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Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman

Social Media Blogs by Aliza Sherman
Aliza Sherman

Aliza Sherman is a news media entrepreneur, author, women's issues activist, and international speaker.
Sherman has received recognition for her role as an entrepreneur focused on women's issues, particularly women's role in the news media industry and their participation on the Internet.

Snapchat for Business

Snapchat for Business

If you were told that there was a social network for smartphones that lets you take photos and videos that disappeared after they were viewed, you probably would think the idea was crazy. You might find it hard to imagine that “ephemeral social media” could be popular, particularly for companies looking to market to consumers. A message disappearing without an archived version seems too fleeting to make an impact.

Enter Snapchat, the messaging app that lets you share photos and images – called “snaps” - with your connections or friends privately. You can also post more public visuals through Snapchat’s Stories feature. You can specify the length of time someone can view your snaps – from 1 to 10 seconds in duration. Then the snap is “gone” – no longer accessible. There are ways that you can save your own snaps and Stories, and others can take screenshots of them, but essentially, they are meant to be fleeting messages although people can purchase additional views through “microtransactions.”

While Snapchat was initially popular with teens and 20-somethings, the service more recently upgraded features and expanded its user base to include an older demographic including the over-40 set. As with any social media platform, using Snapchat should be a strategic decision and one based on your company’s target market. If they are using Snapchat – or if you want to expand your reach to Snapchat users – adopting the app could be a useful addition to your marketing mix.

You can connect with others through Snapchat in several ways:

  1. Through your smartphone contacts. This is handy if you are the spokesperson and will be producing the content for your Snapchat marketing. Otherwise, you do not have to connect your personal contacts with your Snapchat account.
  2. Through usernames. If you know someone else’s username, you can search and add them. You can survey your customers requesting they share their Snapchat username with you as a way to connect.
  3. Through customizable “Snapcodes.” The Snapchat app can generate a code similar to a QR code that can be used online, print such as flyers and brochures, and other formats that allow people to take a photo of it with their smartphone. Once they do, they can import it into their Snapchat app and locate your Snapchat profile to connect.
  4. Through the Add Nearby function. This feature can be useful at conferences or other events where your target market may be present and using Snapchat.

As a company, you’ll want to publish Stories so that a wider audience can view them. Stories photos and videos are viewable for a 24-hour period and can be watched multiple times. Your stories string together and can be viewed one after another so think about what you’re posting including the order of them and the narrative they form about you and your company. Most companies plan out the sequence of their Stories including a mix of still images and video.

Before you send a snap, you can use graphical overlays and add text to them and Snapchat offers Geofilters that are location-specific graphics that can be used on images. You can also create your own custom Geofilters and send it to Snapchat for consideration. You will need to use the Snapchat app to create a geofence around a specific physical area to designate where the geofilter can be used. For example, if you are a restaurant, you could geofence the area around your building and allow customers who are using Snapchat to access food-related filters to add to their snaps.

As Snapchat continues to grow in popularity, taking the time to test it out is a smart way to stay current with social media trends and freshen up your social media marketing. As long as you have the resources to post regularly to a messaging app like Snapchat, it is worth testing it out to reach your target market or a new one.

Read other social media blogs by Aliza Sherman

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