How to use Snapchat in marketing

Posted on September 9, 2015

Snapchat has gained popularity in marketing for brands and public figures who want to engage with their audience in a fun and creative way

Snapchat is unique and popular social media platform which challenges traditional rules by letting you share photos and videos in a time-constrained manner. This gives your audience an element of excitement.

  • As many as 700 million photos and videos (snaps) are shared on Snapchat per day.
  • According to Statista’s Snapchat 2014 Age Distribution Chart, 31% of users are between 18 -24 years old and 19% are over 25.
  • Snapchat provides a way to gain a follower’s full attention all because of that simple USP – the time constrained ‘self-destruct’ feature.

Think about how you could use Snapchat in your marketing strategy.

1. Capture quick moments

Snapchat allows you to share existing media only in conversation windows, but to create real snaps you are forced to use the built-in camera therefore sharing live moments. So firstly, you will need to practice and get into the habit of capturing and creating interesting ‘snaps’.

2. Decorate and eloborate

Snapchat includes a few overlay filters, ability to add text captoins (character limit applies to keep it brief) and a colour and pen pallet. So creatively enhance your snap with decoration to appeal to the eye and use captions to tease your audience or explain your image.

3. Offer rewards / discounts / event invitations

Use Snapchat to put out special notes exclusive to your Snapchat followers. These can be snaps about upcoming rewards and offers as an exclusive pre-sale type hype. Or a VIP invitation to an event before anybody else. You can gain more followers by giving people the incentive of being the ‘first to know’ about things.

4. Provide sneak peaks

Use Snapchat to give your followers previews of new products or sneak peeks into what you and your brand are getting up to. Again, exclusivity is the key to gain and keep followers and the time-constraint allows you to get fun and exciting with your snaps. You can even tease with a series of snaps, instead of just one.

5. Create a story with a happy ending

Snapchat lets you add a photo or video to Your Story. Each snap you add to your story is available for followers to view for 24 hours. This means you can add to it daily and give them additional information allowing you to create a direct and engaging build up to a final revelation.

6. Get your audience to compete

Engage with followers by asking them to send you snaps of them using your products or doing something in relation to your brand / service for a reward. Some companies have been known to use Snapchat as part of their recruitment process to get that elevator pitch effect. Use the time element to announce the competition closed and tell them when a winner will be snapped back. The anticipation of a private snap will keep your followers hooked to their phone to see if they will be the one to receive that vital snap and reward.

7. Recruit followers and follow them back

Snapchat can scan your mobile phone contacts to find users, but it also gives each user a unique Snapcode so you can display yours on your website and other social media channels to allow people to add you (or follow you) easily. It is much like a QR code in that it can be scanned via Snapchat for automatic adding. Follow your followers back so you can get to know your audience through their own personal snaps.

8. Keep it clean

Snapchat does allow you to save your own snaps and also allows a follower to take a screenshot your snap. It will notify you immediately if a screenshot is taken so that you stay informed. Therefore, keep in mind that abusive or discriminating snaps can be exposed and harm your brand. So have fun, but keep it clean!

If you are an organisation that likes to try new things and would like to discuss ideas on how to use Snapchat as part of your marketing strategy, please contact

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