From its beginnings as a disappearing photo app to adding interactive—often hilarious—filter options and storytelling capabilities, Snapchat has come a long way in it’s nearly 5 years of existence. In fact, the social media platform has seen tremendous user growth, boasting 150 million daily active users, which is more than Twitter, according to Bloomberg.
While Snapchat is a major hit among pre-teens and teenagers, usage of the platform is growing among adults—especially Millennials. According to a BI Intelligence report, 45% of adult Snapchat users are 18-24, with another 26% between 25-34 in age. And recently there’s been a big uptick in users over the age of 35.
The bottom line? While Snapchat could’ve easily become a passing trend, it’s proving to be an increasingly embraced space for sharing fun, raw and engaging visual content—presenting both B2C and B2B brands with an awesome opportunity to grow brand affinity and audience engagement.
In fact, many B2C brands large and small are already on the Snapchat bandwagon. Getting started requires little to no investment and the young consumer audience is there. But B2B brands are adopting more slowly, which isn’t abnormal. In my opinion, the nature of social media makes it easier for B2C brands to enter and fit in. However, I think it’s safe to say that Snapchat has gone mainstream, and now is the time for B2B brands to see if it makes sense for their audience and business objectives.
Below we dive into a few examples of B2B companies that are using Snapchat to grow and engage their audiences, as well as some best practices and tips for getting started.
Examples of 3 B2B Brands Using Snapchat
Knowing that more B2C than B2B brands had success in building strong followings, HubSpot launched their Snapchat channel to face that challenge head-on.
“To make our Snapchat channel valuable, we’re using it to serve as both a marketing and a recruiting channel — a place where we can showcase our unique culture and perks, our awesome employees, and the inbound philosophy,” HubSpot said in a Snapchat blog post.
Using a human voice and giving people a sneak peek inside the company’s culture and things they’re experiencing, HubSpot aims to align their snaps with their marketing objectives. Here’s an example of a snap they used to showcase a talk from BuzzFeed News Editor Rachel Zarrell.
Find HubSpot on Snapchat with the username: hubspotinc
Technology giant IBM offers its audience with an inside look at the company’s facilities, as well as the atmosphere at various events where its technology is being used. Below is a short video clip that IBM used on Twitter to encourage people to follow and get a look inside their microelectronics lab.
Follow along on ? Snapchat today (ibm) as we take you on a tour of one our microelectronics labs! ? pic.twitter.com/13ru0mYamD
— IBM (@IBM) June 9, 2016
Find IBM on Snapchat with the username: ibm
Cisco Systems Inc. is pretty new to the Snapchat game, with the company announcing on its blog that the “WeAreCisco tribe”—the recruiting and careers team—was taking over the Snapchat world in April 2016. Since Snapchat is the platform of fun, Cisco promises to provide its followers with behind-the-scenes access to everything from the annual employee Crawfish Boil in Texas to tours of their Raleigh office.
Find Cisco on Snapchat with the username: wearecisco
Snapchat Best Practices & Tips
#1 – Provide something of value.
Any piece of marketing content you create needs to have value and your snaps should be no different. Strive to create something inspiring, educational and engaging that will keep your audience coming back for more. A great way to do this is to provide them with a sneak peeks—from what’s happening around the office to tradeshows and events to the latest product you’re working on.
#2 – Use Snapchat’s features to delight the eyes of your audience.
Emojis, filters, text and drawings are all ways that you can add some vibrancy to your stories and snaps, and keep your audience scanning and engaged with your message.
#3 – Use other channels to promote your Snapchat presence.
Leverage your other social media channels to spread the word that you’re on Snapchat. Since Snapchat is an incredibly unique platform—one that is less formal and more fun—show your followers what they could be missing out on. I particularly like this poetic Tweet from Coca-Cola.
Follow CocaCola on Snapchat! It could mean the difference between getting our snaps and not getting our snaps. pic.twitter.com/4yvR0UNKWH
— Coca-Cola (@CocaCola) April 25, 2014
#4 – Use B2C brands for inspiration.
Since there are many B2C brands that have invested a ton of time (and money for some) into their Snapchat efforts, look to them for a little inspiration. Follow some of your favorite brands and take notes on the things they’re doing that catch your attention as a consumer and look for ways to parlay that into your B2B brand’s efforts.
Some good ones to start with are: Amazon.com (amazon), GrubHub (grubhub) and General Electic (generalelectric).
#5 – Remember that you’re marketing to consumers, too.
As TopRank Marketing’s very own Director of Agency Marketing, Ashley Zeckman, recently told DemandGen Report:
The thing that B2B companies need to remember is that they are still marketing to consumers. They are just consumers responsible for purchasing a product or service for their business needs, and not just a tube of lipstick,” she said of embracing Snapchat and other emerging social media channels. “B2B consumers are still searching for great content from brands that will entertain, inspire and inform them.
Want More Snapchat Resources?
Then check out some of these articles, too:
- 7 Tips for Incorporating Snapchat into Your Marketing Strategy
- How to Use Snapchat: A Detailed Look Into HubSpot’s Snapchat Strategy
- Snapchat for Business: A Guide for Marketers
Is your brand on Snapchat? What B2B or B2C brands are you following? Tell us in the comments section below.