By Barrack Onyango.

Snapchat is not on the average business, or even marketer's agenda. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the favourites, but Snapchat is growing at a rapid rate and is being embraced by larger companies and brands who recognise the potential in extending their marketing reach within a specific demographic of their customers.

All social platforms perform a specific task and, as such, attract a different audience. One man's Twitter is another man's MySpace. Or something like that. So, how do people use Snapchat? Well, video and photos play a huge part. People on Snapchat watch 10 billion videos a day, a huge leap from 2 billion back in 2015.

What it does have is reach. For smart brands that are capable of creating eye-catching content, Snapchat offers a relatively low competition platform to reach 18-29 year old consumers.

Why use Snapchat for business?

Aside from providing a gateway to a younger, more mobile savvy audience, Snapchat has created smart marketing tools that extend the reach and help business connect is unique ways. Snapchat provides a variety of paid marketing options to meet the specific business goals. You can create a smart Snap Ad, a quirky Sponsored Geofilter, or interact with your potential clients through a Sponsored Lens.

Snap Ads (paid)

Snap ads are full screen, three to ten-second vertical adverts that you can create yourself on the Snapchat platform. They appear in between friends' stories and Snapchat content such as Snapchat's stories or publishers' stories.

Filters (paid)

Every social media platform that enables picture taking has the option to use a filter. One thing that Snapchat does differently to any other platform enables businesses to make their own geofilter.

Lenses (paid)

The last advertising option comes in the form of sponsored lenses which are occasionally spectacular and have had huge success, albeit with large, well established brands. Adweek reports that in 2016, Taco Bell's filter had over 224 Million views, with the average user spending over 24 seconds on it. 24 seconds is a lifetime in social media!

Any free opportunities?

As with all other platforms we suggest the best way to build a direct audience is through authentic, organic engagement. Paid ad's are great but nothing beats real (virtual) connection.

Tell your story

Snapchat Stories are compilations of images and short videos that can be viewed for up to 24 hours.

Build Groups

Snapchat is a great way to communicate in small, tight groups. When it was released in late 2016 Business Insider called Snapchat's Group function it's best feature in years — a big call indeed! Create groups of up to 16 people — no more — to discuss specific parts of your service. Create tutorials, guides or just a space for your best and nicest clients to hang out. I need to say this, most businesses have been late to the Snapchat party. My friends at @fanbytes are doing a great job with Snapchat,they've managed to conquer the #Snapchat world,I give it to them, check em' out. However, as a place for small businesses to advertise, it hasn't matured. The advertising that does exist on the platform is so expensive as to be beyond the reach of all but the biggest brands.

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