Snapchat users are now watching 10 billion videos a day, creating a massive opportunity for social media-savvy businesses.
Snapchat confirmed the whopping spike in daily video content since February, Bloomberg reports.
With a majority of Snapchat’s users aged under 34, the social network is fast becoming the way young people consume news, become aware of brands and generate loyalty for these.
CP Communications chief executive Catriona Pollard believes this makes the social media platform as important for businesses as Facebook and Instagram.
“Twitter has 305 million monthly active users, Instagram has 300 million, and Facebook has 1.59 billion, yet Snapchat’s video views are nearing those of Facebook’s,” she tells SmartCompany.
“Snapchat is bigger than most people realise as it has over 200 million active users, which means small businesses should be taking notice of Snapchat – especially to target the younger millennial demographic.”
Pollard believes Snapchat, if used effectively, can help businesses bolster customer loyalty.
“If Snapchat is used correctly to give customers a behind-the-scenes view of the small business, it can build reputation and loyalty,” she says.
“Snapchat gives the feeling that the viewers are in on the secret and have inside knowledge and exclusive access into your small business. This builds trust and loyal customers.”
Last year, ShowPo chief executive Jane Lu told SmartCompany the social media platform was making customers more loyal to her brand.
“People spend a lot of time and thought on Instagram but Snapchat is quite easy,” Lu said.
“Snapchat is about capturing the moment; you can’t redo the moment.”
But before snapping the action, Pollard recommends small businesses evaluate who their target audience is and where it’s most active.
“Snapchat’s main age range is those aged 18 to 24, with more than two-thirds female, so if that is your target audience then Snapchat could create great opportunities to gain a follower base and increase loyalty in the audience you want,” she says.
And the fundamental rule businesses should live by on Snapchat is to always add value for the audience.
“Users won’t add your business unless they have a reason to, and it benefits them,” Pollard says.
“Whether that’s through sharing exclusive content, running competitions, or pushing out vouchers through Snapchat, you have to add value.”
How to stand out from the crowd
Pollard suggests businesses create content to reflect their own unique brand and key messaging.
“Keep it consistent,” she says.
Basic selfies and mundane daily activities won’t do.
“Think about the quirky individual aspects of your business and show your audience how you are different,” she says.
“Snapchat really allows the audience to see the small business as a personality with emotions that they can relate to and engage with.”
Exclusive material does really well too.
“If you can offer the viewers something they haven’t seen before on your Instagram or Facebook, they are more likely to engage with your Snapchat,” Pollard says.
“Also, don’t take a Snapchat video or photo and then upload the same content to other social media accounts – keep Snapchat for separate, individual content.”
How often should businesses use Snapchat?
With Snapchat only capturing users’ attention for a few seconds at a time, Pollard recommends sharing content once a day at minimum.
“During special events or launches, it’s a good idea to create a content calendar to make sure great, exclusive content is being shared consistently, either though individual snaps or setting it as a Snapchat story.”
How to respond if you do stuff up
If a business sends out a snap that generates a lot of flack or negative attention, Pollard says it’s important to respond with grace.
“Acknowledge the error and learn from it, and make a note of what kind of content it was so it isn’t shared again,” she says.
“Don’t try to be defensive or argumentative – broadcast an apology on the platform it happened on, in a sincere manner, and move on.”
This article was first published on SmartCompany.