicant: an intimate knowledge of social networking tools, creativity and brevity. Looking for your next social media marketing manager? This type of campaign can be duplicated by any business.



Snapchat's unique demograpaphic is one of the biggest factors behind its soaring success. Snapchat may only have 200 million users, compared to Facebook's 1.4 billion, but its user base is the fastest growing of any social network. For brands, forever trying to connect with tomorrow's consumers, Snapchat offers access to a highly coveted demographic (mostly between 13 and 25 year olds). 

Are you using Snapchat? Do you see marketing potential? Let me know, I'd like your feedback.

Social Media and the C-suite  

Written by Murray Sye

Murray is the CEO and Creative Director with the award-winning
Toronto HubSpot agency partner, WhiteSpace. You can
connect with Murray on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.

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