Sure, you’ve heard of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other major social media sites. Only as of recently have business owners been learning about Snapchat, and the power it has over leveraging potential customers and current customers.

Like the other top social media platforms, Snapchat is a site that gives business owners the opportunity to share information, share images and share behind the scene looks about things that are taking place within their organization, as they are happening. No more having to wait several days, weeks or even months to unveil new products or development to your customers. With Snapchat, you have a simplified way to snap an image, add a text comment, post and share, all in the matter of seconds for your customers to see.

What is Snapchat?

In short, Snapchat is a mobile photo sharing application. It allows users to take photos, record video and even include text and drawings to share them with a list of recipients. The “snaps” are basically the shared photo and video content which is shared with the recipients on the list. Similarly to Instagram, this site allows the business owner to share a great deal of information with their customer, as they were never able to do in the past. For this reason, it has become one of the most popular choices in social media sharing as of recent months.

How does it Work?

Snapchat is similar to Instagram and other image and video sharing sites, in that it allows you, the business owner, to share image and video content with your list of recipients. However, it differs in that the site gives the images and videos that you send out a sense of urgency, which forces the recipients to click and view these images and videos.
On Snapchat, the image which you post is only going to be available to the recipient for a period of one to ten seconds after they open it; the same goes with the video content you share. So, what does this do for you? It causes your recipients to look at the product, service, story or other information you are sharing in a new way. It forces them to look at such information and content as a limited time offer, or something they can only get for a short period of time. In turn, it creates the urgency which the business owner seeks, and forces your consumer base to move quickly if they would like the product or service you are offering.

In addition to these short ten second views for images or videos which are shared through Snapchat, the app now offers a new feature, which is the “Snap Story”. Rather than the short ten second window, it allows the content to be viewed for a period of 24 hours, prior to being permanently removed from the site. If it is an ongoing story, or something you would like customers to pay a little bit more attention to, this is the perfect way to do it.

What Can You Share?

Anything! Are you creating a new product, and want to give your customers behind the scene looks during the development process? Or, do you want to share a special promotion or deal that will be coming up shortly in stores or online? Or, if you simply want to share what goes on at work and behind the scenes, why not use a Snap Story to do so? These are some of the things you can share on Snapchat.

1. Images

Release a new image of product development, show your customers a current product that won’t be sold any longer or simply share some fun behind the scenes at work. Regardless of the type of image you want to share, you can do so on Snapchat to help promote your business.

2. Video Clips

Why not share a short ten second clip or product development? This is a great way for you to create a stir and to get your customers excited about a new product you are developing. Show them what is going into the project or how you are improving on an older project. This is quick, simple and can easily be done via the video share chat.

3. Text

You can include a short, fun and creative text message with videos or your images. Or, do you simply want to promote a special 10% off sale in stores which will only take place for a few hours? You can do so with a short written message. Due to the fact that this can only be seen for a period of one to ten seconds after it is opened, it forces your recipients to go to your site immediately in an effort to find the great deal for the new product you are selling to them.

4. Storytelling

The new Snap Story allows you to share a story on Snapchat for a period of up to 24 hours. So, if you are doing a great deal of work behind the scenes, or if you have a special project you are working on, let your recipients see it for a little longer than usual. Not only can it help to create buzz about the new product, it can also help get your recipients excited about what is to come.

Why This Works for Your Business

Sites like Instagram and Twitter allow customers to go back several days later and view images, view tweets posted and other content—Snapchat does not. So, this forces your recipients to look at the content and forces them to really choose this product over others. In today’s busy world and quick paced society, people don’t have several hours to spend online shopping for items, or to look for new products. With Snapchat, that sense of urgency is exactly what the consumer needs, to press the “buy it now” button when you are sharing a new product, service or other information that you want them to react to.

Deliver a Call to Action

The “sense of urgency” which is created through Snapchat is also something that can prove beneficial to your company. If your recipients feel they have to buy a product now, or visit your site immediately because a special sale is ending, they are going to do so. If they feel they must react immediately, otherwise they will lose out on a great sale or new product line, they are also going to react.

By pressuring the consumer in a non-traditional manner, you are not only forcing them to visit your site, or purchase a limited time product, you are doing so in a manner that seems fun, friendly and seems as if you are engaging in conversation with them rather than simply trying to sell to them.

Because the limited time of one to ten seconds is so short, it forces your recipients to feel as if they must move quickly if they want to get the item you are offering. If you show a banner ad, or if you use a snap to show a sale which is going to be held, it will force your recipients to look at that message immediately. If the consumer feels they are going to lose out on a great deal, or a product is going to sell out (whether or not this is the case), they are far more likely to react, in comparison to if they are simply given a coupon and can use it at any time they please. A sense of urgency causes people to react in a manner that no other marketing can do.

As a business owner today you have to use social media marketing in an attempt to grow and draw in a new consumer base. In the 18 to 35 age range, Snapchat is one of the most popular and highly-used social media platforms. So imagine the potential to reach millions of customers and have one of your snaps go viral. Not only is this going to help you grow as a business, it is going to allow you to reach a far larger demographic as well. With this and other social media tools, not only can you reach your current audience, but can grow in no time with potentially millions of new recipients via the use of Snapchat and the fun image and video sharing the app allows you to do.