How to Use Snapchat to Grow Your Business: The Beginner’s Guide

October 5, 2016 Parker Davis

Use Snapchat to Grow Your Business

Snapchat has been growing quickly over the past few years.

At first, it was a fun way for teens to communicate with each other. But more and more brands have started to catch on (as well as older people) and it has become a powerful tool for business (for those who know how to use it right!).

But you might be wondering, “Wait! Isn’t Snapchat going to die out with the release of Instagram’s new “Stories” feature?

Here’s where we stand: Instagram won’t kill Snapchat. To quote social media expert and highly successful entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk, “Anybody who thinks Instagram is going to kill Snapchat is out of their mind.”

His reasoning? Snapchat acts like a media company, so it has scale. We agree.

Snapchat is here to stay, so we suggest using it to your business’ advantage!

Here’s how to get started…

Learn the Basics

It’s pretty simple to set up your account and start posting Snap Stories. But we’re assuming most of you have used Snapchat at least a few times before, so you probably have the basics down.

However, if you haven’t yet explored Snapchat, you can check out this how-to post from Mashable to get the basics down (i.e. setting up your account, taking Snaps, posting Stories, etc.).

Follow Influencers

Before you can truly start creating great content, you need to know what great content looks like. That’s why you should follow some Snapchat influencers. In other words, you should follow the brands and entrepreneurs who are using Snapchat effectively.

Here are a few to get you started:

  1. Gary Vaynerchuk (garyvee)
  2. Tai Lopez (tailopez1)
  3.  Justin Wu (hackapreneur)
  4. The New York Times (thenytimes)
  5. Jake Paul (jakepaul19)
  6. Hubspot (hubspotinc)

Through these brands and entrepreneurs, you’ll learn what it takes to create a great story, engage your audience, and do a lot of the other things we’ll talk about in this post.

Plan Your Story

You don’t want your Snap Story to just be a collection of random moments. Sure, some random moments are fun, but you should have some sort of subject or theme for your story each day.

Perhaps the night before (or the morning of) think of some effective ideas for your Snapchat Story.

How can you form an effective story arc? How can you work in a theme and get your audience engaged?

Here are some ideas:

  • A day-in-the-life
  • Behind-the-scenes look at your business
  • Business tips from experts
  • Recurring Snapchat series
  • Contests
  • Favorite quotes
  • Book of the day

Use Strong Calls to Action

To be effective on Snapchat, you must get your audience to engage with you. After all, the goal isn’t to get them to just watch your Story, smile, and forget about you. The goal is to get them to take some sort of action. To do that, you need to infuse your Stories with strong calls to action.

You can add calls to action throughout your Story. With Snapchat, you have many options. Here are some calls to action you can use:

  • Ask your followers to screenshot a Snap – for example, you can ask for their opinion on a book title ideas, and ask them to screenshot their favorite title
  • Ask your followers to reply to your Snap – for example, you can ask what their biggest challenge has been in business in 2016, and tell them to reply to your Snap with their answer
  • Offer them a free ebook and give them a link to sign up and receive it
  • Ask followers to follow you on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Leverage Other Social Media Platforms to Gain Followers

You might be thinking, “This sounds great, but how the heck do I get more Snapchat followers?!?”

Good question! It’s not as obvious to get followers on Snapchat as it is on other social media platforms.

One great way to do it is to leverage your other social media. For example, you can upload your Snap Story to your Instagram Story or to Facebook as a “teaser”. Then, tell people to follow you on Snapchat to see more of your content!

Film Behind-the-Scenes Footage

People buy from people who they know, like, and trust. Snapchat provides a unique opportunity for you to connect with your audience on this level and earn that “know-like-trust” factor.

You can post authentic, behind-the-scenes footage of your business that nobody else gets to see. This will give your audience a deeper perspective of your business, make you seem more personable, and earn their trust.

For example, recently, Hubspot went behind-the-scenes on a class for new hires. They did a quick Snap to introduce the Story, and then went behind the scenes with the new hires and asked them about their experience in the class. Then, they followed it up with a call-to-action link for followers to apply for a job at Hubspot. Now that’s some effective Snapchat marketing!

Snapchat presents you with a unique way to communicate with your prospects and customers. Use these tips to get the most out of the platform and get a leg up on your competition.

What has been your brand’s experience on Snapchat? What’s worked, and what hasn’t? Let us know in the comments below!

About the Author

Parker Davis

Parker Davis is the CEO of Answer 1, a leader in the virtual receptionist and technology enabled answering services industry. He believes that the application of data analytics, investment in technology, and fostering a positive company culture together create highly efficient and scalable growth companies. In 2016, Answer 1 will achieve record revenues while also being awarded the Top Companies to Work For in Arizona award. Parker is also the Managing Partner of Annison Capital Partners, LLC, a private investment partnership.

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