Millennials ❤️ Snapchat: 15 Tips on How to Use Snapchat for Business




This is the high standard that we face today as marketers — that our customers demand from us.

The rules of commercial and social discourse have been rewritten.

92% of online shoppers consider reviews in their buying decisions.

67% (two out of three) companies note that customer service in social media is gaining importance.

If your business is in business it’s because you’ve committed to a new set of marketing best practices.

Marketing in the digital age is centered on being open about your professional mission, prioritizing your customers’ voices, cutting back on the sales pitches, and getting noticed for going above and beyond.

… Which brings us to Snapchat.

Courting millennials? Why Snapchat is good for business

Snapchat is a social platform whose community rewards openness, intimacy and authenticity.

It’s the app millennials (17- to 34-year-olds) use to chat with friends and get their entertainment and lifestyle news.

As author of “Social PR Secrets,” Lisa Buyer, said, “Snapchat reminds me of the pioneer days. There’s a lot of experimenting going on — unique and creative things happening. There are so many things brands can do using Snapchat that have never been done before.”

Mapping your audience to Snapchat

So does Snapchat have the potential to benefit your business? To answer that, first decide if your audience is there.

Here are some stats on Snapchat users:

  • 150 million daily active users
  • Percent of users that are millennials: 73%
  • Daily users: 54%
  • Daily amount of in-app time spent: 30 minutes
  • Percent of U.S. millennial internet users that access Snapchat regularly: 30%
  • Number of daily video views: 10 billion

The big opportunity for businesses here is connecting with millennials.

Millennials are a market segment with growing spending power and intense brand loyalty. It follows, then, that Snapchat is the social media channel that businesses are warming up to.

How to get started with Snapchat for business

Mana Ionescu and her company Lightspan Digital are among the pioneers of the Snapchat marketing space.

What industries and businesses are likely to find their audience on Snapchat? Ionescu said:

“If your customers and supporters are 34 or younger, they’re on Snapchat. Even the 34+ group is growing, and growing at a faster pace than the millennial group.

Companies and organizations in entertainment, sports, hospitality, consumer goods should jump on now.

It’s not just that these audiences are ravenous consumers of content (according to a study by Newscred, 55% of Snapchatters use it daily), but the medium itself is perfect for delivering quick news bites and telling stories through sequences of images and short videos.”

Ready to put Snapchat to work for you?

‘14 Rules to Get Snapchat Love’ by Mana Ionescu at Pubcon Las Vegas

If you’re committed to courting millennials and a tech-savvy set, and if you agree that authenticity, active listening and innovation are moving the needle for your business, then let’s get you up and running on Snapchat.

Ionescu shared 14 rules for Snapchat for business at Pubcon Las Vegas this month. I attended the session, wrote up my notes, and offer them here as a sort-of post-liveblog report.

(For more, here’s Ionescu’s own Snapchat for Business getting started guide.)

A preface: A lot of these tactics (and maybe Snapchat in general) won’t work for you if you’re a B2B. If you’re a B2C and willing to invest in Snapchat, remember that you have to do the work. It’s difficult work that Ionescu describes as “real-time storytelling.” On Snapchat, as with all social media, your brand has to be present.

1. Get followers

Step 1, you have to get followers.

How? Make a promise and stick to it.

Promise something that no one can get anywhere else. Another way to look at this is a unique value proposition for your Snapchat engagement.

Typically, brands on Snapchat are promising and delivering deals, updates, intimacy and fun.

FYI: 58% of college students say they are likely to purchase a product from a brand that sent them a coupon on Snapchat.

You’ll also need to post calls to action to get Snapchat followers.

Place your “follow us on Snapchat” CTAs everywhere using your snap code and username. Tip: A username is the easiest way to find a user; a lot of people aren’t searching by snap codes.

Other ways to get followers are:

  • Get listed in apps/directories such as Ghost Codes.
  • Get involved in a Reddit sub and publish your Snapchat username.
  • Run ads on other social networks to direct people to your account.

The rest of these rules are all cool things to do on Snapchat.

2. Post in Snapchat style

Snapchat is a community that has developed its own style and language. Keep it short, fun, designed in the snapchat style (stickers, filters, text and drawings over images … you’ll start to see the trends) and interactive.

Ionescu says that Urban Dictionary is the vocabulary of Snapchat.

3. Share exclusive deals

Make deals scarce, urgent and exclusive.

Just a few days ago Snapchat changed it so that Stories don’t automatically play. You’ll need to find ways to get people coming back and watching your stories. Exclusive deals and content is one tactic.

4. Announce things

Having a sale? Carrying a new product? Drive awareness and store visits.

5. Boost your photographer and videographer game

Snapchat is a true contender when it comes to video. Facebook gets 8 billion video views a day. Snapchat gets 10 billion.

We all have to spend some time learning how to take videos and photos. Quick tips: use striking visuals first; pay attention to contrast and line.

6. Master the hacks

Switch between front-facing and back-facing cameras with double tap. Zoom in and out while taking video by scrolling your finger up and down. Master doodling by using a stylus or tablet.

7. Tell stories with a sequence of pics and videos

Get past the 10-second limit with a sequence of images and videos that tie together.

Advanced social media marketing pro tip from BCI’s social media editor, Kristi Kellogg: Save your string of photos and videos to your camera roll and then repurpose that video on other social platforms, from Instagram to Facebook!

8. Get intimate

Snapchat, more than any social media platform to date, demands intimacy.

It’s like being in a true relationship. It has to do with trust. It has to do with spending time together. It has to do with having conversations, being vulnerable and sharing behind-the-scenes content.

Get your people involved as a way to build intimacy.

9. Run an ad campaign

If you have (big!) budget, sponsored campaigns start at $100,000. Kraft saw a 13% lift in purchase intent after a Snapchat sponsored campaign.

10. Run a contest

As a prize, maybe even to every participant, offer a coupon for your shop! (Fun case study of a froyo shop’s contest here.)

11. Do an influencer takeover

Influencer takeovers on Snapchat are guaranteed fun because of the doodles. The key is finding the influencers that your audience cares about.

12. Make your own geofilters

On-Demand Geofilters for events or at specific locations are very cost-effective in cost per impression. Pepper has templates and lets you build your own filters. You can go to and get feedback from others on your filter design.

I made an On-Demand Geofilter for my best friend’s baby shower and it was a huge hit. I created it using Canva and free vectors sourced from Vecteezy. So easy and cheap and totally delighted my bestie and the guests.

13. Be real

Facebook is considered overrated by millennials because it’s “not real.” Break through the noise; if everyone’s doing tutorials, you do the anti-tutorial.

14. Play the point game

The Snapchat platform is a game and has a scoring system built in. You earn points for interacting with people. They earn points for interacting with you. Everybody wins!

And your point score is a metric of your engagement level — something you can report to your boss!

Other metrics you can track on Snapchat are unique views, total story completions, completion rate and screenshots. If you give out coupons, track how many are redeemed.

15. One more thing … skip the third-party apps

Virginia speaking from experience here. Say no to the draw of a third-party app that lets you post previously taking pics and videos to Snapchat as “live” Snaps. I tried one, UploadnRoll, and I’m currently on a 12-hour lock-out from Snapchat for violating TOS. Oopsies!

Parting advice: Why Snapchat for business?

I asked Mana Ionescu: “What advice would you have for a business who is uncomfortable with or hesitant to jump into Snapchat?”

No beating around the bush here:

“‘Uncomfortable’ and ‘hesitant’ are not good reasons to not test a few things.

Any type of marketing can make one uncomfortable or hesitant, that doesn’t mean it won’t work. As long as you have the time and resources to execute a test, it’s always worth testing things out.

You can start by testing location filters. Then compare the cost per thousand impressions from your filters with the cost per thousand impressions you may get with Facebook ads, for example.

Then be strategic, plan things out properly, map everything out, keep testing. See where you’re getting the best bang for the buck and focus your efforts there.

Ultimately, it’s not about the mechanics of ‘snapping.’ It’s about telling compelling stories in a format, voice and tone that will help, educate, entertain and enthrall your audiences. Not just on Snapchat, but elsewhere as well.”

Thank you, Mana Ionescu, for these snappy tips.

As for the new rules of marketing, it comes down to this … Be yourself. Love your customers. Make good stuff. Do bold marketing.

If that sounds like your marketing mantra, give Snapchat a shot.

Let us help you build your brand among millennials. BCI’s social media services are tailor-made to match your business goals and audience. Let’s talk more about growing revenue through social media marketing.

Virginia Nussey is the director of content marketing at MobileMonkey. Prior to joining this startup in 2018, Virginia was the operations and content manager at Bruce Clay Inc., having joined the company in 2008 as a writer and blogger.

See Virginia's author page for links to connect on social media.

Comments (18)
Still on the hunt for actionable tips and insights? Each of these recent Social Media Marketing posts is better than the last!

18 Replies to “Millennials ❤️ Snapchat: 15 Tips on How to Use Snapchat for Business”

Very interesting read, not sure if i agree. Will read more

It’s true, that you should use it “if your audience is there”. As for me, I prefer Facebook and not very familiar with Snapchat. Thanks for some useful information about it. Now I have plans to check it.


That’s an important and indeed very useful piece of advice here. It’s true that other social media platforms are taking off as compared to the major platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Brands are actively using platforms like Instagram and Snapchat to boost engagement within their community! Nice post (:

I get it, use snapchat in the way that they offer the service and use it often. Don’t be afraid to try new things but probably most important you must get followers. Thank you this is a really good informative piece of info.

Very good information about snapchat. I am in the social media industry and the idea of SnapChat still scares me.

Spachat is emerging as big marketing asset in us.
I personally used geofilters couple of time and blown away by the kind of results i got.
its still yet to hit many countries like India, Whee i am located.

I think the relationship between business-owners and the younger (Millenial) generation of consumers is very important, and one that really is not talked about often enough. While it is a good thing that most business-owners are conscious and aware of the fact that social media and online marketing techniques are absolutely imperative, there is always going to be a communication and technological gap between the generations- as mentioned here, with regards to Snapchat.

Snapchat is just one particular form of social media that is very relevant nowadays, and would be a wise medium for an owner to appeal to, particularly in targeting millenials. But give it six months to a year, and an entirely different website/app/medium may present itself, and leave the owner scrambling to keep up. That, is the reality of marketing between generations in an online world that is constantly changing!

Virginia Nussey

Milan, you really take it home with these observations, all the way to the scary twist at the end: just try to keep up! Not like we have any other choice!;D

i have never think of using snapchat so effectively for marketing . Thanks bruceclay

Just a few months back I have started using the SnapChat for my business. Initially, I was thinking that It would be easy for me as I am already managing my business Facebook page but now I have realized that it require more creativity.

I found your tips really helpful.

Hope these tips will work for me.

Virginia Nussey

It’s true, Tauseef. Snapchat won’t let you repurpose your Facebook content (although you can repurpose your Snapchat content to Facebook, if you download your Stories as videos and then upload to Facebook). Good luck!

Snapchat is becoming a pretty big deal in the marketing world. I am yet to use Snapchat but these tips are perfect for when I finally do get a Snapchat account up and running.

Thanks for sharing, I have heard of snapchat but didn’t quite understand how to use it. Could be something to have a closer look at.

Virginia Nussey

Thumbs up, Solidworks! Snapchat is the next platform, and one that’s taught me that we who do digital marketing need to be fearless, pivot and adapt to the next thing. Give it a go!

Very good information about snapchat. I am in the social media industry and the idea of SnapChat still scares me. Content that is gone is a short time, just is frightening. At the same time 150 million users is a pretty big deal, and if millenials are your thing then it is a must and no amount of precaution or fear should lead a marketer to back away from such an influential social media network.

Virginia Nussey

Thanks, Mr. Courses Online! Agree 1000% percent. :)

You need to be really creative for snapchat! This is a trend where you can use Millennials for Millennials.

Virginia Nussey

Lorna, creativity is definitely key on Snapchat. Here’s a fun game: Use the Snapchat lenses and add a caption of some pop culture reference that you’re imitating. I did this back and forth with a friend one time and it was hysterical. For instance, one of the lenses I accompanied with a caption like Mike Tyson on a psychedelic trip. All that’s to say, Snapchat definitely rewards the creative types. :)


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