Awe, Snap!

Your customers are following you on Facebook, and new products are promptly posted on your Instagram page. Maybe you’ve even sent out a tweet or two. So, you think your store’s all set when it comes to social media? Well, think again. Snapchat is the new kid on the social media block, and you better become friends.

The statistics (from eMarketer) speak for themselves. Let’s look at how Snapchat compares to other social media platforms.

• Instagram has 400 million active users, with 80 million photos being shared per day. Snapchat has 100 million active users who view more than 8 billion videos daily. That’s a massive amount of user engagement.

• This summer, Snapchat passed Twitter in daily usage, reaching 150 million daily users – 10 million more than Twitter.

• Snapchat’s U.S. monthly user base will grow 27.2 percent this year to 58.6 million, exceeding the 16 percent growth rate of messaging apps.

• By 2020, Snapchat will add 26.9 million users, nearly double that of Twitter and Pinterest.

But what is Snapchat?

Snapchat launched in 2011 as a platform to send messages and photos that would disappear upon receipt. It took off with tweens and teens; currently 18 to 38 year olds make up 60 percent of its users (so the app’s “aged-up” significantly this year alone).

Users can also post “stories” – snaps of photos strung together to create a longer narrative. Once posted, stories “expire” after 24 hours, creating an unparalleled sense of urgency. It’s fun, it gives followers a behind-the-scenes perspective … and kids and parents alike are pretty much obsessed with the filters.

Does your store really need it?

“Now is the time for retailers to get in on Snapchat,” says Thomas Rankin, CEO and co-founder of Dash Hudson, an Instagram and Snapchat marketing platform. “Retailers (both large and small) that got in early on Instagram were able to grow quickly and drive a ton of brand awareness.” Think of it like having your own TV channel.

• Offer limited-time discounts.

• Unveil new merchandise.

• Show customers a more authentic side of your store.

• Create a two-way conversation with shoppers.

• Ask for shopper feedback/ input.

• Build anticipation for new items.

• Develop buzz for in-store events.


10 Tips for Snapchat Success

from ASD Insider – The Retailers Guide

1. Be Consistent. They’re called “snaps” because they’re quick! It only takes a second to send one, so do it daily, and turn them into “stories.”

2. Be Creative. “Snapchat is still undefined in terms of the type of content you must create,” Rankin says. “It’s really up to you. Think of it as a canvas, and don’t be afraid to show your store’s true colors. People expect you to be funny, strange and creative.”

Do your employees get silly when the store’s slow? Show it on Snapchat. Just get a new shipment? Send videos of staff stocking the shelves.

3. Have Fun. Snapchat’s “facial recognition” feature allows you to animate selfies. Lenses and filters are updated daily. Toy stores are built on the basics of having fun – so this one’s a no brainer!

4. Use Geofilters. Geofilters are city-specific filters that serve as a postcard to your snap. Remind your customers to shop local by showing your store’s hometown pride!

5. Be Spontaneous. Don’t overthink it. Snapchat’s all about being unplanned and in-the-moment, Rankin says.

6. Do a Takeover. Let someone run your Snapchat feed for a day. Keep things fresh by giving it to an employee, so followers can see your store from a different point of view. Or give it to a customer who’s trying out one of your toys.

7. Use Instagram to Drive Traffic. Post static images or short clips from your Snapchat onto your Instagram to drive followers to your Snapchat account.

8. Host Contests. Post static photos of some of your favorite new toys. Have customers “screenshot” their favorite to enter to win.

9. Keep Track of Performance. Snapchat doesn’t offer free metrics, but don’t worry – Snapchat analytics tools are out there.

10. Get Inspired. Check out some great feeds from brands like Sour Patch Kids and Gatorade; and retailers like Forever21, Everlane, Warby Parker and Sephora. Now snap to it!

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