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8 Quick Tips for Snapchat Success

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Ask the next 20-something-year-old who walks into your store about their morning routine. They’ll likely say they check social media, and Snapchat is probably part of the mix.

What is Snapchat? In basic terms, Snapchat is a smartphone app that allows users to share photos or videos with followers. Content can be customized with filters or by writing text or drawing on the image. Users can send one-on-one snaps, which followers can view only once, or they can share content through Snapchat Stories, which can be replayed multiple times and are viewable by all followers. On Snapchat, all content is temporary, allowing users to share new photos and videos each day.

The Snapchat Stories feature creates a compilation of photos and videos that appear in chronological order as a narrative. When a user posts content to their Snapchat Story, their followers can view it for 24 hours before it disappears.

Why is Snapchat important to retailers?

According to Snapchat, 100 million people use the app each day. Forty-one percent of those users are adults ages 18 to 34. More than 10 billion videos are viewed on the platform every single day. Retailers can use Snapchat to reach a younger customer demographic innovatively and in the moment.

You may already be using photo- and video- sharing platforms that reach this demographic, like Facebook and Instagram. However, Snapchat is a growing platform. When it comes to social media marketing, business owners should be present on the mediums their customers are actively using.

How do you get started?

  1. Download the free Snapchat app on your smartphone.
  2. Create an account for your business.
  3. Follow the tips below to launch and master Snapchat.

Tips for Snapchat Success


Unlike other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat does not recommend accounts for users to follow based on interests or other activity. Therefore, you need to build your follower base by cross promoting content on your other social media profiles or through in-store signage and promotion. One way to boost your follower count is to host a sale that requires your customers to follow you on Snapchat in order to get the deal.

New Products

When you get new, exciting products in your store, share with your Snapchat followers first. Post photos or videos of the product coming out of the box on your story, or post a video of your employees or customers using the new product. If you have a popular item that’s flying off the shelves, use Snapchat to keep your customers in the loop in real-time when you’re restocking the shelves.

DIY Project Demos

Use stories to educate your customers on common DIY projects. Post a series of videos that show your employees completing a project step-by-step, along with an explanation of the products needed to complete the project. Additionally, follow up the project series by answering questions that customers frequently ask regarding the specific project.

Special Offers

Reward your followers for their engagement by offering them incentives. For example, consider a giveaway to the first 20 followers to respond to a video on your Snapchat Story. To convert followers into customers, offer a 10 percent discount to anyone who mentions your Snapchat account at the register on a certain day. This could encourage your followers to remain engaged.

Behind the Scenes

Give your followers a peek at what goes on behind the scenes at your store. Snap a video of the delivery truck coming in, share your adventures at a buying market or highlight your staff setting up a display after hours. Snapchat is a great tool for connecting with your customers on a more personal level. Sharing behind-the-scenes content gives your brand a personality and makes your business more relatable to your customers.

Partner with Local Influencers

Customers trust the opinions of people they recognize and admire. Have a local celebrity like a politician, athlete or radio or television personality come into your store and take over your Snapchat for a day. This person could go around your store picking out favorite products. This can help you gain rapport with your Snapchat followers and create legitimacy around your brand.

Highlight In-Store Events

Hosting an annual sale or community event? Get your customers excited beforehand by sharing photos and videos of the event prep. Then, give your followers a play-by-play at the actual event. Seeing the excitement in real time may convince your followers to attend a future event or even stop by your event that day.

Keep it Fun

Snapchat is unique because it allows for lighthearted and casual social media interactions with customers. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Try out different types of content to see what works for your followers. Don’t be afraid to post goofy snaps of the store owner telling a joke or the store pet doing a silly trick. Also, be sure to experiment with Snapchat’s many funky filters during the editing process.

Additional Resources

In addition to the tips above, we’ve compiled a list of resources from experts across the web to help you better understand Snapchat and how to use it for business. Click here to see the list.

About Hilary Welter

As marketing and research coordinator, it’s Hilary’s duty to keep retailers informed about NRHA products and services and to help coordinate industry research projects. Additionally, Hilary is the voice behind NRHA’s and Hardware Retailing’s social media accounts. She appreciates a good book, spicy food, well-made horror films, craft beer and exploring new places near and far.

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