coworkers taking a selfie in the office
Marketing on Snapchat comes with many opportunities — like offering coupons and product teasers — to excite your customer base in a short amount of time. — Getty Images/andresr

After Snapchat’s IPO turned out to be a large disappointment in 2017, many business owners shied away from integrating the platform into their marketing toolkit. However, content on Snapchat still gets a lot of attention.

In fact, active users spend an average of 30 minutes on the app, making it one of the most engaging social media platforms available. However, the key to getting the best ROI from Snapchat is understanding the main audience.

Nearly 80% of Snapchat users are between the ages of 18 to 24, and 70% of users are female. If millennial women make up your target customer, then Snapchat marketing is something your small business should seriously consider. Here’s how to market your business on Snapchat.

Open a Snapchat for Business account

A business account on Snapchat is similar to a typical user profile, but it also provides user insights and analytics to help clarify how well your campaigns are working. There are built-in instructions that will guide you through choosing a username, setting up a profile and creating your first campaign.

[Read our full social media marketing guide.]

Create great content

Snapchat is unique compared to other platforms. A video or photo lives on Snapchat for 24 hours before vanishing. As a result, the content you share must be slightly different.

What makes great content for Snapchat? There are several ways to entertain your audience while staying on brand and relevant. Stories you share should still follow some kind of “narrative arc: rising action, climax, falling action, resolution,” according to Hootsuite. Because of the fleeting nature of the platform, use your content to entertain as well as create a sense of urgency. Here are some great ways to use Snapchat in your marketing strategy:

  • Offer coupons. Ask your audience to send snaps of themselves with your product or doing something to promote your brand in exchange for a coupon code. Or, encourage foot traffic during lulls in the day with limited-time offers redeemable at a certain time of day.
  • Work with influencers. Ask some of your best fans to post on your behalf. Influencers are trusted by their followers and their recommendations can hold a lot of sway.
  • Tease a new product. Build anticipation of a new menu item or product launch by posting behind-the-scenes pictures before the release. Snapchat is a great way to generate buzz.

Overall, don’t shy away from being creative on Snapchat. If something doesn’t work, the good news is, it will only stay around for 24 hours.

Because of the fleeting nature of the platform, use your content to entertain as well as create a sense of urgency.

Stay on brand

It’s easy to get distracted by all the filters and stickers available on the platform. Come up with separate guidelines to maintain your marketing tone and to keep this channel consistent with your other marketing efforts. Part of your strategy should include standards for high-quality imagery. According to Hootsuite, these are the Snapchat specs you need to know:

  • File sizes should be maximum 5MB for images and 32 MB for videos.
  • File format should be in .jpg or .png format. Videos can be .mp4, .mov, and H.264 encoded.
  • Full screen canvas should be 1080 x 1920 pixels with a 9:16 aspect ratio.

Integrate Snapchat into your other marketing

Build your audience on Snapchat by making it easy for customers to find and follow your profile. Unfortunately, and unlike Instagram and Facebook, Snapchat doesn’t have a “suggested user” feature. This makes it hard to build an audience and ensure the content you produce will be seen.

To make your Snapchat channel as discoverable as possible, add Snapchat icons or the unique, scannable Snapcode to your website, email signature, in-store ads, newsletter and at any events in which your business participates. If you still find it difficult to build an audience, Snapchat does offer paid advertising. Ads usually have higher return on investment than those on other social media platforms; yet, inevitably, ads’ success will depend on your target customer.

CO— does not review or recommend products or services. For more information on choosing the best social media management tools, visit our friends at

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

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