Getting started on Snapchat

The parent company of Snapchat – Snap, Inc. – filed to go public with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It has an eye toward being valued at more than $30 billion. So if you thought Snapchat was just some silly trend for high schoolers, think again.

As the social network continues to grow in immense popularity, it will become a useful business tool, especially if you are looking to attract younger customers in the short and long term.

Being one of the resident Millennials at Boating Industry, I wanted to offer a couple starting tips for Snapchat.

Use Instagram for a trial run

If you’re already on Instagram, I recommend trying their Instagram Story feature. It’s similar to the Stories feature on Snapchat, but be forewarned – it’s likely not going to replace Snapchat. However, I think for those familiar with using Instagram, it’s a great entry into using the Stories format, which can be a bit intimidating.

Use the little + symbol in the top-left corner in the Instagram app to post a photo or video; you can also make a swipe-down motion on your screen to access photos and videos already in your phone and upload them to your story directly (I personally like that functionality in the Instagram Stories better than on Snapchat, so if you’re on Snapchat, just take your photos/videos directly in the app).

Watch your timing

When you are posting a photo on Snapchat, make sure it is visible for as long as you want it to be. Once you take the photo, there is a small stopwatch in the bottom-left corner with a number. That indicates how many seconds your photo will appear.

So if you’ve got a photo with a discount code for your pro shop that you want customers to screenshot and bring into the store, you probably don’t want it to only be visible for two seconds!

Videos, videos, videos

Videos play really well with users on Snapchat, and videos offer a lot of opportunities for the boating industry to tell a story through social media. Think of Snapchat as a combination of the Facebook and YouTube.

Using your Story tool, you could show off a used boat that just came to your dealership in multiple 10-second video clips. If you’re a manufacturer, you could take videos of test runs of your new product at your annual dealer meeting (assuming the products are public at that point). Customers love exclusive previews and Snapchat is a great way to show them off in an engaging format.

Have fun

Snapchat is a great tool for showing off the fun side of your business and its culture. If you are hosting a customer event, you can post snippets of what’s going on to show it off, and hopefully give your customers some serious FOMO (that’s Fear Of Missing Out). Maybe post clips of your company holiday party too and show your customers not only how much fun your employee base is, but how well you treat your employees.

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