Snapchat is one of the most popular social media platforms around, especially for the younger among us. But did you know that it’s now a hot spot for businesses as well?

No, it’s not Instagram. But if your target audience includes teens, then it’s also not to be overlooked.

Ready to discover how to leverage Snapchat for your business? Let’s dig in.

Should Your Business Be on Snapchat?

Marketing your business on Snapchat is hard work. Some say it’s even more difficult work than marketing on other social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, for instance. So the very first thing you need to do when pondering how to get Snapchat followers is to determine if it’s worth the effort in the first place.

Is Your Target Audience on Snapchat?

To go about deciding whether Snapchat is indeed for you and your business, you need some information about its demographics.

So, here you go.

A whopping 78% of 18-24 year-olds are on Snapchat, so if Gen Z is part of your target audience, then Snapchat is absolutely the place to be.

If you’re marketing mostly to older consumers, though, then you might want to reevaluate your goal of building a huge Snapchat following. Usage numbers for this particular social network drop dramatically the higher up in age you go.

A little over half (54%) of 25-29 year-olds report using Snapchat, but only 26% of 30-49 year-olds say they use it, and the percentages for ages 50+ are nearly nonexistent.

If the lower ends of this chart look more like your target audience, then your efforts may be better utilized elsewhere, at least for now. Of course, you’ll still want to keep an eye on things. It may turn out that other demographics will begin to adopt Snapchat as time goes on. It wouldn’t be the first time we saw such a trend!

Other Social Media Networks to Consider

If you decide to put Snapchat on the back burner, rest assured there are other viable options for your social media strategy. Other social media networks like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, for instance, have much higher engagement numbers for members of the older generations. Wherever your target audience is on social media, your business needs to be there too.

Are You Willing to Get Creative?

If you want to know how to get popular on Snapchat, then there’s one thing you need to understand right off the bat—Snapchat is not for stuffy professionals. Far from it. If you tend to be either stuffy or professional on the regular, then Snapchat may not be for you or your business. That is, unless you’re willing to loosen your tie a bit before logging into your Snapchat account.

Snapchat Is A Peculiar Breed of Business

On the other hand, if your brand’s a little on the goofy or quirky side and you’ve been known to let your hair down a bit at office parties, then Snapchat may be more your speed. And getting Snapchat followers shouldn’t be that hard for you.

Just know going into it that you’re going to be creating brand content unlike anything you’ve ever created before. It’s going to challenge you and push your limits. You’ll be uncomfortable at first, and you may second guess yourself.

Snapchat Success = Engagement

If you’re in it to win it from the start, though, the results can be rewarding in more ways than one. We’re not talking just increased exposure and traffic (though those are certainly important!); we’re talking uncovering a new side of your business and even yourself that can drive greater customer engagement than you’ve seen yet!

 Use Snapchat For Your Business

So far, it may seem like we’re trying to talk you out of using Snapchat for business. Nothing could be further from the truth though. If your business goals and demographics line up with this platform, then it can be incredible for building brand awareness. Let’s look in detail at some of the advantages you’ll be gaining when you use Snapchat for business and marketing.

Competition is Minimal

Not many businesses are on Snapchat yet (relatively speaking), so if you’ve decided this social media network is right for your brand, then you’re uniquely positioned to gain a lot of exposure quickly. Snapchat offers unlimited opportunities to increase brand awareness without the commercial oversaturation of platforms like Facebook, for instance. The pond is pretty big, and you have the opportunity to be one of the first fish to enter the waters. Take it!

No Weird Algorithm

“Algorithm” is a four-letter word for marketers used to dealing with Google and Facebook. If this describes you, then you’ll be happy to know that there’s no algorithm on Snapchat that will stand in the way of you and your followers. You won’t have to worry about your content being stifled or hidden like on other social media platforms. On Snapchat, you’ll feel liberated to create the content you want and have confidence that your followers will actually see it!

Develop a Solid Snapchat Marketing Strategy

If you’ve decided that a Snapchat follower base is indeed good for your business, then it’s tempting just to dive right in. We strongly suggest you resist this urge, though.

Can you get a s***ton of followers overnight without really thinking things through? Sure. It is possible to figure out how to get more Snapchat followers without actually developing a solid marketing strategy for the social media network, but it’s not recommended. If you go this route, you’ll likely end up making a bunch of costly mistakes that you’ll have to remedy over time. This will be time-consuming and not a lot of fun.

Identify a Long-Term Plan for Engagement

Source: Boot Camp Digital

You need to know ahead of time what you’re going to do with said s***ton of followers once you have them. If you hesitate after the fact, then they’ll likely abandon ship before they even have the chance to engage with your brand. And what’s the point in that?

I know it sounds counterintuitive for social media, but slow and steady really does win the race here, even for Snapchat.

Set Up Your Snapchat Account

First things, first. You need to set up your Snapchat account if you haven’t already.

 

This is a super easy step, and you don’t need us to tell you how to do it. Just fill in all your details, and let’s get going.

Creating Your Bitmoji

One of the first things you’ll want to do after setting up your Snapchat account is to customize your Bitmoji. A Bitmoji is basically a cartoon version of yourself, and most everyone on the platform uses Bitmojis as their Snapchat avatars. This adds to the casual, quirky feel of this social media network.

Creating your Bitmoji is a fun and easy process. Basically, you’re given a blank canvas, and you can scroll through a set of tools to customize your Bitmoji. You’ll choose your skin tone, hair color and style, eye color, nose shape, and more. You can even get specific by customizing features like mouth shape, jaw line, cheek lines, etc.

And if you want to be extra, you can even choose an outfit, headwear, and makeup. In essence, you can create a cartoon version of yourself that eerily resembles your reflection.

Once you’ve created your Bitmoji, it automatically becomes your Snapchat avatar and takes its place on your profile. But there’s more you can do with your Bitmoji as well.

Using Bitmojis Across Snapchat

After you create your Bitmoji, you’ll notice it popping up just about everywhere you go in the app. Snapchat will suggest stickers for you featuring your Bitmoji in all kinds of different contexts. You can add these stickers to your snaps and stories. Plus, you can send them to other Snapchatters using the chat feature.

Using the search feature, you can simply type in a word and Snapchat will suggest a relevant Bitmoji sticker. It’s pretty wild. And more to the point, it gives you endless opportunities for creating dynamic Snapchat content.

Find Friends

As SEOs love to do, we’re going to start with the low-hanging fruit to build our follower base. That’s right—we’re going to start with the rolodex of people you already know on Snapchat.

How do you do that? Just go to your profile and click on Add Friends.

On the next screen, you’ll see the people who have already added you on Snapchat as well as people you’ve yet to add.

You can also click on All Contactsto see people in your phone that are also on Snapchat.

 

Go ahead and add all of these contacts. Just go right down the line. Because they know you and will recognize your profile, chances are, they’ll follow you back no questions asked.

 

Leverage Your Other Social Media Accounts

Most businesses have multiple social media accounts. Why not use one to promote the other? This is a particularly helpful tip for getting more Snapchat followers if you’ve already built a robust follower base on other platforms like Instagram or Twitter, for example.

How to Promote Your Snapchat Via Social Media

Go ahead and add your Snapchat handle to all of your other social media accounts. You’re in it to win it, remember? Best to go all in.

Taco Bell was an early adopter of Snapchat (Surprise: college students love late-night tacos!), and they got the word out about their presence on the hot new social media platform in part by tweeting out the news.

 

The company even upped the ante by giving their Twitter followers a reason to add them on Snapchat as well. We’ll talk more later about how you can mimic this technique and provide incentives for people to follow you and your business on Snapchat.

 

Post the News On Your Website

And don’t forget to share your news on your own blog/website. No need to write a novel. Keep it short and sweet, and just focus on announcing the big news to your readers that you’ve made the leap to Snapchat.

Need some guidance? Follow Target’s lead:

Send Out an Email Blast

Don’t forget your email subscribers. Compose a quick email and send it out to your email list. Let them know you’re Snap-active as well!

Create and Share Your Snapcode

Snapchat has developed a unique way for friends and fans to follow you on Snapchat by using a Snapchat QR code, also known as a Snapcode. All you have to do is go to the website, download your snapcode, and then share it with others. After that, other Snapchatters can simply take a photo of the snapcode to add you on Snapchat. Boom—instant followers!

This feature makes your snapcode an extremely valuable marketing tool. You’re going to want to spread it around as much as you can.

Pretend your snapcode is like Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. Put that s*** on everything!

 

 

Creating Your First Snap on Snapchat

It’d be super convenient if you could simply copy and paste your Instagram content onto your Snapchat profile, right? Well, that’s not how Snapchat works, unfortunately (or fortunately!).

While it’s not usually recommended that you repurpose content from one social media network to use on another, it’s darn near impossible to do so on Snapchat.

That’s right. You’re all but forced to create content on Snapchat that is purely original and specific to this platform. So, let’s get to it.

How to Create Content on Snapchat

Creating content on Snapchat isn’t that hard, really. But it is very different compared to developing posts on other social media networks that you’re likely more familiar with like Facebook and Instagram, for example.

So, it will require you to step outside of your comfort zone just a bit. You can watch the video below for a quick overview of creating snaps.

To review, when you tap on the Snapchat icon to open the app, it goes directly to the camera. From there, all you have to do is tap the camera button to take a snap or hold it down to film a video.

You can tap on the reverse icon to switch between selfies and photos of your surroundings. Another way to do this is by simply double-tapping the screen.

Play With Snapchat Filters and More

But the fun doesn’t stop there. Part of the allure of Snapchat is that it offers so many different ways to tap into your creative side with lenses, filters, and stickers. The options are seemingly endless, and Snapchat is always adding more.

 

After you take your snap, you can edit it by cropping, adding text and stickers, and more. You can also add links to your snaps!

 

Creating Snapchat Stories

For your personal Snapchat (if you choose to have one), it’s ok to just create snaps every now and then. But for your brand, that’s not going to cut it. You need to take things to the next level. You need to create and share Snapchat Stories.

Fortunately, creating a Snapchat Story is exactly like creating a snap. You’ll just need to go one step further and add it to Our Stories. This makes the snap public and discoverable by any Snapchatter. Translation—instant exposure for your brand.

How to Add a Snap to Our Stories

To add your snap to Our Stories, just click on the Send button and then select Our Stories. It’s that simple!

 

Once you’ve added your snap to our Stories, it can then show up in the Discover tab where any Snapchatter can find it. This will spread awareness to your Snapchat profile.

Hosting a Snapchat Giveaway

After you’ve set up your Snapchat account, gained a few followers, and created some snaps, it’s time to get serious about your Snapchat marketing strategy.

A proven technique for gaining easy followers on Snapchat is to host a giveaway.

Why Host a Snapchat Giveaway?

You might be thinking hosting a giveaway on Snapchat is the total opposite of what you want to do. You’re trying to gain something (aka followers) on the platform, not give something away.

But as with most things in life, you have to give something to get something. Such is the case with Snapchat.

The truth is—giving something away on this social media platform can be a huge investment in your future on Snapchat. Even if the thing you’re giving away is something really small. Think a free month’s subscription or a $50 gift card for your products, for instance.

It doesn’t have to be anything huge. Any kind of incentives to following your Snapchat will work. The idea is to reward your loyal fans for following your Snapchat account.

How to Set Up Your Snapchat Giveaway

Setting up a Snapchat giveaway is easier than you might think, as long as you have the proper tools.

There are some rules for giveaways and promotions on Snapchat, though, so be sure to familiarize yourself with those before you start the planning process.

Use an App to Do the Heavy Lifting

You can use an app like Gleamto handle all the logistics of your Snapchat giveaway. That way, you won’t have to count entries manually, and the process of choosing the winner will be entirely objective.

Gleam is truly a one-stop-shop for your giveaway. The app will handle all of the details for you, even ensuring that entries follow your pre-established guidelines.

Once you’ve created your giveaway, be sure to put in the time to properly promote it. Don’t stop with Snapchat either. Remember, you can leverage your other social media platforms to cross-promote!

Tracking Progress on Snapchat

Another thing that differentiates Snapchat from the other big social media platforms is that there’s no easy or even clear way for businesses to analyze data and track progress on the platform, at least not yet.

This in itself can be a big deterrent for some marketers who like to see proof of their efforts. Don’t let this be the case for you, though.

Instead, keep an eye on your growing Snapchat following and take note of how fans are interacting with your brand via the network. As engagement grows, there will be no denying the impact of your Snapchat investment.

There’s More to Snapchat

Snapchat is a unique and complex platform. It’s not all that intuitive, so the learning curve can be steep for marketers. Use this guide to establish a Snapchat following and begin creating Snapchat content. After that, check back for more Snapchat news, updates, and tips for businesses.