When Snapchat burst onto the scene back in 2011, it very quickly became popular in the “millennial” demographic. In fact, so popular is Snapchat that it has now surpassed Twitter, despite 60% of its users coming from the 18-34 demographic.

But Snapchat is currently experiencing a more important change than pure growth. According to a recent study by comScore, Snapchat’s market penetration among older smartphone users has increased exponentially over the last 3 years.

Indeed, back in April 2013, market penetration figures stood at 5% and 2% for the 25-34 and 35+ age brackets, respectively. Come April 2016, comScore found that those figures had risen to 38% and 14%, respectively. And while these figures developments pale in comparison to growth in the 18-24 demographic (24% to 69%), they do demonstrate the growing mainstream appeal of the platform.

5 Ways to Promote Your Business on Snapchat

Naturally, this means that businesses on a global scale will be looking to take advantage of the clear marketing potential of Snapchat. Indeed, many international companies already have.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of the 5 tactics even the smallest businesses can employ to engage customers on Snapchat:

Behind The Scenes

Compelling storytelling is half the battle with effective branding and marketing. Remember – customers love to interact with their favourite brands. And what better way to engage your loyal fans than with a behind-the-scenes glimpse at your business?

You can, budget allowing, take this storytelling approach to the next level too. Working with a popular influencer (or several) in your industry to deliver a guided-tour would enable your business to reach a far more expansive – and targeted – audience.

Blogger VIP Access

Along similar lines, opening your doors to the Snapchat following of a number of relevant influencers could easily deliver considerable awareness for your brand. It doesn’t get more compelling than having your story personally told by numerous trusted sources.

Let’s say you’re a recently opened ice cream parlour. Naturally, you want to get word out about your world-beating gelato. This VIP approach would see you host an event for or open your doors to 10 of your town’s/city’s most popular food and lifestyle influencers. Suddenly, your story is everywhere – shared across social media by local patrons.

Product Previews & Exclusives

Give your customers the inside track on your latest products (or flavours). But it’s more than simply introducing a new item; you could use it as an opportunity to explain how a certain product works and offer a guided tour of its best features.

This is an approach that could be particularly effective for the fashion industry – sharing news of or announcing a new collection, or even introducing an element of interactivity.

Competitions & Giveaways

If there’s one thing customers are happy to interact with, it’s the prospect of a competition win. Snapchat may not appear, at first, to be the best platform for a competition or giveaway, but it can be done. And without too much effort.

For instance, you might encourage customers to snap your business back a doodle or image relating to your industry. You then randomly select a handful of winners who then continue to share your story as natural ambassadors, delivering surplus brand engagement.

Snapchat Takeover

Putting your business in the hands of an influencer. It sounds daunting, but done strategically and carefully it can help deliver your products to a far larger audience than you’re used to.

Ideally, this will involve a genuinely influential snapchatter – think in the tens or hundreds of thousands of followers. Consequently, such an approach may demand a larger budget than you’re used to. But it could also guarantee relatively bigger results in the short and long term.

Bonus Extra: Snapchat Geofilters

As Snapchat grows, so does its product offering. It’s a trend we’ve seen across all popular social media platforms; Facebook, Twitter and, more recently, Instagram. And one of the most compelling options offered by Snapchat are its ‘Geofilters’.

Available free to ‘communities’ – cities, landmarks, public locations – or at a cot for events, businesses and individuals, these Geofilters enable snapchatters to convey ‘the “where and when” of a snap’.

Giving your business a local edge on Snapchat, these filters hold enormous potential for brand and story promotion. Whether you’re promoting an event, want to expound your business culture or want to emphasise your presence at a conference, Geofilters are an effective way of driving awareness.