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Snapchat for Business: The Essential Guide

Bronagh Loughlin | 17 Aug 2020

In 2019 Snapchat was booming with around 188 million daily active daily users. However, Snapchat is still dwarfed by Instagram which has around 500 million daily users. This begs the question, why should your business invest in capturing attention and building an audience on Snapchat, the demonstrably less popular platform? Well, in 2018 about 45% of Snapchat users are 18-24 years old and 71% are under 34 years old. 

That means that Snapchat is extremely popular amongst Millennials. So, if your goal is to engage a younger demographic, Snapchat can be a potent source of engagement. Also, Snapchat users create 3 billion videos a day, spending an average of 30 minutes on the platform. Those numbers coupled with Snapchat’s impressive audience targeting capabilities suggest big opportunities for brands and marketers. 

Don’t have a Snapchat for Business account? Let’s set you up..

Snapchat For Business: How to Set Up Your Account

Snapchat For Business

If you choose to advertise on Snapchat, you will need a business account. If you do not have an account, create one by downloading the app. Then fill in your business details. Like most actions on Snapchat, creating a business account is simple and intuitive. Once your business is established, you will be prompted to create a campaign. Of course, this is optional. As a business, you do not need to advertise on the platform to gain attention, build an audience and make an impact. 

Snapchat For Business: 7 Essential Marketing Tips 

Snapchat For Business

Allocating spend to your content will improve your its reach, however, there are other strategies that you can use to optimise your marketing on Snapchat. These are time-tested, proven tactics and principles social media marketers can apply to grow virtually any brand. These tips will help you make the most of your presence. 

1. Snapchat For Business: Identify your audience via Snapchat Insights

Snapchat For Business

As a marketer, your audience is everything. However, your audience is not everyone. Your audience is a group of people who all share the same want. Maybe they all share a unique blend of characteristics. For example, your audience may live in a specific location or your audience may speak a specific language. The greater you understand these characteristics, the greater you will be at creating good copy and art that captures attention, incites interest, creates desire and compels action. You may already know your audience, in which case you are ahead. However, if you are still working to understand who to target, make use of Snapchat Insights. This is the platform’s built-in analytics tool, which, among other statistics can inform you:

-Your viewer count over weeks, months and years

-Viewer’s age, location, gender and even interests

-Their attention span (ie: how many people watched your content until the very end) 

In addition to showing your unique views, view times and completion rates, Snapchat Insights can tell you your content’s fall-off rate and screenshot count. These statistics can only help you better understand what your audience wants.

2. Snapchat For Business: Set Goals

Snapchat For Business

You are using Snapchat. But are you finding success? Maybe. Maybe not. You would not be able to tell if your content investment is worth the resources unless you establish clear goals. Good social media marketers always set themselves goals. However, the best social media marketers get S.M.A.R.T. goals: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely goals. Let’s break it down.

Make it “Specific”

For example, it is not enough to say, “I want to increase my Snapchat reach”. Rather, say “I want to increase my Snapchat audience to 4000 followers”

Make it “Measurable”

You need to make it measurable. For example, it is not enough to say, “I want to increase engagement on Snapchat”. Rather, say “I want to drive my screenshot count up by 12% and my fall-off rate down by 5%”

Make it “Relevant”

As an example, if you want to use Snapchat to grow your mailing list, it does not make sense to create objectives around screenshot counts. Rather, it makes far more sense to focus on driving followers to your website, where they can sign up for your newsletter. The latter is far more relevant and applicable to your business goals. 

Make it “Timely”

For example, it is not enough to say, “we will have these changes implemented sometime in Q2”. Instead, say “we’ll have these changes implemented by May 15”. The SMART goal framework will keep you honest and focused as you create marketing objectives. 

3. Snapchat For Business: Conduct a Competitive Analysis 

Snapchat For Business

If you wish to know where you are excelling and where you are falling short, study your competitors. That is, conduct a competitive analysis by analysing the accounts and activities of other brands in your space. Here is how, step by step:

Step 1: Identify Your Competition

The best way to identify a competitor is by analysing your audience. Who else is your audience following? Do any of the brands resemble your own? Begin by creating a long list, then cut it down. Choose three or four strong competitors to benchmark yourself against.

Step 2: Dig In

Now it is time to research, taking several metrics into consideration, including: 

Presence: Are your competitors active on every social network? Or only a couple? 

Following: How many people are following your competitors? And how quickly is each following growing? 

Cadence: How often do your competitors post? 

Engagement: How many likes, retweets, shares and comments do your competitors’ average? 

Now it is time to analyse this raw data. 

Step 3: SWOT

SWOT stands for: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats. 


Analyse to understand what your competitors are doing well on Snapchat? Are their posts timely or interesting or clever? What strategies can you borrow?


Analyse where your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, where can you differentiate yourself? For example, if there is no humor in the landscape, can you insert some? 


Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Identify these instances and ensure you are prepared for them.

4. Snapchat For Business: Share Great Content

Snapchat For Business

More specifically, share great Snapchat Stories. A Story is a video or photo that lives in Snapchat for 24 hours, then disappears. Adding content to your story is simple. 

Step 1 Navigate to your camera view

Step 2 Tap the camera shutter button to take a photo OR tap and hold the shutter to record a video. 

Step 3 Add elements, including text, stickers and doodles. 

Step 4 Tap the blue arrow, then select “My Story”

However, creating great content is challenging. It is difficult to capture attention, create intrigue and compel people to continue watching. The best Snapchat Stories are typical yet surprising. That is, they follow a standard narrative arc: rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. However, they are also unexpected, delivering humour or suspense or educational value. In any case, viewers should walk away from your Story pleasantly surprised. 

To create this effect, most businesses create “behind-the-scenes” Stories, providing content followers would otherwise never see. You can also ask questions, create polls and conduct interviews to engage audiences. Whatever content you decide to create, remember to keep it light and authentic. Snapchat users appreciate authenticity. It is the reason many began using the platform in the first place. 

Users also appreciate high-quality imagery. Here are several important Snapchat specs to follow:

-File Size: Maximum 5MB image and 32 MB video.

-File Format: Image .jpg or .png. Video .mp4, .mov and H.264

-Full Screen Canvas:  1080 x 1920 px. 9/16 aspect ratio

5. Build Your Audience


Snapchat does not have “Suggested User” lists like Instagram, which makes it more difficult to build an audience. That is why it is crucial to make your Snapchat account as discoverable as possible. As a business, be sure to promote your presence using your handle and Snapchat icons that link back to You could also use your unique scannable Snapcode. 


There is still more to learn about Snapchat, however, this guide will give you plenty of tips on how to get your Snapchat for business account up and running. This guide covered 7 essential marketing tips to use on Snapchat. As a result, enjoy putting this guide to practice. 



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