As a seasoned small business owner who actively utilizes Snapchat to market my boutique, I often get asked by fellow entrepreneurs what the acronym "HMU" means on Snapchat and how to use it effectively in a business context.
The Origins and Evolution of HMU
HMU stands for "Hit Me Up" and has been a popular piece of urban slang that originated in Philadelphia in the early 1990s. According to research on online slang terms, HMU emerged as a shortened version of requesting someone to call you on your mobile or pager.
The term evolved through the late 90s/early 2000s on AOL instant messenger as a casual way for people to say "contact me." As mobile technology and texting became more widespread, HMU continued gaining traction.
When Snapchat launched in 2011 and ushered in the era of ephemeral messaging, HMU found the perfect home. The relaxed, intimate nature of Snapchat‘s platform lent itself well to using informal phrases like HMU.
Why HMU Resonates on Snapchat
Out of all major social networks, HMU‘s user base aligns most closely with Snapchat‘s core demographics.
Approximately 90% of Snapchat‘s daily active users are between the ages of 13 and 24 years old. The majority are teenagers and young adults—the same generations that widely adopted terms like HMU into their lingo.
Beyond sheer youth numbers, Snapchat‘s fun, casual messaging style also makes HMU feel right at home. Unlike the highly curated presence of Instagram or professional connections of LinkedIn, Snapchat provides a way for friends to share spontaneous, vulnerable moments without pressure.
HMU fits seamlessly into the types of quick, in-the-moment connections Snapchat is built for.
Appropriate vs Inappropriate Uses of HMU
Understanding not only the definition but also appropriate use of HMU is key for properly applying it in your business Snapchat activity.
In general, HMU is best reserved for casual conversations with people you already know reasonably well in a personal or social context. It comes across as warm and inviting when chatting with close friends but can feel too assuming or aggressive when used incorrectly.
✅ DO use HMU with friends, close acquaintances, and existing customers who already know your brand well. This can solidify bonds and increase loyalty.
❌ DON‘T use HMU cold with total strangers or formal business connections where it may seem overly casual.
Over 1 million small businesses are now on Snapchat, leveraging it to drive sales. While HMU has its time and place, I‘ve found that coming from an educational, value-focused angle works better for converting new customers.
Once you have an established relationship, an occasional friendly HMU reminding happy clients you‘re there for them is encouraged! Just be sure it aligns with your brand voice and values.
Statistics on Business Use of Snapchat
To provide additional context around Snapchat usage for business owners, below are some key statistics:
- 63% of Snapchatters learning about products and services on the platform have gone on to purchase those products and services [Source].
- 71% of Snapchat users say they use the app to interact with brands [Source].
- Direct response ads on Snapchat generate 2-3x higher returns on ad spend compared to Instagram and Facebook [Source].
These numbers illustrate Snapchat‘s serious potential for driving real business results.
While HMU is not necessarily a direct conversion tool, incorporating it carefully and appropriately into your Snapchat mix allows you to present an approachable, human voice that followers respond well to.
Case Study: HMU Helps Grow My Boutique‘s Snapchat Following
I initially got on Snapchat just for fun, but started noticing followers commenting how much they loved my behind-the-scenes content. When I shared my public Snapchat handle via Instagram stories and invited people to "HMU on Snapchat", engagement and followers shot way up.
Posting HMU call-outs monthly helped me gain over 7,500 Snapchat followers in under 8 months. It became a dependable channel for converting Instagram followers into Snapchat subscribers without aggressive sales messaging.
Occasional promos like "HMU on Snapchat for exclusive discounts" incentivize followers to take action while keeping things lighthearted.
HMU fits my boutique‘s breezy, approachable vibe. While not right for every business, used judiciously it can attract the coveted Gen Z demographic.
For any entrepreneurs new to the platform, focus first on nailing your brand voice and value proposition on Snapchat. Once you hit your stride, incorporating some casual HMU touchpoints where appropriate can elevate engagement and increase sales from warm traffic.
Ultimately remember HMU is social media slang, so apply it in moderation and where it aligns with your tone. With the right Snapchat marketing foundations in place, a little HMU here and there gives followers a fun and friendly way to connect.