a guide to snapchat

How to Use Snapchat: A Guide for Businesses on Snapchat

With Snapchat continuing to grow in popularity, it should come as no surprise that many brands are joining and creating “stories” of their own.

However, the social media app has left many people confused about how to use it and the ways it could benefit their businesses.

A Guide to Snapchat For Businesses & Marketers

To help you out, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to use Snapchat, five key points on how to make the platform work for you, plus some amazing Snapchatters you need to follow!

How to Use Snapchat: Adding Filters & Stickers

Once you’ve taken a photo or video for your Snapchat story, you have a choice to post it as is or you can do a little editing first.

To add a filter to your content, all you have to do is swipe left or right to see the available filters. Snapchat offers a timestamps, temperature, speed, and color filters for both photos and videos. You can even speed up videos, slow them down, or have them play in reverse. You can really get creative here!

Timestamp filter and color filter used on a photo in Snapchat.

Timestamp filter and color filter used on a photo in Snapchat.

One thing that many people don’t realize with these filter is that some of them have other options that aren’t readily seen. For example, if you tap on the timestamp filter, it actually changes to the date. (There are currently two versions of the date you can use.) You can also toggle the temperature between Fahrenheit and Celsius and switch between miles per hour and kilometers per hour for the speed.

Previously, Snapchat only provided users with standard emojis for adding to their photos and videos. Now, theres a wide selection of stickers for you to choose from. All you have to do is tap the sticker icon (the square icon in the top right-hand corner) and move through each category of stickers to find the one that’s just right for your snap. You can even design your own Bitmoji through the Bimoji app and link it for use in Snapchat.

Snapchat guide, how to use Snapchat, Snapchat for businesses

Creating a full-color image in Snapchat: Place a sticker on your image and expand it until it covers the screen. Apply text and stickers on top.

One way you can really get creative with stickers is to create a full-color background for your snaps. How do you do this? All you have to do is choose a sticker with the color you’d like, place it on your snap, and expand it until it covers the entire screen.

How to Use Snapchat: Face Filters 101

The great thing about Snapchat is that it’s one social media platform where you can really have fun with your content. You can draw on your photos and videos, add stickers, and even apply face filters to yourself and others. If you’ve been wondering how to try this out for yourself, the good news is that it’s actually pretty simple.

Snapchat guide, how to use Snapchat, Snapchat for businesses

Applying a face filter in Snapchat: Long-press on your face until the filter menu appears. Swipe to move through filters.

To apply a face filter on Snapchat, all you need to do is long-press on your face (or the face of the person you want to apply the filter to), then a selection of available filters will pop-up on the lower half of the screen. Swipe through them and choose the one you like the best. Once you’ve picked your filter of choice, you can take a photo or video with it applied to your face. These filters update on a regular basis, so you’ll want to check them often. (You don’t want to miss out on the coolest new filter, do you?)

Occasionally, you’ll even see sponsored face filters (also known as Sponsored Lenses) from companies. If you’re a business owner, this is something you may want to take advantage of. You can even create standard filters for users to add to their snaps. Standard filters can be made available only to people within a certain geographical location so you can be sure to target the right customers.

Snapchat Memories

One of the newer features on Snapchat allows you to post straight from your camera roll or share previous snaps. If you think you may want to share a snap again one day, you can save it before submitting it to your story or save it after it’s been posted. All you have to do is tap the icon as shown in the screenshot. The photo or video you just took will automatically be saved for you to use again and again.

Five Key Ways to Make Snapchat Work for You

If you’re ready to start using Snapchat as part of your online strategy, these tips will help you out:

1. Tell a great story

As with any social media platform, you should make sure you’re sharing valuable content your audience would be interested in.

What would they like to see from you?

How can you solve a problem they’re facing, through your Snapchat story?

You should also make sure everything is cohesive when played in full. Your story should make sense to your viewers.

2. Give them a behind-the-scenes look

Allow your followers to get a look into what a day in your life is like. You can show them your work process and allow viewers to meet the members of your team. People want to get to know you and the others behind your business. You can even get your audience excited about an upcoming product with a little Snapchat teaser

3. Team up with influencers

If you want to expand your reach on Snapchat, consider teaming up with influencers in your niche. You can have someone take over your Snapchat for a day as a way to attract new followers and provide great content for your story

4. Provide incentives for followers

You can choose to host giveaways through Snapchat, offer exclusive discounts, and more. Get your audience involved by having them screenshot your snaps or ask them to send you a snap in response.

5. Don’t worry about being perfect

Snapchat is meant to be a fun, genuine platform. Your snaps don’t have to be polished and picture-perfect. Instead, you should enjoy yourself and be real with your audience.

10 Snapchat Accounts to Follow

1. Gary Vaynerchuk: If you aren’t familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk, he’s the entrepreneur to follow online. As the CEO of his company, Vayner Media, you can get a look into his daily life through Snapchat. You’ll see just how much he hustles. (Hint: He doesn’t stop!) He’s been pushing brands and business owners to join the platform for a while now and for good reason! Add by username “garyvee.” Click link for Snapcode.

2. Buffer: Yes, the social media scheduling tool is on Snapchat! Buffer does a great job of giving followers a behind-the-scenes look into their business. They regularly have team members from across the world take over their account for the day to give you an exclusive look at their jobs for Team Buffer. Add by username “buffersnaps.” Click link for Snapcode.

3. Hootsuite: Hootsuite is on Snapchat, too! Follow along to check out all of their fun snaps and to see what it’s like working on the team. Add by username “hootsuite.” Click link for Snapcode.

4. Mashable: Mashable is the go-to resource for social media, technology, business, and more on the web. But did you know they were on Snapchat, too? Check out their snaps for a look into the Mashable brand. Add by username “mashable.” Click link for Snapcode.

5. Food Network: While your brand may not have the opportunity to land a spot on Snapchat’s Discover feature, Food Network as. They take advantage of this spotlight by allowing some of the channel’s biggest stars take over the account to share cooking tips and tricks. Add by username “Food-Network.” Click link for Snapcode. 

6. Sour Patch Kids: Sour Patch Kids is one brand that has been known for sharing fun and creative snaps with their fans. Just try watching their snaps without getting a craving for candy! Add by username “sourpatchsnaps.” Click link for Snapcode. 

7. Brian Fanzo: Brian Fanzo is a keynote speaker, frequent Periscoper, and is making a name for himself across social media. If you want to see what he gets up to on a regular basis, check out his Snapchat! Add by username “isocialfanz.” Click link for Snapcode. 

8. Pat Flynn: Pat Flynn is the creator of the popular podcast, Smart Passive Income. His Snapchat stories allow you to take a look into his life and business. Add by username “patflynnspi.” Click link for Snapcode. 

9. Julia McCoy: Did you know our very own CEO at Express Writers is on Snapchat? Julia McCoy joined Snapchat and gives her followers a look into her daily life as she runs the company and spends time with her husband and daughter. Add by username “julia.mccoy.” Click link for Snapcode. 

10. Rachel Moffett: And finally, you can check me out on Snapchat as well! See what I get up to on a regular basis as the Social Media Specialist for Express Writers. Add by username “redhead.rachel.” Click link for Snapcode. 


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