FROM BRANDRUSSO.com

5 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Snapchat For The Holidays

Snapchat remains a bit of a mystery to some folks, but if you are in your mid-20’s or younger OR trying to reach people in that demographic, you need to be on board.  First a quick explanation for those a bit unfamiliar:  Snapchat is a social media platform where users share pictures and videos, but the images and videos have a time limit.  It’s the app your 16-year-old niece can’t/won’t ever close.  It’s a hip app with a young audience and features that small businesses could use to get attention.

Snapchat lends itself to just about every type of small business.  From retail to web, from non-profits to restaurants, these tactics can be applied to get you in the game.  Now let’s look at how you can get engagement this holiday/shopping season.

Showcase New Products or Services

Snapchat offers a “story” feature, which is where your content will live– for 24 hours.  A pretty straightforward way to use your story is to feature your holiday products or services. Show your followers what’s coming in just in time for gift season!  Let them know that you are working on a new plan or design!  If you run a charity or non-profit, let them know you need donations and you can be specific.  Take a picture in the app and save it to your Story.

Snag Walk-in Traffic

Most small businesses tend to offer discounts this time of year; log on to Snapchat’s website and set up a large geofence around your store.  This displays a filter that shows your business is having a sale or offering a promotion. Anyone who is using Snapchat within walking distance of your store will see the sale.  So if you own a restaurant and are offering tastings of a new cheese, you can get people through the door.  Get a look at creating a geofence here.

Secret Coupon

Try setting up a geofence filter just around your store, office or food cart and have it prompt customers to ask about a coupon or discount.  Think of it as a promotion code or referral.  And you can use the coupon to reward brand advocates who are snapping from inside your business.

Create Quick Brand Ambassadors

As you may have noticed, Snapchat makes great use of a geofilters.  You can create and submit a holiday graphic with your logo, set up a geofence and create quick brand ambassadors.  Using the geofilters means any customers who happen to use Snapchat from inside or near your business can let their friends know where they are with a fun branded filter.  Learn more about creating a filter here.

Reward Your Audience

The geofilter sales and coupons reward people who are already in or near your store with a discount but don’t forget about your audience who are watching your story.  Snap a “coupon” to your story and tell your audience that the coupon is only valid if presented to the cashier “in-story” (In-story means the next 24 hours, while the coupon is still in your Snapstory).   

Snapchat can be fun, engaging and rewarding for your brand and your customers.  The holiday shopping season is the perfect time to give it a go.  The effort is minimal (and fun) and the rewards can pay off big.  Snapchat can give you a boost with a demographic that will have money to spend this season and help you cultivate relationships that could last year-round.

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Founded in 2001, RUSSO is a strategic branding agency with offices in New Orleans, Lafayette and Nashville. RUSSO uses consumer insight to develop branding initiatives that effectively change the conversation — forming emotional connections between the consumer and the brand. To learn more, visit brandrusso.com.