You’ve mastered Facebook, gotten the hang of Instagram and Pinterest and maybe even dabbled on Twitter…do you have to try yet another social media platform?
If you’re interested in growing sales among Millennials, the answer, according to Michelle Brammer of eZanga, is yes.
Earlier this year, Brammer encouraged small business owners to start using Snapchat, the hip mash-up of messaging service and social media that boasts 100 million users a month (71 percent of them are under age 34).
The mobile app allows users to send videos and pictures, both of which will “self destruct” (or, in less apocalyptic language, disappear) after a few seconds of a person viewing them. Users also can take a photo or a video with it, then add a caption or doodle or lens graphic over top.
“Snaps — pictures or 10-second videos shot on Snapchat — are a fast and effective way to not only communicate brand value and initiatives, but to humanize a business and incentivize customers,” Brammer explained. “Small businesses worldwide are tapping into Snapchat to create brand awareness and to elicit actions from their Snapchat followers.”
Some of her best practices that florists can model include:
Make a deal. In Tucson, Arizona, the restaurant chain eegee’s used Snapchat (username: eegees) to send coupons to the company’s 600-plus followers. After the deals posted, daily sales across all locations jumped 23 percent in the following 24-hour period. The fast food chain understood its market, Brammer explained, namely, hungry, cash-strapped college kids.(Research shows 77 percent of college students use Snapchat daily and are 58 percent more likely to purchase a product if they received a coupon via Snapchat.) If you do offer a coupon, remind your followers to take a screenshot of the coupon to redeem later (remember: They self-destruct once viewed). Another option, according to Bond Street? Build a sense of excitement by keeping the exact promo details a secret, revealed only once the customer opens the snap in your store. “Make sure it’s clear they know that they can’t look at it until they’re going to present the coupon to you.”
Use Video. Brands are successfully “implementing short videos into Snapchat streams,” just as they already do on YouTube and Vine, Brammer noted. “Online retailer Drunk Mall (username: drunkMall) saw that customers could benefit from seeing a live demo of a product on their website and made video part of their Snapchat strategy,” she explained. The company — which provides “the best and weirdest items” on the Internet — “leveraged video content in a Snapchat story to promote Brewsees, a pair of sunglasses with a bottle opener on each arm.” The video helped increase traffic to the site and directly to the Brewsees product. Videos are especially helpful for quickly explaining a product process that seem tricky or complicated to consumers — ahem, how to put on a boutonniere? How to care for a specific house plant?
Get Personal. As with all social media, Snapchat provides a way for you to connect with users in a casual way, injecting a little personality into your marketing. Here, it’s important to be consistent with regular posts and even signature words or emojis. Avowed flower lover and hip hop mogul DJ Khaled (username: DJKhaled305) regularly uses the “key” emoji to share lessons and motivational support — an outreach so popular that some brands have tried to hijack the concept, with mixed results. Nonetheless, when done right, “giving followers access to personal details, like Khaled, helps to humanize the brand and strengthening brand ambassadorship,” Brammer said.
A final suggestion from Brammer? Don’t reinvent the wheel, or, in this case, the snap. Use material you already have. Snapchat, she argued is “worth tapping into if your business is geared towards younger demographics, but it’s best to repurpose your content across streams. Many small businesses and entrepreneurs are tight on resources, so create messaging that can be used across a variety of social channels.”
Have more time to devote to social media and the online world this month? The June 2016 issue of Floral Management magazine is dedicated to all things online advertising, including how to best leverage ads on social media. Read more.