Snapchat For Business: Grow, Engage, Deliver Results

snapchat for business

Hi! I’m Rob Cressy, Founder of Cress Media, and I just finished teaching a Snapchat for Business workshop at 1871 Chicago. As an added value to the people in attendance plus those of you who want to get better at Snapchat here are my notes from the workshop. If you are interested in having me teach a workshop for your company my contact information is at the bottom of this post.

These are the principles, strategies, and creative tips for how I’ve used Snapchat for business. I wrote these notes in bullet points so do your best to follow.

Foundational Snapchat Principles

  1. Why should your business be on Snapchat?
    • Snapchat is currently the most downloaded social media app in the iTunes store. Just let that sink in for a second.
  2. What separates Snapchat from other forms of social media is the engagement, urgency, and lack of noise.
    • It’s an opportunity to engage your target audience. You get to speak directly to them! YOUR CUSTOMER!
    • Urgency: after 24 hours your Snapchat story is gone. If you want to see it you better come back every day.
    • Lack of Noise: Twitter & Facebook have a never ending stream of content that is pushed to you. With Snapchat the user has to push a button to see your content, saying “I trust this brand or person is going to deliver me something of value that I want to see.”
  3. Authentic + Real Time Marketing + Strengthens Brand
    • Authentic – It doesn’t get more real than being able to show your face, your employees faces, and whats going on with your business. Once again, you are speaking directly to your target audience. They can see, hear you, and interact with you. Short of them coming to work with you this is about as real as it gets. That’s what you want out of your brand. “THIS IS WHO WE ARE!”
    • Real Time Marketing – This is what’s happening right now. You’ve also got the urgency of “I can’t miss what they are going to Snap because it’ll be gone in 24 hours.” Now you have the ability to capitalize on it right this second.
    • Strengthens Brand – When you do all these things correctly it will no doubt strengthen your brand. I’ll ask you this, what’s going to make you fall in love with a brand more: a billboard, a banner ad on a website, an ad you see in a magazine, or being able to see, hear, and interact with the people and things that a brand thinks are most important to YOU, their target customer?
  4. Dovetailing off those three points, Snapchat is a new way of advertising that can grow your business.
    • How is that possible? Simply, you have an opportunity to talk to your target customer multiple times, every single day. As someone who holds his brand very close to his chest I want to make sure that every interaction I have with my audience is a great one. They deserve it and you should have that standard too. A crazy thing happens when your standard is high, your customers will thank you for it.
  5. It’s fun.
    • This isn’t like putting out a press release. Successful Snapchat accounts are fun for you as well as your customer.
    • I have a saying, “Smiles don’t lie.” Snapchat gives you the opportunity to make smiles happen, regardless of your industry.
  6. People are going to continue using it and not being on the platform is a missed opportunity.
    • I’ve already laid out multiple reasons why it’s awesome. As if you need more of a reason, I’ve heard from too many people in the industry that I respect that Snapchat is the next social media platform that is going to take off. It makes complete sense. It’s not like I’m out here telling you the benefits of the pet rock. I’m talking to you about how you can grow your business by better building relationships with your target customer in a fun and engaging way.
    • Oh, and by the way, Snapchat is continuing to make the platform better every day.

Debunking Snapchat Misconceptions

  1. No, Snapchat is no longer just for teenagers.
  2. No, Snapchat is not just an app to send naked picks.
  3. You might be thinking, OK, but is it for my industry?
    • Yes. It all depends on what your goals are for the platform and then building out a Snapchat strategy.
    • Think about this, was everyone on Facebook and Twitter immediately? No, but if the trajectory of Snapchat is similar then brands will flock to here. It’s just like the lifecycle of anything. You’ve got innovators, early adopters, early majority, late adopters, and laggards. Which do you want to be?
    • You should want to be forward thinking. It’ll set you up for future success.
  4. Can you post too much? No, not as long as your content is good and people keep coming back. You want this to be an asset for you.

Snapchat Engagement

  1. Snapchat is about storytelling. If there’s one thing you take away from today it should be this: become a great storyteller on Snapchat.
    • One trick I like to use is “have a start and end to a story.” For example, you could create a snap that says “My Snapchat Workshop Begins now.”
    • When you are done with that story have a snap that says “THE END”.
      • That way you mentally give a beginning and an end to your audience, which can help separate some of your content.
      • Note: you don’t have to do this for everything you post. I do it for when I’ve got a story that’ll have multiple snaps on it where I won’t be snapping about anything else.
    • You can have multiple stories in a day.
    • You can also have recurring stories or segments.
      • You can think about it like a TV show if you want.
      • What does your target audience want or find valuable? Build around that. Create specific segments that encourages them to respond back.
    • Keep trying, testing, experimenting.
      • This is a giant exercise on relationship building and providing value.
  2. Make it a conversation and listen to your audience
  3. One of the keys to all of this is to make your content high quality. That doesn’t mean you have to be Steven Spielberg, more props to you if you can. But once again, your audience is entering into an agreement with you that you are going to provide things they like and provide value to them. People aren’t on social media because it’s boring and sucks. They are on it because it’s fun. Set that bar high for yourself and deliver high quality content. It’ll separate you from your competitors and other accounts that are vying for their attention.
    • There’s 2 types of Snapchat accounts that I hate that will get me to unfollow them instantly.
    • #1. The worst accounts are the people or businesses that put out crappy content. The stuff that people often complain about for why they don’t like social media.
      • There’s no context
      • There’s no engagement
      • There’s no fun
      • It’s self serving and adds no value to you.
      • Just a plate of food, stationary stuff with no text or content. Listen, you can have an account of nothing but pictures that could be incredibly engaging. But once again, it’s about telling your story.
    • #2. The 2nd worst accounts are the ones that only put out content. Sometimes you want to know that there’s a human there that gets you.
      • One of the biggest positives of Snapchat is its authenticity. Sure it’s cool if you put out cool content, but wouldn’t you want to be building your tribe of passionate fans and customers that look forward to hearing back from you?
      • Another important part of creating an engaging Snapchat account is you want people to look forward to hearing back from you. That’s what you call ENGAGEMENT!
  4. When you are good at engagement and craft your messaging correctly you’ll get people responding back to you. This ideally will be your target audience. The people you want to build a relationship with.
    • I make it a point to try and respond to every single person who hits me up on Snapchat.
    • This can be a picture, a video, some text, or even just an emoji. The key is acknowledging them.
    • Remember, have fun with it.
    • Do I need to tell you guys why responding back to a customer of yours who loves what you do could be a good thing for your business?

Snapchat Creativity

  1. Here’s how you can make your snaps stand out.
    • Use colors
      • On the iPhone hold your finger and move all the way to the left to find white. Hold your finger and move all the way to the bottom to find black.
      • Colors add life to your snaps and help make them stand out
    • Use emojis
      • You can use multiple emjois and layer them on top of things.
    • Draw borders around the screen
    • Use Spotify or whatever music app you want in the background to give your video snap a soundtrack.
      • If you are creative enough you can use the lyrics in a song to amplify the message or scene you are creating.
    • Use text, move it around, change the colors of it.
    • Show your face
      • This goes back to the authenticity side of things. People like seeing other humans. It helps you build a connection.
    • Create a count down: 3, 2, 1, (each one second, their own snap)
      • You are building up the hype
    • Use thought bubbles and then add text
      • This can be a great way to turn an inanimate object into something.
      • You can turn a pic of someone into something funny or use it to drop a promo code.
    • Using filters
      • Swipe left or right
      • You can use multiple filters by holding your finger down.
      • Press on your face and you get the new fun face filters.
      • Creating your own Snapchat filter.
        • This can be great for branding and marketing.
        • Reason being, you get all of those impressions of people using it and it’s inexpensive.
    • Push your camera onto the ground/hard surface so that it creates a solid black background.
      • Overlay text on top of it so the text stands out more.
  2. Be smart with the length of your images or videos.
    • Remember, we are in the attention businesses. If you hope to hold people’s attention then you have to respect their time. I typically err on the side of shorter.
    • For me I like to keep my pics that are simple and straight forward to 3 seconds in length.
      • If you’ve got something interesting but doesn’t need to be broken down much, do it for 1 second.
      • I like to think that I’m training my audience to pay attention to my snaps more by making them shorter in length. They know that I deliver quality and they aren’t going to want to miss what I’ve got.
    • For snaps that have a call to action you may want to give them a longer time (for obvious reasons.) But don’t abuse this.
  3. I’d like to think that people like my snaps because they don’t know what they are going to see next. Curiosity is good.
  4. There are no limits or rules to how creative you can get with Snapchat. That’s one of the things that I love about Snapchat.

Snapchat Tips & Tricks

  1. For the people you talk to them most, go to “settings/the gear” and then “edit name” and put an “A” in front of the people you talk to the most (ex. A-Rachael.) That way they show up at the top of your screen and don’t have to go searching for them.
  2. Also in “edit name”, if you start getting followers that you don’t know but engage with you, change their name to a few characteristics that’ll help you remember who they are. Just like in college when you’d meet someone in a bar (ex. Grady Indy Cubs Bengals.)
  3. When you have an important call to action snap, prompt it by having a snap that says “get ready to Screenshot the next Snap.”
    • You’ve got to prime your followers up. Remember, you are thinking about this like a marketer.
  4. You can use YouTube videos or things on your computer to help tell your story or add content (ex. Find a scene from Rocky IV to help you grab your audiences attention or make a point.)
  5. Work with influencers (if you are in that space) where they do a takeover.
    • Thing can help you grow your account and spice things up.

How To Track Snapchat ROI

  1. Use promo codes. The 24 hour shelf life makes it urgent
    • Promo codes allow you to track things
  2. Type out links/URL’s and tell people to screenshot them.
  3. Create calls to action: “Hey followers, I want you to do *insert something*”
  4. Weekly I track my maximum views on a snap in Excel so I can tell the growth of my account.

Types Of Snapchat Content You Can Create

  1. Once again, this can be like a TV Show. What is going to be valuable to your audience? Create content buckets and deliver that in a fun and engaging way.
  2. Throwing a live event? Give highlights from it. Use the content from it to promote your next one.
  3. Create unique content specific to the platform. Too many brands post the same stuff on all social media accounts and that gives zero reason to follow them everywhere.
  4. Create contests, perks, promotions.
  5. Behind the scenes.
  6. Highlight the awesome things you are working on.
  7. Get to know the employees (ex. employee of the day.)
  8. Use for recruiting new employees or post when you’ve got a job available
  9. Show what makes your culture so awesome.
  10. News jacking for your industry.
  11. Be a teacher: give tips, best practices, tricks for your industry.
  12. Promote other social media platforms.
  13. Use it for customer service.
  14. Questions for your audience, “what do you think about…”
  15. Reactions videos.
  16. Show the process of how something is created/done.
  17. I like to “teach, inspire, and entertain.”

How To Grow Your Snapchat Audience

  1. It’s hard to grow your Snapchat audience since their discover tools aren’t developed. You’ve really got to put extra effort in because theres no social media integration. You can find people via their phone number so start there.
    • Promote on other social media channels.
    • Promote on your website.
    • Promote on your newsletter.
    • Promote in your email signature.
    • Promote with stickers on your computer.
    • Create a physical sign with your Snapchat handle.
    • When you meet people ask them if they are on Snapchat and if they are have them take a pic of your snap code (then you can follow them back.) It is important that you do it this way opposed to you taking a picture of their code as there is no guarantee they follow you back.
    • Use Ghostcodes.
  2. Download your Snapchat story and then upload to YouTube and Facebook.
    • I put “Follow Bacon Sports” + my Snapcode on the rail of my YouTube videos since the snaps don’t take up all of the screen.
  3. Hustle. It’s gotta be important to you if you hope to get something out of it.

Snapchat For Business Most Important Points

  1. Be good at storytelling.
  2. Provide value.
  3. Have fun.
  4. Engage.
  5. You should continually be working to strengthen your relationship with your followers.
  6. This doesn’t have to be something you spend an insane amount of time on. Like anything, you get what you put into a platform. Just be consistent, build a strategy, and then execute it.
  7. It never hurts to thank your followers and customers.

If you are interested in having me teach a Snapchat for Business workshop for your team or company hit me up at any of the following:

Or via this webform.

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creativity  //  engagement  //  Social Media


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