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Snapchat Tips: Self-Destructing Social Media Marketing Snapchat, launched in September 2011, is a photo and video-sharing app centred on one simple premise: all messages shared between friends via Snapchat will self-destruct, never to be seen again.

In most cases, photo and video messages - Snaps - will disappear between one and ten seconds after being opened by a recipient (the time limit is specified by the sender), and if the Snap is not opened,

it will automatically delete itself after 30 days. The only exceptions to this rule are a “one-time or infinity-repeat option for any single snap, Snapchat Stories, and the potentially game-changing Memories (more on these features below).

Before sharing content with fellow contacts, Snapchat users have the option to add filters and annotate photos and video with colorful text and markers. While media shared via Snapchat only exists for a matter of seconds,

If you switch your thinking to view the time limit as an opportunity rather than a limitation, there are plenty of ways that it can be used for effective marketing.

Think about it this way: when a customer is notified of a Snapchat message from you, first they're excited about what mystery it holds and second they know that as soon as they open it, they need to pay close attention as it will soon disappear forever.

And if they don't keep checking the app daily, they'll miss messages, creating sense of urgency to keep up with fleeting information. Often it’s addictive !
By today's standards, 10 seconds of someone's undivided attention like this - especially on a medium as personal as mobile - is gold dust.

One of the biggest emotional triggers for brands on social media is creating the feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out), and the format of Snapchat's content delivers this in spades. Like all social media, the best Snapchat content is framed in a way that mirrors the style of the majority of its users who take advantage of the platform.

Where Snapchat is concerned, this involves humor, sharing secrets, having fun, holding small conversations, and capturing "shareworthy" moments: the promise of one-of-a-kind, real-time content is your customer's incentive to follow you, even if they already do on other channels.

Unlike other social networks:
Snapchat isn't about portraying perfection or driving people to directly buy your product. It's a fun, genuine way to promote the personality of your brand and share your story in an off-the-cuff, genuine way.

Let’s look at some ways that you can make the most of Snapchat for your business… Take advantage of Snapchat Stories The Snapchat Stories mode allows you to join multiple snaps together to create a rolling 24-hour reel of content for all of your followers to enjoy again and again.

When any snap is added to your story ages over 24 hours, it disappears and must be replaced with new photos or videos if you want the story to remain active. If no new content is added to your story, it will disappear once the newest piece of content expires, and a whole new story will need to be created.

To add content to a story, just choose the ‘+’ icon after taking a photo or recording a video with the app. While the previous Snapchat content strategies in this chapter allow you to specifically target individuals, stories are more of a “catch all” approach that give followers a better opportunity to view collections of snaps multiple times.

They also act as a central hub to which you can direct fans when you want them to engage with your Snapchat efforts over a prolonged period of time and enjoy a more substantial narrative of events.

For example, the Washington Wizards basketball team uses stories to document its game days, making snaps that show the players arriving, a glimpse of the locker room, half-time fun, and the result at the end of the game.

Similarly, the fashion brand Jack Wills employs stories to allow its fans to tag along all day at photo shoots for its newest ranges of clothes, while the online food-ordering service GrubHub uses stories to give its fans extra time to catch its latest promotion blasts and coupon codes.

What’s more, with the story replies option, anyone can reply to a specific photo or video within a story by swiping up from the bottom of the display and opening a new chat window.

This means you can receive instant feedback (and reply to fans!) and it is an invaluable way to gauge how a live campaign is going.

Note: A sure-fire way to boost the view rates on all of your stories is to think about the three pillars of storytelling: each one needs a logical beginning, middle, and end, where each pillar of the story gives your fans a reason to view until the end.

Invite viewers on a journey and keep them asking "What's next?" Brands with successful view rates tend to keep their snaps brief and their stories anywhere between 1 and 2 minutes long.

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Any longer than that may negatively impact view rates. One common mistake amongst businesses who are new to Snapchat is creating mixed-message stories that don’t connect with their audience.

For example, they will create a story by combining random snaps without context or overarching story. If you do plan to take a bunch of one-off snaps, use a longer frequency between each snap to minimize any confusion.

Use Memories to develop new, repackage, and re-purpose content In the past, only photos and videos shot within Snapchat could be posted as snaps or as part of a story. The Memories feature, introduced in July 2016, changed this by allowing users to upload content from their device's Camera Roll and save and share old snaps from inside the app for later use.

So, now it is possible to create content in any app or software to be uploaded to Snapchat, opening up a whole new world of opportunity. Snapped a photo or shot a video made for Facebook, Twitter, or elsewhere ?

Now you can re-purpose it for Snapchat with very little effort. For example, a long YouTube video can be chopped into 10-second clips to be repackaged as a serialised Snapchat story. Or if you want to export a top-performing snap to share on another platform, that is just as easy to do.

Access Memories from Snapchat’s home screen by tapping on the small white circle below the big white circle at the bottom of the app. Here, you'll be able to import content from your Camera Roll to use within Snapchat.

Alternatively, to save a completed snap to Memories for future use, tap the arrow pointing downwards at the bottom of the screen. This icon used to save snaps to your phone, but now tapping on this icon will save your snap directly to Memories.

Saved snaps can be shared to other social networks to promote your Snapchat content, like attaching it to a tweet or Facebook post, creating an album of Snapchat photos to tell the story of a day, or stitching video clips together to create a vlog for uploading to YouTube.

Memory snaps are differentiated against ordinary snaps because they appear with a white border and a timestamp. Like stories, multiple memories can be stitched together. Snapchat content ideas Ask simple questions As the ability to type long text replies is limited by time and space on Snapchat, the best kind of questions to ask are those that are easy to digest and demand a visual response, either by photo or video.

For example, a shoe brand might ask their fans something as simple as "Show us your shoes!" or "Snap us a photo when you're in our store!” The quicker and easier you make it for fans to respond, the better.

Show sneak previews
Snapchat media's brevity makes it a great platform for showing a sneaky peak behind the curtain of your business, whether it’s news of a new product launch, an upcoming offer, or something else exclusive only to your friends on the app.

If need be, tease out the content over the course of several snaps to keep it digestible and to encourage people to look out for more. MTV UK used this marketing method several times to preview photo stills and video clips from the new season of its reality television show, Geordie Shore.

The content was memorable and impactful, reminding people to watch the program and visit its website. Offer coupons and special offers Use Snapchat as a way to send out time-limited coupons or special offers to your customers.

As the promotion will be seen so briefly, make sure that your message is extra clear and succinct, e.g., "10% off today only with promo code SNAP" and consider sending out a “heads-up” snap to alert people to the day and time that a promotion will be landing in their inbox.

The 16 Handles ice cream chain put an interesting spin on this strategy.
First, they asked customers to send them a photo via Snapchat of them eating the chain's ice cream. 16 Handles would then reply with a coupon code for money off their next purchase.

The customer had to keep the self-destructing message unopened until they placed their order at the register, then quickly show the cashier the coupon to receive a discount. Hold a Snapchat contest As you know, a contest can be a highly effective way to boost engagement and awareness of your brand on social media.

It is no different on Snapchat. Here are several methods you can use: Scavenger hunt: Share photo or video clues to a secret destination, either in the real world or online, and allow your followers to compete to be the first to find it.

Word or picture quiz: Send out word or picture clues over a set period of time, building up to a way that followers can win a prize, e.g., visiting a special page on your site to enter a keyword revealed over the course of a week, or by sending back a specific snap.

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First snap wins:
Send out a photo or video asking followers to snap back something specific or tweet you a screen grab from a snap, and the first one to do it wins a prize. Have fun, be funny Snapchat's majority audience is teenagers and young adults and the app is dominated by fun and humorous pieces of content.

If your brand image allows, don't be afraid to have a little fun - pull faces, doodle on top of your snaps, use Emoji and stickers to tell a story, or surprise your audience with something that might raise an eyebrow or two !

Handing over your Snapchat account to partners, customers, and different employees can also a great way to vary your content and make it feel more authentic. Branded content on Snapchat is like nothing else out there, so if you can capture the imagination of fans in this way, they are more likely to keep opening the snaps you send... which means the odd promotional one, too.

Note: Make it a goal to create snaps and stories that are engaging from start to finish and screenshot-worthy (a trackable metric in Snapchat – more on this shortly). As covered in previous chapters, examples might include useful checklists, inspirational quotes, and discount codes.

Use Paperclip to drive traffic to your website In a landmark rollout that is an immense help to brands – and will help you tie many of the suggestions above to your brand’s social media goals - Snapchat introduced Paperclip in July 2017. The feature allows you to attach a website URL to a snap.

When a user swipes up on the snap, the link you’ve entered will open within Snapchat's internal browser, allowing you to push fans and customers to your content instantly and directly within Snapchat (a feature previously limited to paid ads). The tool can be accessed by tapping on the paperclip icon within Snapchat’s toolkit, directly after taking a snap photo or video.

How to track customers on Snapchat and measure ROI Unlike some of its rivals, Snapchat does not yet feature an in-depth set of tools for businesses to manage and track detailed analytics on the app – some out-of-the-box thinking is needed until a time when official means of carrying it out is possible.

Here’s are several metrics you can utilize go help you determine how successful you’re growing and engaging your Snapchat following. Total Opens: This is the total number of views across all of your Snapchat stories.

To track your opens and views, you can use a third-party tool like Snaplytics.io. Average Open Rate: This is the percentage of total estimated followers who have engaged with any given Snapchat story - comparable to engagement rates on Facebook. This metric is closely tied to the number of opens.

Screenshots taken: Screenshots is the total number of screenshots taken by users for all of the snaps within a story. This metric tells you how many times people have saved your snap to their devices.

Screenshots are a great indicator that people found your post valuable or entertaining (whether you asked them to or not). Completion Rate: Completion rate is the percentage of followers who viewed an entire story from beginning to end; a way to measure the loyalty of your audience.

Do they watch your stories in their entirety or swipe away before finishing ? Follower growth: Follower growth by source is the key metric to determine where your Snapchat followers are coming from.

From there, you can adjust your strategy. To view the number of opens and screenshots of individual snaps and stories, and from this data, figure out the other metrics listed above, tap the three little dots that appear to the right of where you click on your story in the app.

How to grow your Snapchat following – Snapcodes and friend referrals Other than the obvious "market your Snapchat presence and username everywhere", one of the simplest ways to encourage the growth of your audience on Snapchat is to ask existing followers to encourage their friends to add you on the app.

Following is made easy courtesy of your profile’s Snapcode, which when photographed by a customer using the app’s built-in camera, will add you automatically – grab an editable, printable version at:

When asking existing fans to refer their friends, make sure you get them to snap you the name of the friend who will be adding you, and when they do, send both users a little reward as a thanks (discount code, unique content, etc.)
Custom URL

Snapcodes In addition to “follow our profile” Snapcodes, in early 2017, Snapchat added a feature that allows users to turn any link into a Snapcode that can be used to open web pages within Snapchat.

To create a Snapcode:
1. Open Snapchat Settings, select Snapcodes, and then “Create Snapcode.
2. Paste the URL of the chosen web page and add an image that will appear within the Snapcode (Snapchat will automatically pull images from the web page as possible options).
3.The completed Snapcode will be saved to your camera roll and can be inserted anywhere you like: embedded on a website, posted to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, on flyers, menus, etc.

As a way for brands to track Snapcode usage, Snapchat provides in-app analytics (total number of scans over the past three months, as well as the percentage of people who opened the link after scanning it) for Snapcodes that have been scanned at least 100 times.

If you're not reaching that number consistently, converting your link on bit.ly is an alternative method to track Snapcode progress. Combine Snapchat with other social channels Given Snapchat's fluid and destructive form of messaging, it often helps to combine the app with other social networks as a way to switch up or more easily preserve the momentum of your strategy.

For example, you could launch a contest using a Snapchat story, but ask fans to submit their entries to you via Instagram or Twitter, using an @mention and a specific hashtag. Not only would this help you tell how effective your Snapchat marketing is, but also provide some extra exposure on other social networks.

Quick and effective Snapchat content creation tips To make the most of visuals on Snapchat, do this first: Navigate straight to Settings (cog icon), tap "Manage" under the Additional Services option and turn on Filters, and Special Text.

After taking a photo or video, swipe left or right to overlay a handful of color filters, as well as a time stamp, the current temperature, the ability to speed up, slow down, or reverse a video snap, etc.

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To add an additional filter to a photo, hold the screen with one finger and swipe left or right with another to find your second filter. Or, while your front-facing camera is still live, press and hold the screen to discover a series of hilarious (and sometimes disturbing lenses) to overlay onto your face.

The Loop tool for videos lets you decide if your Snap plays once or loops until the viewer is ready to tap to the next Snap – very handy if you’re going to be stringing together multiple, short video clips. Need to access the black or white paintbrush when doodling ?

Place your finger over the color palette and drag down toward the bottom of the screen until the black hue appears, or - similarly - hold your finger down and drag it off to the left of the screen to enable the white brush.  In addition, you can make text captions big and bold by tapping the "T" icon.

Tap twice (in either mode) to center it. To add background music to video snaps, begin playing a track on your mobile (either one saved to your device or streamed in an app like Spotify),

Then open Snapchat and begin recording – the portion of the track that plays during the recording will be dubbed into the video automatically. Snapchat provides hundreds of cute and vibrant emoji and stickers to decorate your snaps. To access the emojis and stickers, take your snap then tap the folded paper icon on the top of your screen.

Tap to choose a sticker, drag it around, pinch and twist to resize and rotate. You can add as many as you like! To "pin" an emoji or sticker to a moving object in your video snaps, tap and hold it above an object to stick it in place.

Advertising on Snapchat Snapchat advertising is an exciting advertising channel for marketers, especially if your target audience is in the 13-34 age bracket, who make up the vast majority of its users.

With Snapchat’s data, you can target users based on their demographics and their online and offline interests and behaviors. You can also use your own data to reach your customers and similar users on Snapchat.

There are two main types of advertising available to all marketers on Snapchat. Let’s take a look: On-Demand Geofilters Snapchat geofilters are user-made filters that appear when a Snapchatter fires up the app in a designated location, like a city, a park, or near a restaurant; typically, they do not have a time limit.

On-demand Geofilters – specifically targeted at business users – allow you to create and host a geofilter in a specific location for a chosen amount of time, ranging from a few hours up to 30 days.

This feature opens up huge marketing opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses. Imagine a restaurant using an overlaid on-demand geofilter to advertise a new dish, or a theater promoting their newest production.

The cost? As little as $5.00, depending on the length you want the geofilter to appear, and how big the area you want it to generate within is.

To begin the geofilter-creation process, visit:
http://geofilters.snapchat.com/purchase or within the Snapchat app, on the settings screen, tap On-Demand Geofilters. If this is your first time creating an on-demand geofilter, Snapchat will walk you through a series of questions and templates as you create your design.

Otherwise, if you have existing geofilters and want to create a new one, tap the Create icon to get started. Snap Ads Snap Ads are full-screen vertical video ads that begin with an up to 10-second video,

And then offer the option to add an interactive element when the user swipes up: watch a longer video, read an article, install an app, or visit a website. Snap Ads appear in between friends’ stories an curated content like Snapchat’s own or publishers’ stories.

Snap Ads are created in the Snapchat Ad manager, and if you are already familiar with the Facebook Ads Manager, the Snapchat Ad Manager is similar. You can set up and login to your business account on Snapchat at:

Like Facebook, you will be creating choosing a goal for your ad (drive traffic, grow awareness, video views, etc.), selecting a schedule and choosing a budget (it is recommended that you set the bid amount to how much each goal action (e.g. video view) is worth to you. If you are not getting the results you expect, you could try increasing your bid..

Here are some targeting best practices from Snapchat: Keep your audience size less than 20 million people for the same creative. Create an ad set for each unique group of people you’re trying to reach.

Test Lookalike Audience for prospecting and finding new customers. Try using multiple ads per ad set so you can see how different creatives perform with the same audience. There are several ad types available on Snapchat, including: Top Snap: A Top Snap is the three to 10-second video ad that users will see.

Top Snaps won’t feature a swipe up call-to-action because there won’t be any video or link attachment. Long-form video: This ad type acts as a trailer for a longer video that can be up to 10 minutes long.

Web view: This objective allows you to drive traffic to your website as a means to encourage purchase of a product, to read an article, etc. App install: This ad type drives traffic to your app page in the Google Play or Apple App Store for users to download your app.

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As mentioned, all Snap Ads are required to be in a vertical format. If you are not confident about making vertical video ads, no problem: hit “Create” and you’ll launch Snap Publisher, Snapchat’s online video editing app.

You can either create a video from scratch or edit one of the pre-designed templates. As for the content of your Snap Ad, it’s up to you! If you’re stuck for ideas, a simple selfie video is a good first option, because they look like stories from friends and make the ad experience familiar to other users.

Snapchat’s own research shows that “Ads which feature UGC [user generated content] look and feel, Snapchat inspired features, and speaking to camera are significantly stronger at driving view-through.” Whatever your creative, here is a selection of best practices to help ensure your ad is effective:

Establish brand moment before the two-second mark to maximize your ad’s awareness, but avoid opening on a solid frame with a logo or product shot only; start with immediate action and a compelling element,

like a product reveal or brand iconography -
Opening with moving footage provides a moment to hook viewers.
Ensure that your ad is descriptive about what the user gets once they swipe up.
Ads should seek to mirror the bite-sized and linear storytelling of Snaps.

Although the maximum length of video permitted is 10 seconds, Snapchat actually recommends trying to keep your ad’s duration closer to below 6 seconds. Its research reveals that between 3 and 5 seconds is the sweet spot for Snap Ad length to drive action, and that an offer message (if available) should be delivered within second two or three.

Use voiceover call to actions to encourage users to swipe up, and choose the most appropriate of the available call to action buttons to display, e.g. Install Now or Download for app installs. If promoting an app, feature a person using it, and screenshots of it, along with key metrics to demonstrate the value of downloading it.

Test all types of Snap ads from video, to stills, to gifs or cinemagraphs (one per ad set) Align creative with targeting where possible- Higher relevancy leads to higher swipe and conversion rates ! Interestingly,

Snapchat has found that incremental exposures to an ad increase lift in resonance metrics (i.e. the more times a person sees an ad, the more they are likely to remember it), despite having a negative impact on view duration.

So, it recommends that you focus on driving resonance metrics rather than view duration. This is why capturing your audience in the first few seconds, and persuading them to swipe up if called for, is so important.

The final step of Snap Ad
Creation is to tell Snapchat the website, app page, or video that you want users to see when they swipe up. Once your Snap ad is launched, you can visit the Snapchat Ad Manager at any time to monitor its performance, edit the schedule or budget, or download a report about your results.

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