Turning Followers into Customers on Snapchat

Did you know that it is estimated Snapchat has between 26 to 30 million users in the U.S.?

Okay, well, you might’ve already known that from reading the Snapshot of Snapchat, but think about the potential of turning those users into your own customers. It’s quite overwhelming, but possible.

The reason that prices for advertising on Snapchat exceed most small business budgets, even though they are dropping lower than the initial $750,000 price tag, should not be a reason not to have an account. Snapchat is quickly making its way into the marketing mix, and investors are (not-so-literally) fighting for stock in the company. Because users have a choice to watch a Snap Story, it is extremely important to make sure the content is worth watching.

This post is a list of four ideas to turn your Snapchat friends into customers, without paying for advertising. Of course, they might not be 100% effective, but can produce an outline on working around the traditional advertising on the platform.

  1. Coupons

Snapchat’s business benefit is its immediacy, which can provide an urgent call-to-action for users. If your business offers products in-store and/or online, create Snapchat coupons! How? See the figure below, these can be done easily and creatively!

Figure 1

Coupons can be for users to screenshot and bring into the store, discount codes for online products. Not only do these coupons tempt users, but they also give a sense of knowing offers other customers might have missed.

  1. Giveaways

A trend on Snapchat accounts is giving away products or services, simply by posting where the items are located! An example is looking at the Snapchat account for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Daily, account owners post lists of who will be on the show that night, and frequently hide somewhere in New York with tickets to the show. Giveaways happen when Snapchat followers find the tickets, instantly becoming a customer.

Example of list of guests on that night’s show. Image via Tumblr.
Source: @FallonTonight Twitter
Image via @FallonTonight Twitter

This is something any business can do, not just a nationally-syndicated television show. Also, giveaways do not necessarily have to be in-person. Many companies have Snapchat contests where users Snap them the best selfie or drawing, and the winners are contacted on Snapchat. It is overlooked, but to even have a Snap opened by your brand instantly humanizes it and makes a user feel engaged. Users and brands can Snap back-and-forth, creating a direct engagement with customers which creates a personal, professional and one-on-one interaction.

  1. Information Release

Did your company just release a new product people might be confused using? Post a video of a demonstration! Do you have an upcoming release date that your business wants to start creating buzz about? Post it on Snapchat! Not only does it create both suspense and excitement, but it makes followers pay attention to your brand. Do you have a special announcement and don’t know how to publicize it? Post pictures and videos on your Snapchat! Nick Jonas recently announced on his Snapchat that his new album is finished, saved the video and posted it on another social media channel, his Instagram. Snapchat is a great way to get the word out quickly and in a condensed manner.

  1. Glimpses

An interesting aspect of Snapchat is the video feature, that disappears after 24 hours. If your business is having important meetings, designing something new, doing something out-of-the-ordinary, or simply working through a daily workday, Snap about it! It gives a personal, behind-the-scenes look into your business, and makes a user feel more connected. Content depends entirely on the situation and type of business. There is no “keep away” list of brands to be on Snapchat. Here’s what I mean. One surprising company on Snapchat is NASDAQ. They post an insider’s look to the bell ringing and fighting investors on the stock exchange. So, even though the users are not business moguls, they can get a birds-eye view on what it’s like on the trading floor.


Overall, businesses technically do not need to pay for advertising to attract customers on Snapchat. There are many creative ways to go around the Snapchat “norm” for businesses by posting content on Discover and Live. The key thing to remember is to always promote your Snapchat account via other social media channels through posters, flyers, infographics, tweets and status updates.

Some of these ideas might seem tedious or a waste of time, but that extra effort can be a great benefit to you and your team! Let us know any outstanding Snapchat accounts we should keep an eye on in the comments below!

Next week, keep an eye out for a post about the best way to look and sound on Snapchat!

Snap you later.

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