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How to use Snapchat to grow your business in 2016

Have you considered using the fastest growing social media platform to grow your business?

The following tutorial will walk you through 4 actionable steps you can take to drive your Snapchat Success.

With 10+ billion daily video views & over 100 million+ daily active Snapchatters, there are plenty of reasons for you to use Snapchat to help grow your business in 2016. This guide will show you exactly how to do it.

Create A Plan

Your plan needs to focus on answering the following four questions. Below these questions I will provide you with actionable suggestions which I have tested and achieved significant results with.

1. What Content will you share and when?

2. How will you grow a targeted audience?

3. How will you engage that audience?

4. How will you measure success?

Step 1: What Content will you share and when?

Consistently providing high quality content which is unique from any other platform is key. To answer the second part of the question I have found that sharing content on my story on a daily basis has helped supercharge performance. In terms of the content you should be sharing, I break this down into two areas; story telling and adding value.

People buy from people, which is why story telling is so important when marketing in 2016. Think about sharing ‘behind the scenes’ content, product launches, office culture, events etc. Let your employees take over Snapchat for the day and tell their version of your brands story.

Adding value should be just as important when creating your Snapchat content strategy. Think about valuable information you hold which your audience would be interested in learning. What questions do they have that you could answer? Remember this is not a sales pitch. This is an opportunity to share tips & tutorials, industry updates, other peoples (high quality) content, product demos etc.

Step 2: How will you grow a targeted audience?

Don’t get hung up on the numbers. You want quality over quantity, so always remember you are looking to grow a targeted following of Snapchatters who are genuinely interested in your content.

There are 5 key areas you should focus on when growing your Snapchat audience.

Leverage other platforms

This has by far been the most successful strategy I have used to grow a targeted audience on Snapchat. Simply download Snaps from your story and post them to other platforms which you already have a following on.

Don’t forget to include a link to your Snapchat Profile as a call to action which you can find by swiping down on the camera screen > add friends > share username.

Here are some examples I've used on Facebook;

Social Media Search

Another great way to grow your snapchat audience is to use social media search. Twitters search function is by far the best tool to use, simply follow these steps;

1. Go to Twitter Advanced Search

2. Search ‘Add me on Snapchat’ & fill in search boxes relevant to your target market.

e.g. If you target people in a certain area, fill in the ‘Places’ section

3. Add Snapchatters and engage. Send them a Snap to introduce yourself, ask them a question, comment on their story’s via a direct message etc.

Ghost Codes

Ghost Codes is a discovery App for Snapchat. You can create your profile, choose a ‘category’ you want to be in and find other Snapchatters to follow in each category. People can give you ‘hearts’ and download your snapcode directly from the App. Users are ranked by the amount of hearts they have.

I’ve been testing it for a month or so and have had 157 people download my Snapcode which isn’t bad. However I am still slightly warey of the App as I have seen lots of users going on a ‘hearting spree’ to grow their number of hearts which kind of devalues the credibility of how many hearts you have.

All in all though it’s still a good way to grow a following, I’m just not sure if people are ‘hearting’ and downloading snapcodes to build up their own vanity metrics.


Competitions are another great way to grow your Snapchat audience. There’s a great social media competitions software called ‘Gleam’ which you can use to get people to follow you on Snapchat in return for a competition entry.

Find out more about Gleam in this article

Hustle Hard!

What do I mean by ‘Hustle Hard!? I mean use every opportunity you have to increase the exposure of your Snapcode & username to help build up your audience.

For example, I promote my Snapchat account in my email footer, on every presentation I deliver, on my business card etc. Think outside the box!

If you’ve got any additional suggestions on how you can ‘hustle’ to grow your Snapchat following I’d love to hear them in the comments at the end of the blog!

Step 3: How will you engage that audience?

One of the biggest things I love about Snapchat is the relationship building potential on the platform. The ‘chat’ feature makes it super easy to directly chat to anyone who follows you. There’s also a bunch of great features within the chat which I spoke about in this post.

The number one catalyst for relationship building on Snapchat is engagement. You need to be proactive in your engagement and not expect it to come to you.

There are 3 core areas I focus on when driving engagement on Snapchat;

1. Ask questions in your snaps & encourage people to ‘chat’ you with answers.

2. Encourage screenshots, this can help you gain valuable feedback from your audience.

3. Proactively engage with others. Watch their snaps and ‘chat’ them in a private message!

Step 4: How will you measure success?

Measuring your snapchat success is crucial if you are hoping to drive results & continuous improvement. There are 4 key metrics you can focus on within your Snapchat analytics plus 1 additional tool you can use to measure your Snapchat success.

4 Key Snapchat Metrics

1. Total Story Completions

2. Unique Story Views

3. Story Completion Ratio

4. Screenshots

1 Additional Tool: Bit.ly


is a great tool you can use to create custom links for your content which you can then share on Snapchat and measure traffic generation from that specific link. Check out the video below to learn how to create and customise a custom link in bit.ly


Snapchat is a hugely undersaturated platform which has big potential to help you build relationships with your audience and grow your business online. Why not give it a go for yourself and use this guide to get started!

Do you have any questions about the strategies mentioned in this guide? Do you have any further reccomendations to help other readers in the community? Please do leave a comment at the end of the blog - we'd love to hear from you!

Slideshare version, Tweets & Snapchat Story

I recently had the opportunity to talk about Snapchat for business at Social Day Kent. Check out the slides, Tweets & Snapchat Story from the event below.

Wait! Don't go yet! Please leave a comment below with any questions, tips or opinions you have about this strategy - I'd love to hear from you.
Daniel Knowlton
Daniel Knowlton
Dan is the award winning Co-founder of KPS Digital Marketing who was named #12 Most Influential Digital Marketer on Twitter in the world in 2016 by Onalytica. Dan is a contributor for a variety of key marketing publications including Social Media Examiner, Content Marketing Institute and Jeff Bullas’ Blog. He is also a keen speaker and has spoken at events internationally for a variety of organisations including NatWest and The Royal institute of Chartered Surveyors. Dan has a passion for helping others learn how to get to grips with Digital Marketing and is obsessed with providing value for his community.
  • How do you think the addition of Instagram Stories will affect Snapchat?

    • Good question!

      I definitely think Instagram Stories will bit a chunk out of Snapchat’s user base. There are lots of people who already have large followings on Instagram so those people will probably migrate there if they were on Snapchat.

      However, Snapchat has been one of the most innovative social media platforms to date. They continue to bring new, fresh ideas to the table. Not sure if Instagram will keep up or if they will just copy more of Snapchat;’s ideas??

      Ultimately though, the market will decide!

      Maybe a new platform will come along and eat up Snapchat and Instagram, who knows?

  • CarlL

    Really handy stuff here Dan. As you know I’ve just started something new involving snapchat and this has given me a good overview of what I should be thinking about. Didn’t know about the story analytics either.

    • Thanks for the feedback Carl , really pleased this post has helped! Any other questions you have just ask. 🙂