How To Use Snapchat For Business

Kim Barrett Snapchat Marketing 110 Comments

Snapchat revised

Are you on Snapchat?

Did you know you can connect with your customers in Snapchat?

You may be asking yourself, what the heck is Snapchat?

Snaphcat is a visual social network mobile app that enables you to send and share snaps of videos and image with your friends on their smartphone. The snaps of images and videos can be sent in public or privately.

This article will describe 6 ways you can use the features on Snapchat to reach out to your customers.

Demographics on Snapchat

I’m going to give a breakdown of the Snapchat demographic, before I divulge on how businesses can leverage this fastest growing platform to grow their sales and revenue. The stats below are not withdrawn from thin air, but solid stats from the Snapchat.

  • Snapchat has 400 million monthly active users.
  • Snapchat has 100 million daily active users.
  • 5+ billion videos viewed on a daily basis on Snapchat.
  • 86% of Snapchatters fall into an age range of 13-37years-old.

It is important to keep in mind that to advertise and market on this platform is only exclusive to big brands, as the minimum budget required is currently $100,000, slashed in November, 2015 from the initial $700,000. At the moment, advertisers who can’t match big brand’s deep pockets can utilize content marketing to grow their audience organically.

  1. Create a Snapchat account

If you want to capitalize on Snapchat to grow your business, setup your account, which is simple. Download the app from Google Play or iTunes. Once you’re through with the installation process, you can now sign up to obtain a new Snapchat account.

Snapchat Account Sign Up

First, to sign up you will need to enter your email address, password and date of birth.

Snachchat Sign-Up

Next, type your 15-character username. Keep in mind, your username (snapcode) should be something that is easier for your audience to search when they look you up. It is imperative that it is easier for your business to be found on Snapchat.

Snapchat username

After you’ve entered your username on Snapchat you’ll be required to also enter your mobile phone number. The good thing with mobile phone number is that people with your mobile number on their contact list can find you on Snapchat, unless you deactivate this option in your settings.

You will need to verify your mobile phone number.

Snapchat Verify Phone #

When your account is created, you’ll be redirected to a blank black screen where you can start sharing your stories and creating snaps (I’ll cover this in detail later on). To further configure your profile settings, simply tap on the ghost icon (white ghost icon) on top of your screen.

Snapchat White Ghost Icon

On the next screen, tap on gear-shaped wheel on the top right.

ghost icon snapcaht

In the settings, enter your name. You may also update or also enter your email address and mobile phone in the settings area.

Snapchat Settings

You can also enable only friends to find you based on your phone number, rather than everyone. You can do this in the “My Mobile #” section of the settings, by toggling with the option.

Snapchat My Mobile #

You can also control who sends you snap and views your stories by configuring your privacy settings. However, for businesses and brands, configuring the privacy settings to allow everyone to share their snaps and view stories is essential to grow your reach and audience.

On a personal level, if you’re receiving snaps which sexually-verbally explicit, vulgar, obscene and inappropriate in nature you may consider changing your privacy settings to only allow  your circle of friends to add you and share snaps with you.

  1. Add friends who inspire you

Now that you have your new Snapchat account set, you can add friends who resonate with what inspires you. When you add such people, you’re able to see their new stories (based on their privacy settings), and request them to snap you with the stories.

Other people cannot see your stories unless they become your friends and how they setup their privacy settings will determine whether you will see their snaps or not.

If you want to add friends, simply tap on the ghost icon on top of your screen, then you will see arrays of options available for you to add friends. On the next screen, you’ll be presented with the option to add friends.

Tapping on the “Add Friends” will provide you with four options to choose from.

Snapchat Add Friends

Next, you can enter specific username to find out if you can connect with your friends. In addition, you can also conduct a search for your celebrities and brands you like on Google, to see if you can add them to your Snapchat circle.

Alternative to snapcodes and usernames, you can also allow Snapchat to go through the contact lists or address book on your phone in order to add friends to your circle. Snapchat will show users whose numbers match the one on your contact list or address book and allow you to invite them to Snapchat.

Lastly, if you attend an event or networking event with a group of people, you can invite everyone to tap on the “Add Nearby” option inside Snapchat. This way, they will be able to add each other on the platform.

Add Nearby

Time to look for stories

Once you’ve got your circle of friends on Snapchat, now you can either swipe left, or tap on the three lines or number at the bottom right of your screen which will redirect you to the Stories page. To find stories shared by your friends, go to “Recent Updates.”

Snapchat White Ghost Icon

It is here where you will see some of the stories shared by your friends.

This is the “newsfeed” version of Snapchat where you will get updates on stories shared by your friends.

Please note that stories under Live and Discover are advertisers marketing their products or services. Advertisers have different features available to them as the ones available to you on your feed.

You can view the stories on your own pace; however, if you want to quickly skim through the stories, you can easily tap on the screen. You can also exit a story without finishing reading it by swiping down.

If one of your friends or users are available for chat, you will be able to see it at the bottom of your screen.

snapchat stories 3

  1. Building your audience on Snapchat

In Snapchat, when you add users or friends, they will get a notification under the “Added Me” section after they tap on the ghost icon located at the tip of their screen. On their end, they also have the option of adding you as a friend by tapping on the + symbol close to your username.

Added me

The fastest way to building your audience is adding others as friends. The other way to build audience on Snapchat is to have a screenshot of your snapcode, which can be done by tapping on the ghost icon located at the top of your screen. Next, you can just crop the image on your phone to show your username, Snapchat score and snapcode.

ghost icon snapcaht

Tapping on the snapcode, you will have an option to take a selfie that will fill the ghost. However, Snapchat will take five photos of you to be transformed into an animated GIF.

Snapchat selfie

If you’re not happy with or like it, simply undo the ghost icon located at the top left part of your screen to turn it back to the default white ghost.

Default white ghost

In addition, you can logging into your account and download your snapcode from Snapchat website using your desktop browser. You can edit the snapcode to your liking, but following a guide on how to edit your snapcode. Moreover, you can create a custom snapcode using your normal profile photo, logo of your business and even other images that can fit in the ghost space. For this task, you will need an image editing tool to perform such customization.

  1. Creating stories and sending snaps

You have to understand that with Snapchat is driven into ways; creating stories and sending snaps to other users, in this case, your friends. You can think of stories as public tweets or posts people who are your friends can see on their “newsfeed.” However, in Snapchat it appears on “Recent Updates” which the platform’s newsfeed version.


snapchat stories 2

On Snapchats, private messages are called “snaps.” They have a very limited span of time before they disappear. They are only designed to be watched only once, however, you can only replay a snap once within a 24 hour period.

Any photo or video you share with your friends are compiled into a single update, which then is sent to your friend. The update only last for 24 hours and expires thereafter. Assuming in your “Story settings,” you’ve allowed everyone to view your stories.

vuew my story

To create stories and snaps on the app, you need to either take a photo(s) or record a 10-second video.  Before taking a photo, tap on the icons on the top left, and you may turn on the flash (optional) or select day or night mode.

Taking a snapchat pic


Tap on the circle at the bottom of your screen to take a photo.

Photo Editing and Posting Options

After you have taken a photo you have numerous options on editing it.

snapchat pic12


If you want to add text, emoji or add drawing on the photo, tap on the top right corner of your screen.

snapchat emoji

To view filter options, on the photo, swipe left. In addition, you can also use filters to add some cool feature on the photo. For instance, you can alter the color of the photo or alter contrast, add time timestamps among other awesome features you can do.


To set the duration of how long should a photo stay on a screen, tap on the icon located at the bottom left of your screen, then you can either automatically add the photo to the story you’re creating or simply download the photo to your phone.

snapchcat duration of photo on screen

Once you’re through with the photo editing and duration of the photo stay on a screen, you can now choose to either send the story privately by making it your public story or privately by sending it as a snap. You can do this by tapping the icon located at the bottom right side of your phone screen.

As a snap, you can send it an individual or multitudes of people. Keep in mind, that if a friend doesn’t follow you and doesn’t have his or her “Story settings” configured to get snap from everyone, then your snap will not be delivered to them.

snapchat send to

Photo sharing options available on Snapchat

Conversely, you can share what a photo taken outside of Snapchat by sending it to Snapchat. For users using iPhone, sharing a photo is simple, just select the photo in your camera roll and send to Snapchat by using the Send option.


snapchat sharing options

Please note when you sending a photo this, your editing options are very limited, you can only draw on the photo or add text and just send it as a snap. In addition, photos taken outside of Snapchat cannot be shared as part of your story.

Video Editing and Posting Options

Recording a video is simple, just almost same way as you did taking photo. Tap and hold the circle located at the bottom side of your mobile screen until you’re through with the recording.

After recording, the same editing options apply to video as well.

snapchat video editing


With the video, there is no duration for image should stay on screen, however, it only have the ability to toggle on and off with the sound recorded in the video. Please note that if music is playing on your phone’s music player while recording the video, it will be recorded on the video as well.

Once you’re through with the video editing, you can now choose to either send the story privately by making it your public story or privately by sending it as a snap. You can do this by tapping the icon located at the bottom right side of your phone screen.

As a snap, you can send it an individual or multitudes of people. Keep in mind, that if a friend doesn’t follow you and doesn’t have his or her “Story settings” configured to get snap from everyone, then your snap will not be delivered to them.

In addition, in a case where you’re in the same location as where an event is taking place, you can use video for live stories. You can learn more about this here.


Edit Your Story and View Your Story Analytics To Measure Results

Snaps are delivered almost instantly, thus it is essential for you to edit your story. However, you do have a few options when you add videos and photos inside the social platform.

All of your videos or photos shared will appear on the Stories section. Keep in mind that each of your video or photo will disappear or expire after 24 hour period. The size of the circle is used to determine the amount of time available for your friends to view your story.

To view the Story analytics, tap on the dotted oval-shaped icon on the upper-right corner of your mobile screen.Stories

If you want to share your story else, next to your story an arrow will appear after you tap, and from there you can download your story as a video before the expiry time.

snapchat-save story


Snapchat also allows you to see who viewed your story, and those who have taken a screenshot of your story. This can be done by tapping on an individual image or video, next tap into the icons on the upper left corner of your mobile screen to see who has viewed your story.

Just like other social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter , you can chat with your friends and curate and download contents.

To conclude

Snapchat is a very different social platform compared to the rest. It provides businesses with a unique of reaching out to their target audience. At the moment, the paid advertising is reserved for brands with deep pockets. However, you can easily build your organic reach inside the Snapchat with high-quality content that engages with your target audience.

What do you think about Snapchat? Have you started playing or experimenting with this awesome platform? Are you ready to get a piece of the eyeballs? Please share your thoughts and experience (if any) in the comment box below.


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