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How to Use Snapchat for Marketing

Did you know that goldfish officially have a longer attention span than humans? Yup, goldfish beat us by one measly second. They can focus on one thing for nine seconds, but we can only focus for eight.

Microsoft found even more in a study they released last year. Since 2000, the average attention span dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds. The culprit? Our tendency to multiscreen. “Heavy multiscreeners find it difficult to filter out irrelevant stimuli — they’re more easily distracted by multiple streams of media,” the study reports.

In addition, 77 percent of those aged 18 to 24 agreed with the statement, “When there’s nothing else to do, the first thing I do is reach for my phone.”

A lot of this helps explains why the social messaging app Snapchat is so popular. We have very short attention spans – perfect for an app whose messages disappear quickly – and Snapchat’s user base is apparently on their phones nonstop – perfect for reaching that target market.

All of this means that you might want to consider using Snapchat for marketing. While I can’t tell you exactly what to say to your audience on Snapachat, here’s how to get started:

Have a goal in mind

All of your social media posts need to have a purpose, including the snaps you share on Snapchat. Before you share anything, ask, “What do I want my audience to learn in this snap? What do I want them to do after they see this snap?”

Create content that your audience cares about

Remember, we are talking about a target market with a very short attention span! You have to create content that they care about. What are their interests? Challenges? Aspirations? Sure they’ll be interested in seeing a snap of your new office, but the majority of the content you snap has to be client-focused.

Let your audience participate

Communication on Snapchat is very much a two-way street. It is a messaging app after all. Let your audience participate by asking them to snap a selfie (pick a theme or attribute it must feature) or taking them behind the scenes at a live event (like Coachella or a gala fundraiser with a hot musical guest).

Work with influencers

Identify influencers with a solid following on Snapchat, brainstorm ways you can work together and how it will benefit that person’s audience, and reach out with your ask.

Use geofilters

Geofilters are special overlays that you can add to a snap when you’re in a certain location. If you’re attending an event or traveling to meet a client, consider adding a geofilter to your snaps (if one’s available). Seeing snaps from other people in the same location creates a connection, while seeing snaps from an event on the other side of the world lets people feel like they’re participating.

Those ideas will get you started, but they’re only the beginning! How can your brand use Snapchat for marketing?

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Author information

Monika Jansen

Monika Jansen is a freelance copywriter and editor who helps with companies of all shapes on sizes kick their content up to the next level. You can find her online at