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A quick guide on how to get started on #Snapchat.Background track credits:”RetroFuture Clean” Kevin MacLeod…

Posted by Web Marketing Academy Bangalore, India on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Snapchat for what?

The first thing people ask me when I tell them about the Snapchat is, Why Snapchat? Snapchat for what? When the term is thrown around these days, especially by the youth, people are very quick to jump to conclusions about this highly engaging social medium. People are quick to judge that it’s an app for selfies or sexting, especially in India. But we can all fairly agree that any sort of hype created or opinions generated is good for businesses or marketers looking to start something new. While Snapchat is a fairly new concept to the world itself and where the youth (aged 18 – 35)  have adjusted and become more suited to the platform, there’s no doubt that marketers are seeing an increasing rise in trend of Snapchat users. While businesses in the U.S. have quickly started to partner and advertise on Snapchat it’s fairly hard for many businesses in India to believe that there’s any sort of leverage or advantage, Snapchat can provide to their business, here I will explain how to get started on Snapchat and what are some of the strategies your business can implement or see best suited to get some results. The picture below shows the percentage of Snapchat users in India & mobile internet users in India.

Source: www.statista.com

mobile-internet-users-india    snapchat-users-worldwide

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a social media platform that operates as a social photo sharing app that was launched by two Stanford students, Evan Spiegal and Bobby Murphy in 2011. The app once downloaded, allows users to send photos and videos and set a timer of viewership to friends for up to 10 seconds after which the file self-destructs and is never seen again.

 Why to incorporate Snapchat in your marketing strategy?

Just like Facebook and Twitter seemed foreign to most users when they came out, Snapchat still seems foreign to most businesses. A lot of people may wonder in India how a photo and a video messaging app can provide value to their business. Here’s something that will make you scratch your head, there are over 12 million Indian Snapchat users and most of them consisting of age group of 18 to 30, which is considered the toughest segment to retain for any marketer.

However, there are several benefits of using Snapchat and the best way to make you stand out from your competition, is to learn and try to incorporate this platform with the peripherals of your business.

Some Strategies you can implement.

 Showcase your products

With the new Snapchat feature of adding people, you can have customers who come to your physical store to just pull out their phone, open their Snapchat camera and take a picture of the unique QR code of your Snapchat account and they start following you. You can take advantage of the Snapstory (which is available to users to view for 24hours) and introduce new products or show case your existing products or if you are looking for footfalls, then you can introduce 24hour discounts or offers for your customers. Just remember to converse in the language of the main audience that is using the app– millennials and teens who make up the 18-35 age bracket. Use emoticons and if you speak in the right language without seeming condescending or desperate, Snapchat users won’t mind engaging with your brand. Take a look at TacoBell’s campaign in the U.S. and how they made the best use of it.

Sending Discounts and Promotions

While this is one of the popular ways many Indian brands leverage, in their strategy as it works best with the behavior of Indian consumers and also something that is part of a shopping trend. For companies that have an e-Commerce or store presence, this can be a great way to capitalize on the fleeting nature of Snapchat, while also engaging with users on the new platform. Because Snapchat doesn’t allow you to send snaps to users who haven’t added you back, you are already dealing with a more engaged user base (because they had to accept you as a friend first). This can help you reward loyalty points as well as help you build up your audience base on the social app. Check out 16 Handles (frozen yogurt company)  and their campaign to get some idea.

Video answers to customer questions

We all know the extent of video blogging and its rise in popularity, the can be used to make short answers and replies to customer queries. In the end social media is all about conversation and being proactive and helping people solve their problems is how B2B business promote their businesses since they don’t have a large or appealing photo catalog to cater to. What many companies aren’t doing yet is to provide real time assistance or interactions in 2-10 second photos or videos. Let’s say a user snaps you a photo of your product still in its packaging, saying it is too hard to unwrap or if it’s an electronic gadget they are having problems installing it or it could be a set-up manual they need to follow and they can understand , then it’s a quick way to show them your product’s exclusive opener tab that makes it easy, a photo or video demonstrating it would be a great way to answer their question while also establishing your brand’s trust and dedication toward happy customers.

 Behind The Scenes

Like most social networks, Snapchat was created in the spirit of having fun while connecting with the people users love most. Companies who will be successful at Snapchat should heed this same spirit if they want their campaigns to be successful.

One way to do this is to use your Snapchat account to show users things they normally wouldn’t see on other social networks or through most marketing campaigns. This gives them a reason to interact with you on the platform. Again Snap-stories are a great way to accomplish this. A great example is that of the preparations for Diwali festival in India and the Kite flying festival that was covered in India by Snapchat, it could give you some great idea and insight on how it was done.

One of the biggest reasons to use and take advantage of Snapchat and what it has going for itself is, that not many companies are using it (though the numbers are growing steadily). If you get ahead right now, and harness a strategy right away, you will not only be a Snapchat pro by the time the rest of those in your field are still learning how to use it, but you’ll be able to harness the latest features Snapchat releases, like building stories with multiple snaps, chat, and the ability to show breaking news, which will hopefully move to countries like India. With a user-base in the millions and a valuation of $10 billion, Snapchat is definitely not to be ignored and is a viable social platform for those who incorporate it the right way and at the right time.

About the author: Kaushal BK is Social Media Strategist at WMA and a content-writer.