The How-To of Snapchat for Small Business

If I was to tell you that I am a 27 year old male who is using Snapchat, you would probably be wondering why I am on a social platform that is notoriously known for teenagers sharing lewd pictures of themselves. And that may have been true two or three years ago, but not anymore - Snapchat is going through a renaissance of sorts, and it is a hot place for business to be right now in the social media space.

As a small, bricks-and-mortar business in 2016, our marketing focus has shifted from mass media and trying to get in front of as many people as possible, to now trying to only be in front of those who actually have the potential to be clients one day. Further to that, our marketing is far less about trying to 'get a sale' and now largely focused on only two things - being helpful, and engaging on a human level.

The beauty of Snapchat in this type of marketing mindset is that it is the perfect storm for helping and engagin g - as a user, you get to be real, authentic and unpolished. While this seems counter-intuitive and uncormfortable for many business owners, we have found that it is exactly what our audience wants - genuine, real humans that actually care and engage in conversations. When this becomes your primary focus, these relationships will often develop into paying clients that have extremely high levels of trust, are highly qualified leads, and transition to brand ambassadors far easily, simply because they feel like they are almost a part of the business.

When it comes to the details of how to engage on Snapchat, we have taken the approach of our managing director leveraging a personal profile - again, to bring a more human element to process. Content includes things like daily tips, useful information, behind-the-scenes insights and glimpses of personal and family life outside of work. The one of the features of Snapchat is that content is only visible for 24 hours, and it is relatively raw - minimal ability to edit or polish the videos and pictures. It also means that clients are far more accessible, and the social nature of the platform means that they are also more comfortable to reach out to your business. It is also worth remembering that some research suggests that up to 75% of a buying decision in 2016 is made online - therefore, if you can be present, engaging and helpful in the online domains where your audience spends a lot of their time, they are more inclined to know, like and trust your brand and make a buying decision in your favour. And, if you have engaged in content marketing before, you will know that if clients are reaching out to you, responding to your messages and asking questions to know more - you are well on the way to developing a healthy client relationship!

The other thing to keep in mind with Snapchat is attention - where are your consumers spending a lot of their time - you want your business to be n oticed where people are actually looking. What is more interesting, though, is that in 5 years' time those 15-25 year olds, who are currently the largest demographic of consumers of Snapchat content, will be 20-30 year olds, with high disposable income, young children and vastly different needs. If you can be an early adopter and build lots of trust and brand awareness over the next period of Snapchat's evolution, you will be front of mind when your clients are making buying decisions. And that is where we want to be - front of mind as the thought leader and trusted provider of the services that my audience wants, because that's who gets the sale in the end!
 


Jack O'Brien

Managing Director and Senior Physiotherapist at Terrace Physio Plus

Passionate health advocate. Entrepeneur. Goodlifer. Family man. I lead a progressive physiotherapy business in Newcastle, NSW. We have 2 clinics across the region, and provide industry-leading physiotherapy and massage therapy to a wide range of clients. We fully utilise new technologies and media, and enjoy unmatched engagement with our community. In my spare time, I love coffee with my wife, wrestles with my son, and co-ordinating a local charity supporting school and university students.


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Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt , Owner at Startup Chucktown

I suppose the ability to excel on Snapchat is also driven by whether your potential customers are even using the platform. Are you more focused on Millennials?