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Snapchat is only starting to reach critical mass as it touts over 100 million active daily users and more than 8 billion video views per day. Yes, that’s with a “B.” You can’t deny it’s rapid growth in the social realm, with average users ranging from 13 to 34 years old. And the platform continues to evolve with unique updates on the regular.


It’s built so much hype that brands are starting to take notice. But the resounding question from companies is: How can we use Snapchat for business?


Well, Snapchat is still a fresh platform that will be changing over time, so there isn’t one bonafide way to use it at the moment. However, in its current state, there are a few options available for companies to leverage the network. Here are your options:


Option 1: Start a Company Snapchat Account


create-snapchat-accountFirst one seems ridiculously obvious, but there are other options available besides starting a Snapchat account. We’ll touch on those soon, but first we’ll outline the various approaches to take if your company does join the Snapchat party.


You’ll need a dedicated person, and probably a dedicated smartphone, to manage Snapchat on a daily basis. As you may know, content disappears after 24 hours – or even seconds if you don’t share it on your Snapchat Story.


So, that means you’ll need to be producing new, fresh content just about every day. At least set a schedule of consistency so that followers can expect when to see your content.


Let’s say you do take the leap and create the account. What are you going to post?


This will probably require a strategy session, either with your internal marketing team or a social media consultant. You’ll need to think about what your audience would find interesting, entertaining, and valuable. A few content ideas to start with include:


  • Behind-the-scenes footage at the workplace
  • Daily tips/advice relating to your industry
  • Ask questions to your followers to evoke engagement
  • Provide inspirational and motivational messages
  • Get quirky and fun with humorous posts
  • Giveaway freebies or exclusive promotions
  • Footage from community events, conferences, or workshops


Clearly this option involves lots of time and effort, which may not be worth it for some companies at the moment. But for those that want to be ahead of the curve and explore new ways to connect with potential customers, it’s definitely worth a try.


Option 2: Hire or Collaborate with Snapchat Influencers


snapchat-influencerSimilar to Instagram, YouTube and Vine, there are stars being born on Snapchat. Everything from local personalities to global phenoms are captivating audiences through the platform. Some of these “Snapchat stars” are willing to promote brands in exchange for compensation, which could work well for both sides.


If you take this route, you’ll need to find an influencer that matches your brand’s values and speaks to your target customer. There aren’t many influencer resources or directories right now to sift through, but we did find one worth researching:


Once you do partner up with an influencer, you’ll need to decide how that relationship is going to work out. This article nicely outlines ways to partner with influencers on Snapchat.


This option takes away the stress of managing a Snapchat account while still getting publicity through the platform. However, it removes control from your hands and might not be as effective as directly communicating with customers. Make sure you partner strategically and define details that are mutually beneficial between your brand and the influencer.


Option 3: Design a Custom Snapchat Filter


Back in February, Snapchat gave individuals and businesses the ability to create on-demand geofilters. This opened new opportunities for people to add a custom Snapchat experience to special occasions and events.


In order to do this, there are a few steps that need to be followed.


The first step is designing a filter that matches Snapchat’s image dimensions and guidelines. You can either do this yourself or you can hire a designer to create a custom Snapchat filter.


Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 9.54.04 PMNext step is setting the exact location where you’d like to activate the geofilter, as well as the date(s) you’d like it to be active for. Snapchat allows you to outline (also known as “geofence”) the area using Google Maps, as you see in the following image.


Once you create the design and set the details, you’ll need to submit it for approval and pay Snapchat’s submission fee. That fee is based on the geofence size and duration that the filter is active. It could range from just $5 to upwards in the thousands.


Snapchat currently allows a filter to be active for as little as one hour and as many as 30 days. As for location, you can geofence an area between 20,000 square feet and 5 million square feet.


You can read the official Snapchat guidelines here.


Bonus Option: All of the Above


The final option is to implement all of the above, or at least a combination of them. This will amplify your message to reach much more people than any one option can do individually. It truly depends on your company’s goals, values, and budget to determine which is the best option to take.


Best of luck as you venture into the world of Snapchat. It offers plenty of room to explore creativity and unique features to communicate your message.


Even if you decide to watch from the sidelines, Snapchat will be an interesting network to follow as it continues to become a major player in social media.