DRIVING SALES THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA
Snapchat: Uncovering your brand’s human voice.
By Anna McLeod
Let’s face it, social media is changing by the day and to keep up with trends, channels and hashtags takes full-time resources. Communicating with your customers on a personal level is the new ‘normal’ and blatant promoted posts and banner ads no longer have the same impact on consumer conversion rates.
It’s one of the fastest growing social platforms on the market with over 2 million active users in Australia alone. But why is it growing so rapidly in the younger generations? To put it simply, it’s all about authenticity. Snapchat breaks down polished brand messaging, delivering photos and videos to customers in a more personal way than any other platform.
With one third of all under 24-year-olds using the platform, retail outlets around the world are jumping on board the Snapchat bandwagon, sharing their stories with the millennials to drive both online and in store sales.
Your brand has a human personality
Forget your branding strategy, and dive into your brand identity. Snapchat demands you humanise your messaging to succeed. In fact, it’s almost impossible not to be human on this platform.
Without being able to Photoshop images into beautiful branded representations, this platform requires you to take a photo or video, in real time and send this to your followers. The messaging is raw, simple and helps your customers connect to you on a more emotional level.
Daunting as it may be to relinquish the marketing polish other platforms such as Facebook and Instagram offer, you may find that your sales growth and connection to audiences will actually benefit from this real-life shake up.
“With one third of all under 24-year-olds using the platform, retail outlets around the world are jumping on board the Snapchat bandwagon.”
Know your limits
With any social platform, there are limitations and challenges – Snapchat is no different. As a platform originally created for individuals, brands need to adapt their thinking to make it work best for them.
This means letting go of ideas of perfectionism.
* It has limited design features – your images won’t look as sleek as other channels – but that’s accepted given the audience and context.
* Snapchat doesn’t enable website links – forget tracking direct referral traffic, this is a platform for building customer relationships.
* It’s difficult to get the word out – use your established social accounts to promote your new Snapchat profile and utilise the Snapcode feature to boost cross-platform followers.
* Explore brand influencers such as bloggers to grow your audience. Being open to account ‘takeovers’ can attract new customers and increase product sales.
* Forget traditional content strategies, Snapchat is best for immediate, regular updates, not strategic month-long campaigns.
The force is strong on this one
Workforce, that is.
The brands that perform best on Snapchat are embracing this marketing shift and giving the power to their workforce, their everyday staff to sell their brand messages. For you, these are your stock room coordinators, shop floor sales managers, and even those out on photo shoots.
Your ‘force’ over competitors is the people selling your products, connecting directly with your customers and living your brand. Set guidelines for posting, but trust that they have worthwhile content to share.
Sounds great, but I want to make sales
What is digital marketing and social media without the conversion, right? At the end of the day, we all want more sales, better customer experiences and stronger brand growth, so how do you use Snapchat to do this?
Let’s break this down.
1. You sell more than just products
Use Snapchat to sell your brand and everything associated with your brand’s image – not just the products you sell, but the personality and interest of your customers.
Tap into your customer motivations to create a bond with your viewers and give them a personal connection to you over competitors.
2. VIP access
Take your customers behind the shop floor and show them what your business is all about. It will give customers a feeling on inclusion and a stronger connection with who you are.
* Hitting the surf for a staff day out? Snap it.
* New products just arrived at head office and about to hit the online shop? Snap it.
* Morning coffee art blowing your mind? Snap it.
These all accumulate towards what your brand personifies, beyond the products themselves, and showcases your brand personality.
3. We need to talk
Keep those lines of communication open – social media is a conversation after all! Snapchat allows users to Snap back and forth, so use this to your advantage to get to know your audience on a deeper level.
Take advantage of the caption feature on your photos and videos to ask for feedback from your viewers. ‘What’s on for the weekend?’, ‘Where’s your best surf spot?’, ‘What’s better: this top in blue or black?’ – these all give you an invaluable insight into your customer’s motivations and can unlock new buying trends.
4. Reward loyalty
Both in store and online, rewarding your active customers is a huge component of any digital strategy. Introduce rewards and coupons to your Snapchat community to generate additional sales.
This could be implemented by:
* Offering in store discounts to those Snapping photos from your change rooms
* Offer a photo or drawing contest to gain engagement and feedback
* Reward your first 100 followers with a personalised Snap discount code
* Create a scavenger hunt in a particular store to unlock a freebie
* Distribute unique discount Snaps that users can only view and redeem in store at the time of purchase.
5. Timing is everything
Be responsive. If someone is snapping a photo from within your store, snap back a response or coupon in the next few minutes, while they are in the moment and in the buying headspace.
It not only shows that your brand genuinely cares about what your customers are saying, but you can even generate extra sales by doing so.
Snap to it
If you are open to trying Snapchat for your brand, know you are tapping into a creative customer base and the results are exponential depending on the commitment you give to the channel.
Like all social media marketing, research your competitors, know your objectives, post frequently and most importantly, post appropriately. Snapchat could be the best asset you now have to connect with your younger customers.
So get snappy, before the opportunity disappears.
*Anna McLeod, is a digital specialist at Sense Advertising, a multidisciplinary creative agency in Melbourne, Australia. We respond to briefs with a unique approach & strong strategic insights, drawing on our considerable expertise in advertising, branding, graphic design & digital marketing to deliver creative solutions that are commercially sound. Ph 03 84567519. www.sense.com.au
For more information on starting and building your Snapchat profile, we also recommend this further reading: http://new.soldsie.com/blog/8-easy-ways-to-build-a-following-on-snapchat/