How to Use Snapchat in 2024: The Ultimate Guide for Small Businesses

With over 375 million daily active users, Snapchat has become a social media powerhouse. And with good reason – the disappearing photo and video app makes it easy for friends and family to share moments and inside jokes in a casual, fun way.

But Snapchat isn‘t just for teens anymore. More and more small businesses are leveraging Snapchat to reach younger audiences, humanize their brand, drive website traffic, and boost engagement.

As a social media consultant for startups and SMBs, I‘ve seen firsthand how Snapchat can accelerate growth when used strategically. Here‘s my comprehensive guide to using Snapchat in 2024 specifically for marketing your small business.

Setting Up Your Business Profile

Getting started on Snapchat is quick and simple. Just download the app and sign up using your business email, name, and phone number. Snapchat will text a one-time verification code.

Once your account is created, go to your profile and tap the settings cog. Select "Switch to Business Profile," then fill out your business name, category, website, and phone number.

This gives your account access to business tools like:

  • Snapchat Ads Manager – Create and manage ads to reach new audiences.
  • Story analytics – View story viewer demographics and traffic data.
  • Website integration – Add a Snapchat pixel to track conversions.

Be sure to create a custom Snapcode by uploading your logo. This makes it easy for customers to find and add your business.

Growing Your Following

Let‘s face it, Snapchat is all about the followers. Here are some proven tactics to build up your audience:

  • Leverage other platforms. Promote your Snapchat from your website, email lists, Instagram, Facebook, and anywhere else you have an audience.
  • Run contests and giveaways. Offer prizes for adding your Snapchat or screenshotting your content. This incentivizes follows.
  • Use Snapchat Ads. Target your perfect demographic and convert follows directly from Snapchat‘s 6 billion daily views.
  • Partner with influencers. Pay popular Snapchat creators to promote your account through shoutouts or takeovers.
  • Share QR codes. Include your Snapcode on packaging, flyers, receipts, or anywhere customers can easily scan it.

With over 375 million daily active users, Snapchat is too big to ignore. Take advantage of the platform‘s viral growth potential.

Creating Engaging Content

Posting quality Snaps is critical for keeping your followers entertained and informed. Here are some best practices:

  • Mix it up. Share a variety of content including product reveals, behind-the-scenes, tutorials, polls, coupons, office culture, and more.
  • Keep it casual. Snapchat favors an authentic, raw aesthetic. Don‘t try overly polished or heavily edited Snaps.
  • Leverage new features. Use creative tools like Lenses, Geofilters, Games, and Spotlight challenges to make engaging content.
  • Tell a story. Post Snaps that connect and flow into an interesting story. This boosts overall views.
  • Respond to messages. Carve out time daily to have real conversations with customers who DM your business.
  • Analyze performance. Review analytics on viewership, traffic sources, and audience demographics to refine your content.

Post frequently, test different content types, respond to followers, and study your stats – this is the formula for Snapchat success.

Driving Website Traffic

One major benefit of Snapchat is the opportunity to convert views into website visits. Here are some proven techniques:

  • Add swipe up links. Verified accounts can add links to swipe up and visit your website directly from Snapchat.
  • Drive scans. Promote your custom Snapcode and offer an incentive if customers scan it and visit your site.
  • Leverage Snap Pixel. Install the Snapchat Pixel on your website to track conversions from Snapchat and retarget those visitors.
  • Offer exclusives. Give special discounts, early access, or other perks only for customers who visit from Snapchat.
  • Collaborate with influencers. Work with creators to promote products, offers, or content on their profile with a swipe up link back to your site.
  • Promote in Stories. Craft fun, engaging Stories that end with a call to "Swipe up to shop" or "Swipe up to learn more."

With some creativity, you can definitely convert Snapchat views into real business results.

Snapchat Best Practices

Here are a few final tips to ensure your Snapchat strategy is optimized for success:

  • Post consistently. Aim for 1-2 Snaps daily at minimum. More is better.
  • Be authentic. Don‘t just repurpose content. Create casual, fun Snaps specifically for Snapchat.
  • Respond quickly. Your followers expect that conversations happen in real-time on Snapchat.
  • Use Snapchat Filters. Take advantage of holiday filters, geofilters, lenses, etc. to spice up content.
  • Monitor notifications. Respond promptly to comments, DMs, and other notifications to keep engagement high.
  • Analyze insights. Check your analytics regularly to identify peak posting times and your best performing content.

The more you use Snapchat actively, the faster your account will grow. Lean into Snapchat‘s fun, irreverent ethos and culture.

Final Thoughts

For small businesses looking to reach Gen Z and millennial audiences, Snapchat is a marketing channel you can‘t afford to ignore.

By leveraging Snapchat‘s viral growth mechanics, getting creative with ephemeral content, and driving website traffic, Snapchat can become an invaluable part of your social media strategy.

It does take commitment to build a loyal Snapchat following and learn what content resonates. But with some practice, your business can thrive on one of the fastest-growing social platforms out there.

So what are you waiting for? Install Snapchat, set up your business profile, and start snapping your way to social media marketing success!