Snapchat is an instant messaging service for sharing short tweets, pictures and videos with your friends. The user can choose how long his snaps are visible, but the maximum time is ten seconds. After that they destroy themselves. Live Stories which are public and can be seen by every user in Snapchat and are available for 24 hours. Due to the short life the particular snaps have the maximum attention of the users. But how exactly can the app be used for marketing strategies?

The significance for the future is shown through some statistics. The app was launched in 2011 and has 200 million users worldwide, half of them are active daily and therefore it is the perfect platform to gain attention. The value of the app was 19 billion US-Dollar in September 2015.

Germany belongs to the top 10 of countries with the largest number of users and the fastest growth on Snapchat. SimiliarWeb analyzed together with the IT-magazine The Information 100 million Android users. They have compared the number of downloads with the number of the users who actively used Snapchat or other social media apps. In Germany Snapchat (6.1 %) has more active users than for example twitter with 2 %.

PR consultants in the USA already use Snapchat as a standard tool. Also German businesses are slowly jumping on the bandwagon. Well-known companies which already use Snapchat for marketing strategies are for example Neckermann, Sixt & the German newspaper Bild. The current advantage of the app is that there is not much business competition yet, but the potential is great.

The special feature of Snapchat is the young target group. About half of the users are between 16 and 24 years old, according to the Global Web Index. This is ideal for businesses which want to introduce and sell their brands to this age group. When else is there a better possibility to address the target group this directly? Another feature in which Snapchat differs from Facebook & Instagram is the flood of information. There is no news feed in Snapchat. Important messages and references can’t get lost. The potential customer perceives advertising more consciously. The probability of sale is much higher.

But how can Snapchat be used concretely for marketing strategies?

Be creative – the crazier the better: take exceptional pictures and videos to gain high attention and benefit from it. Use the changing filters and digital stickers, the people will talk about you. They will share your pictures. You can also label your pictures arbitrarily.

Snapchat is not working like Instagram & Facebook do. There are no #Hashtags and no share-feature to spread your content into the world. You have to find other ways to generate interest. Before you start on Snapchat you already need a fan base on other social media channels. Through a link on your Facebook channel (or anywhere else) you can tell the potential customer about your Snapchat channel. Snapchat is not a main marketing platform, but rather a really good supplement. Now you can start some raffles and spread the link to your Snapchat account all over your other social media channels. The goal is reached, when the user presents himself with your product in a picture and shares it on his own channels. The product gains personality and gets connected to the customer. There is no easier way to generate content. The customer will be very happy and tell his friends about your brand and business.

Another way of doing marketing on Snapchat is to cooperate with some famous influencers from the social media world: Neckermann for example sent two Instagram influencers on holidays. Their job was to fill the Snapchat channel with funny pictures to gain attention. As effectively as this idea is to place products in snaps of famous users. The range of strategies is diverse. Furthermore, you can raise attention by making some tutorials for your product.

You can use the whole bandwidth of creativity in Snapchat. As I said: the crazier the better. Young people love it, when businesses have a “hip“ image.

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