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Since it’s launch in late 2011, Snapchat’s rapid expansion has seen it become one of the biggest hitting social media platforms in 2016. Now worth $18 billion, the social networking app renowned for it’s photo and video sharing capabilities has racked up a phenomenal 100 million daily users, of which 73% are millennials. Over 9,000 photos are shared every second and it’s number of daily video views sits at 10 billion, having surpassed Facebook’s 8 billion.

If you’re one of the few who are unfamiliar with Snapchat, the app works much like an instant messenger for photos and videos. The appeal of Snapchat lies within its functionality; photos sent to and from users can only be viewed for a maximum of 10 seconds before they disappear for good (unless you screenshot them of course). Videos can also only be viewed once before vanishing from your feed. There is an exception to this rule however. Snapchat’s ‘stories’ function enables users to upload their pictures and videos to their ‘story’. This acts similarly to a vlog, allowing users to view their friends’ snaps in chronological order as many times as they like. However, staying true to the Snapchat USP, the app only hosts stories for a 24-hour period, thereafter they are cleared from your feed.

You might be asking yourself, “that’s all well and good, but how can Snapchat benefit my business?” Well we are here to answer that very question.

Rubber Lips PR’s most recent Snapchat success story has been with Scottish travel website, Must Visit Scotland. A relatively new venture for Must Visit Scotland’s social media campaign, Snapchat has already proved to be a hit. In just a few short months, their account has gained a considerable following from fellow travel bloggers worldwide, as well as those keen to visit and explore Scotland’s many fantastic tourist locations. The photo and video-sharing app has provided Must Visit Scotland with a fantastic platform to communicate with their followers on a much more intimate basis in a way they never had before. Their followers can stay informed and clued in, with up-to-the-minute updates being provided with a glimpse into the daily life of a travel blogging company. This has proved successful in creating a buzz around upcoming events and news announcements, building anticipation and giving each follower a sense of exclusivity.

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However, it’s not just about what you can do for your followers on Snapchat, it’s also about what they can do for you. Must Visit Scotland have cleverly used their Snapchat content as a means to entice their followers and re-direct them to their website. Captioning photos with hyperlinks and URL’s has proved beneficial; since the account’s launch traffic to the Must Visit Scotland website has increased and so too has their following on other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Although Snapchat has proven to be a great networking tool on a social level, many businesses have capitalised on Snapchat’s photo sharing functions to boost sales by promoting limited time offers exclusive to Snapchat users. This works when a company uploads an image of a coupon/voucher to their Snapchat story for all of their followers to see. The most common way of redeeming these vouchers is by screenshotting the image, to which the company in question will be notified of the user’s interaction. Shortly after, a confirmation code will be sent via Snapchat to the individual to be redeemed in their local branch or shop within a limited timeframe. These types of offers often involve money off on selected items or services.

Companies have also been known to run similar promotions via Snapchat by getting their followers to take a photo of themselves in one of their establishments, or using one of their products at home or on the go. Typically, those who participate receive rewards or vouchers as thanks for their brand loyalty.

Another innovative way businesses have used Snapchat to further promote their products or services is through using Geofilters. These are filter overlays that enhance photos and videos, often-using colourful borders, text and animation effects. Geofilters are exclusive to a specific location; this means that only you and your followers within that area can access the filter. From your account you can monitor interaction with the filter, determine its popularity and engage with followers on a more localized level. They are a great way to share where you are, what you’re up to and add an element of fun to your Snaps. Geofilters are hugely popular throughout the general Snapchat community, but companies have adopted the function to design and submit their very own filters.

Followers of the Must Visit Scotland account have already enjoyed the interactivity provided from their geofilters. During trips and days out to different locations, the Must Visit Scotland Snapchat account has openly embraced geofilters, using the location based overlays on their photos as a creative way to tell their followers where they are, and what to expect from upcoming reviews and news announcements. Geofilters have proved to be a fantastic way of increasing awareness of the brand, engaging followers and reaching new audiences.

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The most contemporary brands understand that business is no longer just about buying and selling, but engaging with consumers and making them feel like an integral part of the business. Consumers hunger for interactivity with their favourite brands; they want fast, memorable and engaging information, and they want it now. Snapchat provides this in a way that no social media platform has previously been able to.

Maybe it’s time to think about incorporating a Snapchat account into your social media campaign? Rubber Lips PR can provide full in-house training to you and your staff, helping you to understand the workings of Snapchat and how it can directly benefit your business.

If you think your brand could benefit from exposure on Snapchat and would like a helping hand getting your account off the ground, please get in touch with the Rubber Lips PR team today.

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