One of the most creative, yet misunderstood social media channels for a business is Snapchat. If you’ve been paying attention lately, you may have heard Snapchat coming up more often and seeming to get more popular by the minute. While this app was originally developed with teens in mind, it has taken off as a new tool for social media marketing; for that reason, it can be used to better your business and improve its online presence. Keep reading for more information on the app your business may just need to download.

What Is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a social media messaging app created by two Stanford students with an interest in building cool stuff. It allows users to take photos and record video with the ability to add unique artistic aspects like text and drawing and use fun filters to look like a dog or they’re wearing glasses at the beach. Each photo message is referred to as a “snap” and each snap can be delivered to individuals on a friends list and will be shared for a predetermined amount of time (between 1-10 seconds) before being automatically deleted.

What Do Snapchat Icons Mean?

If you look at your Snapchat friends list, you may have noticed some interesting emojis next to the names of your connections. Here’s a list of the icons Snapchat uses and what they mean:

Gold Star — Someone has replayed this person’s snaps in the past 24 hours. They must have something interesting to show.

Yellow Heart — You are #1 best friends (BFs) with each other. You send the most snaps

Use this list as a guide to help you understand icons on Snapchat.

to this person, and they send the most snaps to you.

Red Heart — You have been #1 BFs with each other for two weeks straight.

Pink Hearts — You have been #1 BFs with each other for two months straight.

Baby — You just became friends with this person.

Face with Sunglasses — One of your best friends is one of their best friends. You send a lot of snaps to someone they also send a lot of snaps to.

Grimacing Face — Your #1 best friend is their #1 best friend. You send the most snaps to the same person that they do.

Smirking Face — You are one of their best friends …but they are not a best friend of yours. You don’t send them many snaps, but they send you a lot.

Smiling Face — Another best friend of yours. You send this person a lot of snaps. Not your #1 best friend, but they are up there.

Fire — You are on a Snapstreak! You have snapped this person every day, and they have snapped you back. Increases with number of consecutive days.

Hundred — 100 Day Snapstreak. The 100 emoji appears next to the fire when you snap back and forth with someone for one hundred days in a row.

Hourglass — Your Snapstreak is about to end. Send another snap to keep it alive.

Birthday Cake — This friend has a birthday today. It only displays if friend has the Birthday Party feature enabled in settings.

Snapchat Do’s and Don’ts

Snapchat is not a new platform for customers, but recently businesses have found it to be a useful tool; this may also be a relatively new platform for business owners considering the average Snapchat user is a female between the ages of 13-25. If Snapchat seems like a good fit for your business, follow these corporate do’s and don’ts from Talk Shop.

Snapchat Do’s: 

  • Do Keep It Simple
    • Just because you can have a 200 second story, doesn’t mean you should. Keep videos to about 10 seconds to make sure that followers actually watch your entire update.
  • Do Post Exclusive Content
    • Posting at an exclusive event or behind the scenes of your business gives followers a VIP pass to places they could never go otherwise.
  • Do Keep Your Brand Human
    • Highlight your brand’s culture and all the fun you and your employees are having in the office.

Snapchat Don’ts:

  • Don’t Use Snapchat Just for the Sake of Snapchatting
    • Just because you can add rabbit ears and a nose to your face or turn yourself into a monster doesn’t mean you should, unless it is related to your business’ content or products. It is a good idea to use these elements (although use them sparingly) surrounding major holidays or events; for example, go ahead and use the monster filter around Halloween!
  • Don’t Go Off Brand
    • Monitor how “silly” you let your Snapchat account become; stay on message and keep your brand identity in mind.
  • Don’t Forget That Content Lives On:
    • Your video may only be ten seconds long, but that doesn’t mean it’s gone after its run. While it may be tempting to share a risqué or controversial update, it may come back to haunt you… ten seconds at a time. Plus, remember that followers can always take a screenshot of your snap; make sure it’s something you want them holding on to.

As with other social media platforms, having fun and showing off your unique brand is important, but it’s also critical to stay on message and remember what your customers expect from you.

Case Study: How the TV Show ‘Girls’ Used Snapchat

Use HBO’s Girls Snapchat as a template to model your Snapchat campaign after.

Snapchat is designed to give an intimate and alternative look into a person or business’ daily life and activities. As a fan of the HBO series, ‘Girls,’ I follow the show on Snapchat and saw these three interesting ways they used the app and why your business should do the same.

 Social Media Lessons from ‘Girls’ for Snapchat

  • Be Creative

One of the unique features of Snapchat is the ability to draw, use emoji’s and use text on top of pictures and videos. To connect with fans, the team behind the account uses emoji’s to relate back to episodes and memorable moments. While a cupcake + bathtub = thumbs up might not make sense to everyone, fans of the show appreciate the reference. Take the time to have fun and send your fans imaginative snaps.

  • Send Snaps Often

To remind viewers of special events, the Snapchat team behind ‘Girls’ sent a 10 second stream of visuals using all of the available features. Sending weekly snaps showing off items that are on discount or displaying a new product you have is a great way to reach customers who may not be paying attention to traditional advertising.

  • Go Behind the Scenes

To launch the beginning of their new season, Girls’ Snapchat account posted live videos and images of the cast and other notable attendees at the premiere party. This was your digital invitation to an event you otherwise would not have had access to. Consumers love to get the inside scoop on a company they are interested in or already loyal to.

Whether you send images or videos from an office party or just show the daily operations, customers will appreciate the engagement. If you are looking for social media lessons for Snapchat, look no further than the GirlsHBO account. This profile is great for lessons in creativity, how to send weekly snaps and taking you behind the scenes of exclusive events.

Get Snapping

Understanding what Snapchat is and how to use it are important steps before you download the app for your business. Use these tips to learn what the icons mean, the do’s and don’ts and ways other enterprises have used the platform. If you’re looking for a successful social media marketing campaign, contact Three Girls Media CEO for a complimentary 30-minute consultation to learn what we can do for your business!

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