Are you struggling to understand how Snapchat works? Have you heard about some of the successful marketing campaigns on the app, but you're unsure how to use it yourself? Downloaded it to your phone but still utterly confused?
You're not the only one. The platform can be tough to navigate, especially for those not familiar with it. We feel your pain, so to help we've made a step-by-step guide to making the most out of this popular app.
Step 1. Download the app
This is pretty basic, go to your app store and download Snapchat, the icon is above, for anyone who's not sure and it should be free - don't download anything that asks for money!
Step 2. Create an account
If this is a business promotion account make sure your username reflects your business. If your actual business name is already taken, go for something close and easy to remember.
Add in all your personal and business contact details to get started, once this is done the app will ask for access to your contacts - grant it access.
The app will ask you if you either want to add in all your contacts, or add them in one at a time - adding them all is the quickest way to get new followers.
Once you're all set up, you should see your camera, like this:
I know this is terrifying, but bear with us and we'll teach you the navigation.
Step 4: Navigation Basics
From the camera, which you will automatically land on when you open the app, scroll upwards. This will pull down your account settings page:
Here you will get notifications of people who have added you, you can add friends or you can look at your current friends. The icon in the top right lets you control your settings, the top left lets you share your profile to various platforms and the middle shows you your trophies.
Scrolling the page back up will return you to the camera and scrolling down from there will bring up your "memories" a place where you can privately store "snaps" to share at a later date.
Scroll back to the camera and then left will open up your "chats". You can start a text conversation with any of your friends here, as well as sending them images - be warned though, your messages will automatically delete once read.
Scrolling right on the camera page takes you to the "stories". Every time you take a snap you can add it to your story, and your friends can view it from this panel.
Step 5: Creating snaps
Okay, now onto the fun bit. Once you've signed up and added some friends you're ready to go. Go to the camera screen (this is what Snapchat automatically opens on) and find something you'd like to photograph or video.
To photograph it, simply tap the circle at the bottom of the screen.
To video it tap and hold the circle, you'll see it slowly turn red as it records.
In the top right you can adjust the flash, or switch to night mode. In the top left you can turn on your forward facing camera.
Once you've taken a snap you'll see some more options. In the top right you can add emojis, text or freehand drawing to your snaps, and in the bottom left you can adjust how long you want the image to last before it deletes (this is in seconds), you can save it to your memories or you can add it to your story.
The bottom right arrow lets you send the Snap - on the following page you pick the contacts you'd like to send it to, unfortunately there's no way to automatically "send to all".
Step 6: Forward facing camera
The forward facing camera offers another cool option. If you press your finger down on your face you'll see a number of different filters appear which adjust your appearance. Snapchat updates these daily, so play around with it and have some fun.
So there you go! Your basic guide to setting up Snapchat. Now that you've come this far, how can you use it as a marketing tool?
Snapchat's main appeal to teenagers it that it's very casual. It relies on imagery and videos to speak the words for it. Ensure you use Snapchat in a similar vein, make it fun and lighthearted. Send out pictures of new products, or fun videos of your staff behind the scenes. Keep it appropriate, but true to audience.
The image you're trying to cultivate on Snapchat is that you're approachable. If you're confused about what this means, stalk a few other companies first to get an idea.
Work with it, not against it
The time limit might seem irritating, but don't be tempted to send everything for as long as possible - sneak peaks, and competitions are both excellent ways to utilise this feature.
Engage with your customers
Make sure you're involved in a conversation, this is social media after all! Ask users to Snap you back with images of your products, or send personalised Snaps to key customers.
So what are you waiting for? Get started with the platform today!