Sweetwaters Café, an Ypsilanti coffee shop, which I just so happen to work at, has recently moved their brand to social media. Sweetwaters has been around in Michigan since 1993 and has collected a following of customers, but they are now looking to get a new type of following, online. The company has just stepped foot into the realm of social media and what a vast new world it is! The owners have even hired on my lovely roommate, Emma, to start up their online marketing campaign. With her help, Sweetwaters is moving into all the major platforms including: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
I sat down with Emma and asked her about her strategy; she had some great ideas, but when it came to Snapchat she seemed to be having some trouble. This got me to thinking about how different Snapchat really is and how the app could be used by a business. With over one million daily active users, Snapchat offers an awesome opportunity to connect with customers. The app should be used to engage and excite a company’s audience, this can be difficult though since it is so different from any other social media platform. With that being said, I came up with a few tips on how businesses can (and should) be utilizing Snapchat.
- Offer Behind-The-Scenes Content
The unique feature of Snapchat is that content disappears after 24 hours. Take this opportunity to show your customers what it is like working for the company. Followers want to see exclusive content and by showing them the day-to-day activities and some of the cool things the average customer wouldn’t get to see, you are giving them a feeling of inclusion. Keep content fun and entertaining. In regards to a coffee shop like Sweetwaters, a video clip of how to make an espresso shot could be put on their story so followers can see how drinks are made; something many customers don’t know about and don’t get to see.
- Be Candid With Content
Snapchat is probably the most casual social media platform. Because content only stays available for a 24 hour period, this makes Snapchat less of a long-term brand portfolio, unlike other spaces like Facebook and Instagram. On these outlets pictures are often edited, in attempts to project the perfect image. Although quality is important, use Snapchat in a more relaxed fashion, you don’t have to edit and manipulate, just try to show the people behind the company, in a human way.
- Provide Access to Live Events
Because pictures and video can be put together to form stories, when a company has an event it should be documented. It is impossible for every customer to show up to an event and of course you still want to make the people who missed it seem included. So, what better way to do it than by recording the best moments and sharing it with everyone? Sweetwaters does a monthly trivia night, which always includes really quirky questions and the opportunity for teams to win free drinks. Pictures of the turn-out and the winning team can be posted, as well as video clips of everyone having a great time.
- Offer Promotions and Promote Products
One great way a company can use Snapchat is by offering promotions. Again, going back to that exclusive content element, offer people who watch the whole story a discount or announce contests and deals in a creative way using the app. Employees can also use Snapchat to promote products, of course the rule of 80/20 still applies.
- Start a Conversation
Use snapchat to ask questions. Once someone adds the company as a Snapchat friend, they can send pictures, videos and messages directly to the account. This is a great way to get customer feedback or to just start a friendly conversation. Sweetwaters could pose questions like: “how do you warm up on a cold day?” including a picture of a hot cup of coffee and adding the temperature filter to represent how cold it is outside. By starting a conversation, a company engages their audience and makes them feel like the company cares about them.
These are just a few ways a company can use Snapchat to engage with their audience, what are some other creative ways a company could use the app?