Are your frustrated because you waited too long to use Twitter for marketing purposes? Mad at yourself because you didn’t jump on board with Instagram before everybody else started using it? Take heart. You can right the wrongs of the past starting today. With Snapchat. You might be asking yourself: Why would I want to use Snapchat for marketing when almost nobody else is doing that? Don’t look now, Hoss, but you just answered your own question. The fact that hardly anybody else is doing it means you’ll have a distinct competitive advantage if you start marketing on Snapchat before other companies in your space. You’ll leave your competitors languishing behind as you promote your brand to a young, hip crowd. Speaking of that young, hip crowd, that’s your target market on Snapchat. As of this writing, anyway. Millennials don’t just love Snapchat, they adore it. They caress it. They sleep with it. If you’re selling anything that’s of interest to the kids these days, you need to promote your brand on Snapchat. According to MW Partners, Snapchat is the third most popular social network among millennials. You’re throwing money away if you want to sell something to the youngsters and you’re not on Snapchat. Stories, Not Snaps If there’s one word that you want to remember when it comes to marketing your brand on Snapchat, it’s this one: Story. The best way to use Snapchat for marketing is with stories and not just simple snaps. If you’re unfamiliar with Snapchat, here’s the basic difference between the two: you send a snap to a specific recipient or set of recipients, but a story is more like broadcast that’s available for 24 hours to people who follow you. The reality is, though, that a story is made up of snaps. Those snaps can be simple pictures or videos that are, at most, 10 seconds in length. People who connect with you on Snapchat will see that you have a new story available (when you do) and they’ll be able to watch it. Each snap in the story will display for, at most, 10 seconds and then Snapchat will show the viewers the next Snap. How to Promote Your Brand What’s the best way to promote your brand on Snapchat? That depends on the nature of your business and your target market. Snapchat is great for building brand-name awareness. If you're in doubt, that's probably the best way to use it since you can’t share links. It’s best not to come across as too “salesy,” though. I think one great way to use Snapchat is to add funny snaps to your stories. That way, your followers get a good laugh while you give them a subtle reminder that your brand still exists. Think about some of the funnier, more entertaining beer commercials you’ve seen. Let those be your inspiration when it comes to Snapchat marketing. Building an Audience I don’t think it’s as easy to build an audience on Snapchat as it is on some of the other social media platforms. It seems to be designed primarily for people who already know each other in real life. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get a following on Snapchat, though. The best thing to do up front is to let people on your other social media channels know that you’re on Snapchat and include your user name so they can find you. I would recommend that you periodically let people know that you’re on Snapchat as well. That way, people who may have missed on earlier announcement will still have a chance to follow you. Also, post it on your website that you’re on Snapchat. That’s especially helpful if you have a site that generates a lot of millennial traffic. Finally, consider holding a contest to see who can send you the best snap related to your brand. They’ll have to connect with you on Snapchat to send the snap and - voila! - you’ve got an audience! Start Today Snapchat, like Instagram, is meant for a mobile audience (hence, the appeal to millennials). If you haven’t started marketing on Snapchat yet, grab your smartphone, download the (free) app today, and brainstorm up a few ideas about how best to use it. Like other social media channels, it pays (literally) to be consistent on Snapchat. Be sure that you’re always adding snaps to your ongoing story so that you can increase brand exposure. Have fun and happy snapping!