Decoding Snapchat: how to use it to achieve business goals – 2

Esther Nyaadie. digital marketing consultant in Ghana. Social Media Strategist in Ghana. Snapchat for business

In last week’s article, we examined Snapchat and its importance to business. We understood that Snapchat is quite different from other social media platforms. Kindly head over to if you missed last week’s article.

In 2011 when the app was launched its ephemeral nature appealed to teenagers. It was an escape from other social media platforms where parents were scrambling to get socially networked (online). It was a relief as well from the rule of “what you post on the internet stays on the internet”.

Snapchat has matured beyond that perception and has unseated Twitter as the third largest Social Media platform (in terms of users). Businesses are now taking a look at Snapchat and the value it holds for business. This week, we examine how Snapchat can and has been used to promote business. We also look at some keys to successful marketing on Snapchat.

How it can be used

  1. Prospecting: with Snapchat you get to choose your audience. Maximize this feature by sending explicit messages to specific targets. One tip is to add prospects and then send them intimate and relevant messages.
  2. Contests: because of its momentary nature, you can hold timed contest and contests which demand that the participants pay great attention to detail. For instance, you can put up disappearing discount codes.  When conducting such a contest you can use your other Social Media channels to direct customers to your Snapchat account. This is another way to grow your following on this platform. For location based service brands, you can encourage your followers to snap themselves at your premises. Put up a sign in your location. This sign should make customers create a ‘story’ with your brand at your premises. Include an offer for every customer who does what the sign says. They can show what they have done at the counter to redeem the offer. Or better still send a snap to you for a discount code/offer.
  3. Special Offers/Exclusive Access: make your audience feel important. Give them an exclusive access to products and services. Acura, for instance, offered its first 100 followers on Snapchat the opportunity to see a 6 second video preview of the NSX supercar prototype. This suggestion will also work for limited edition offers.
  4. Short stories: Use this platform to give a candid narrative of your brands activities, struggles etc.
  5. Augmenting promotional efforts: You can use Snapchat to augment your brands’ other promotional strategies. Burger King had a Snapchat campaign which involved their fans ‘grilling’ competitors’ burgers.
Using Snapchat for business!
Figure 1 – An advert for Burger Kings’ campaign

To create awareness over one our most differentiating brand assets: Our Flamed Grill tradition, we decided to do it found a very visual and bold way. The first thing we did was to meet our target audience in that place where they spends most of their time: Snapchat. We invited other restaurants’ fans to take a picture of their favorite a non-grilled hamburger, draw grilled lines with Snapchat pencil tool, and send it to our account. In exchange we would send them a voucher valid to taste one of our real Flame-grilled hamburger, for free.

This mechanic not only managed to drive our main competitors consumers to our restaurants but also helped us highlight our main differential asset in a very ludic and interactive way” – source:

Visit to see the full video.

  1. Cost efficiency: Use this platform to cut down costs which you would have otherwise incurred on traditional advertising platforms. Always use innovative and interactive methods to cut down on advertising budgets.
  2. Interactivity: You can use Snapchat to make your brand more interactive. Netflix leveraged this feature by doing a selfies face-swapping billboard campaign in France. Fans of Netflix had to find billboards popping up randomly in Paris. These billboards featured characters from some of the favorite shows on Netflix. Fans then had to take selfies by these billboards and then use the face-swapping lenses and swap faces with the character on the billboard. This is one of the most interesting and interactive uses of Snapchat by a brand I have heard of. See figure 2.
Netflix Snapchat and Billboard campaign. Innovative online and offline marketing blend. Using Snapchat for branding.
Figure 2 – Face-swap yourself onto a billboard and become the iconic Frank Underwood (House of Cards)
  1. Bring out your brands personality: As discussed last week, Snapchat can be a great platform for bringing out the personality of a brand. Use your tagline, motto, and ethics to build a strong character on Snapchat. Use this character in your interactions and promotions of/on the platform. What are your brand’s attributes? Are you fun, charming, sophisticated or serious? Whatever your brand stands for you can find a way of depicting that on Snapchat and connecting with your audience on that level.
  2. Customer service: Your fans may try to contact you on Snapchat with their customer service issues. Be ready and helpful whenever the need arises. You can post self-help and how to stories on the platform too.
  3. Proliferate visuals: You may not see the reason to work hard on a ‘story’ only for it to disappear within 24 hours. The good news is, you can download and use the visuals you make on your other social media channels.

Some keys to success on Snapchat

  1. Promote your Snap code. You can do this both off and online. Online: some of the ways in which you can promote your presence on Snapchat is through:
  • Websites – on your website, display a link to your Snapchat account like you do with the other Social Media platforms. You can even make an announcement about your presence on Snapchat.
  • Social Media – on other social media platforms, use your profile and cover picture space to announce your presence on Snapchat. Ask followers to follow you on this platform and remember to give your prospective fans a reason to tag along. See Taco Bells example in figure 3
Maximising other platforms to launch Snapchat presence. A great Snapchat launch example by Taco Bell.
Figure 3 – Taco Bell announcing their presence on Snapchat via Twitter. Image source:
  • Profile pictures – use you Snapcode as your profile picture on your other Social Media accounts! See figure 4.
How to launch your Snapchat presence. Esther Nyaadie - Social Media Strategist in Ghana
Figure 4 – I have used my Snap code as the profile picture for my Facebook page.


  • Include your Snap code on your business cards and other promotional material.
  • Use signage at your physical location, to encourage your customers to find you and interact with you on Snapchat (as we saw in the examples above)
  1. Interact with followers and make them part of the story as we have seen in the examples above featuring Burger King and Netflix.
  2. Use Influencers where necessary – brands need to rely on those who have an audience in order to quickly build their own.
  3. If you have massive following on one social media platform you can replicate what is working on that channel on your Snapchat platform too. Just follow the rules of Snapchat.
  4. As in the example we gave earlier about Burger King, you can leverage user-generated content to gain exposure on Snapchat.
  5. Creating the knockout post – Remember that part of the appeal of Snapchat for brands and users alike is the element of surprise. Keep your audience engaged and coming back to view your brand content daily. You can do so through one or a combination of the following:
  • Snap whenever you are in unusual conditions, late nights, trotro fights, early morning queues etc. Include time and temperature if this will enhance your snap.
  • Use your snaps as a window into your world – your surroundings, your everyday life
  • Engage your audience through questions

If you are a personal brand, you can also include the following to enhance your content on Snapchat:

  • Selfies
  • A day in your life – what do you do? How is your day like? Make this story fun, add some spice, utilize time stamps
  • Stories – put together a series of snaps that become a narrative or chronicles an event or a project you are embarking on.

Whenever you are putting up a story, remember the following:

  • Introduction – let people know what is about to happen and why that will matter to them
  • The body – this should be the highlights and emphasis of the whole story
  • Ending – Let this be a summary of the story. Tell us the point of the whole story.

Wrapping up!

Thank you for reading this article. Let me know if you found it useful through any of the communication channels listed below. If you missed last week’s article kindly visit


Published by Esther Nyaadie

I am very passionate about cost effective ways of promoting business. I think the internet and social media has provided an equal platform for every form of business to do that. Find me on

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