Snapchat pushed a round of updates in late March, announcing Chat 2.0. These updates made Snapchat into a versatile communication tool for business.
With Chat 2.0, users can make phone and video calls, add more sticks to snaps, upload pictures from their devices, and more. Stories are on auto-advance too, making it easier to view stories faster.
"What we love most about the new Chat is how easily you can transition between all these ways of communicating — just like you do in person,” Snapchat wrote in their announcement. “We want Chat to be the best way to communicate — second only to hanging out face-to-face.”
At the beginning, Snapchat's best use seemed to be for one-on-one conversations between friends.
“But before this release, no single app or device optimized for all the ways humans communicate: long form, short form, audio, video, text, photo, and drawing,” wrote Meghan Keaney Anderson, vice president of marketing at HubSpot. “Which means that Snapchat, for now, is actually pretty special.”
The Snapchat Business Model
Twitter has an emphasis on quick and real-time publishing. Instagram features a gallery of photos and videos, while Facebook is heavier on content.
Snapchat does that too -- all of it.
Snapchat offers users a quick glimpse into a personal moment. That could be a photo or video, and it could have text with it, and drawings or stickers. Users send snaps off to their friends or post it to their stories. That 10-second moment lets their audience join them wherever he or she is right then and there.
It’s fast, creative and interpersonal.
The hard part is finding out how to tailor it to your business. For mortgage and real estate professionals, you have options.
As of now, one of the best ways to grow your Snapchat audience is sharing your Snapcode or username everywhere. Snapchat doesn’t have the same interface that other social media platforms do. That just means it's a bit harder to search for users and build an audience.
When you find that audience, though, Snapchat can be a powerful tool.
For example, Snapchat is useful when letting others know you’re farming a new area. As you do so, use geofilters.
Snapchat has designed geofilters for cities, advertising campaigns, events and more. Sometimes, it's the city's name in a quirky design, or it's an interactive video. Users swipe right or left to apply the geofilter.
When users are in the app, they can interact with the different filters, applying them to their chats and stories. Users can add drawings and stickers too.
Geofilters change on location, whereas other filters change with time and events. Filters can be a good way to engage and connect with your audience. Keep them in mind when brainstorming content ideas.
What to Post On Snapchat
HubSpot recommends doing reactionary pieces to news, how-to videos, or quick tips for daily content. Feature content is another good way to increase audience engagement.
This could be for a promotion or live coverage of an event. It can also be a way to market your account and focus on retention.
For real estate professionals, adding snaps of your open house could attract buyers. It gives those who aren’t able to stop by a remote look into the home.
For mortgage professionals, doing profiles on employees or promotional content can act in the same way.
Some businesses profile new employees, feature newsmakers or influential professionals on their stories. Others hold contests and show exclusive products on their accounts.
While you’re thinking of different kinds of content for your Snapchat account, remember to keep it personal and switch it up.
Take pictures from different angles, include videos, stickers, and drawings to spice things up. It's important to avoid being repetitive so your audience stays engaged.
Switching it up also helps get a read on your audience, which can be difficult with Snapchat.
Keeping Track of Your Snaps
There isn’t a clear way to track the analytics of your Snapchat account so far. But, there are ways to get a handle on it for the time being.
To track your account's progress, look at who's keeping up with your story. And remember, your story only lasts 24 hours.
- Number of snaps
- Length of stories
- Views on first snap
- Views on last snap
- Retention rates
To do this, you wait almost the full 24 hours to look at the numbers. Don’t wait too long, though, because once the story expires, it’s gone, along with any data.
For a business, it would be best to keep a record of your story data. This way, you can see what’s drawing people in, why they might be dropping off, and what to do next time to reel them in.
As you’re starting out, pay particular attention to the views on the first and last snaps of your stories.
This could help shed light on what about your story keeps or diverts attention. It's a way to see what's working to strengthen your brand.
Once you’ve rounded out your Snapchat business plan, stay consistent. Continue thinking about new ways to keep your audience running through your story.