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The Impact of Snapchat on Small Business

snapchat

Snapchat may not have the same time-tested reputation of Facebook or Twitter, but with 100 million monthly users and counting, its ever-growing impact cannot be denied, especially by small business owners. While many use the photo-sharing app to send silly pictures to friends, companies have found ways to leverage its features to further attract and interact with consumers.

As with most other social sharing communities, your Snapchat is only as effective as the content you upload with it. If you're thinking about expanding your virtual reach, consider adopting a Snapchat strategy to ensure your consumers are connected and content with your brand.

Understanding the basics

Since it was first released in 2011, Snapchat has come a long way with regards to features and users. What started as an app where people could only share images that disappear after a preset time limit has evolved into a more complex social network where people can share pictures, connect with their favorite companies and create virtual stories that chronicle their days. 

But the benefits of this app extend far beyond mere photo sharing - companies, including Taco Bell, NASA and McDonald's, with their own Snapchat profiles share exclusive deals, coupons and pictures with consumers following their brands. Fast food chain Taco Bell is among the most popular companies using the app, frequently sending humorous snaps, taco-related videos and even revealing new products to contacts. Taco Bell's social media and digital lead, Tressie Lieberman, explained to AdWeek that Snapchat allows business owners to connect with consumers on a more personal platform, qualities not provided by sites like Facebook or Instagram.

"We want to make someone's day everyday with our social channels," Lieberman told the source. "It feels extremely special to get a Snapchat. It's almost like we pick up the phone and give them a call."

Getting started

To begin using Snapchat, the first thing your brand needs to do is develop a username. Pick a usertag that includes your business' name to make the process of finding and following it on the app much easier. After developing your username, spread awareness by posting it to all your social networks, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Be sure to promote your Snapchat in your store as well by posting your Snapchat username on the walls, windows or display tables. 

If you're curious about what kind of content to share on your Snapchat, it's time to go back to your brand's basics. Similarly to how you plan what content to post on your website or social networks, your snaps should be tailored to your target audience. Seasonal and timely content performs especially well on this site, as shared photos disappear as quickly as time-sensitive topics.

Coupons, short-lived promotions and newly announced deals are all perfect to unveil with Snapchat, as they can efficiently spread information in short bursts. Be sure to mention in the snaps that consumers are only eligible for promotions if they mention they saw it on the app, in an effort to drive more consumers to the brand.

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