Using Snapchat for Business: The Pitfalls and The Highlights

Social media is not easy, but it’s important.

It’s nearly impossible to win more clients or candidates without a strong online presence. If I Google a company and all that comes up is a website that looks like it hasn’t been touched since 2007, I might hesitate before using that product (unless it’s a retro clothing shop focusing on 2007 fashion, of course).

Large marketing teams at enterprise companies have created entire roles dedicated to the express purpose of creating amazing content to share on social. Small companies don’t always have the time or the resources to have a dedicated social media team. That’s no reason to be intimidated by attempting to build out a social media presence.

And it’s fun – check out how some big brands are using social to show a personal side.

GrubHub on Snapchat and more: 5 Brands with Highly Successful Snapchat Marketing Strategies


The spicy admin on Taco Bell’s Twitter: Whoever Runs Taco Bell’s Twitter Account Deserves A Raise


And Wendy’s Twitter personality is a comedian: Wendy’s Is Roasting People On Twitter, And It’s Just Too Funny

Company Snapchat Accounts: Dos and Don’ts

Objective Paradigm is considered a boutique recruiting firm with about 40 employees – none of whom specialize in social media content. So when our CEO, Kevin Krumm, wanted to further investigate how Snapchat could be used for our company, it fell on some dedicated employees to take on the endeavor.

This became one of my first big projects at Objective Paradigm: to dig into Snapchat and explore how it could work for our business. Here’s what I found.

Small team struggles

Once we had the Snapchat initiative requirements from leadership, our small but committed Snapchat Team began to come together.

Another member of OP’s Sourcing team was more than happy to join with me. In addition, we had three interns (who had already spent far more time on the app than us).

The initial success of our Snapchat Initiative had a lot to do with the fact that there were five people to share the workload. However, the full-time Snapchat team is tiny: just myself and our HR manager. We no longer have five people to spread the tasks across.

Snapchat’s content has a 24 hour life span, which is nothing in the grand scheme of life. It requires constant attention that cannot be given by two people who already have a full workload.

While social media is such a strong part of daily life, it can still be seen as something “extra” or unnecessary while at work.

DO: Address small team struggles with dedicated and driven employees who shuffle social media into their workload.

DON’T: Set unreasonable goals and expectations.

DO: Keep in mind that these employees have other responsibilities as well.

Where is the line?

One of the ways that I tried to mitigate lack of time was to hand the reins off to other team members to snap photos at events.

Recently, at a happy hour event to celebrate our newest hires, plus two major workiversaries, we wanted to promote our culture by posting Snaps to our Story. I gave a coworker the passcode to the OP Snapchat during the happy hour because I had to leave early. Nothing catastrophic happened, but it definitely showed far more of “happy” hour than we intended.

We use each ‘a-ha moment’ as a way to learn and improve our overall Snapping game. There have been ‘rules’ with Snapchat since the start: namely don’t Snap anything you wouldn’t want to talk to HR about.

As a result of the happy hour, we’ve come up with additional guidelines for Snapping. Now when I hand the reins off to other employees, I let them know that there is room to be fun and have a good time with it, but Snapping stops at seven PM. It can be extremely difficult to strike a balance between what is professional and what is interesting. We’re continuously learning how to find that line.

DO: Delegate social-savvy and brand aware employees to be an admin for a day or certain event.

DON’T: Snap anything you wouldn’t want to talk to HR about.

DO: Set guidelines and use moments of questionable judgment to learn where that line is.

DO: Research your market for frequency and post timing, putting best practices into play for when to use, and not use. Snapchat will help you get the most out of the platform.

Snapchat as a tool

Snapchat is a great way to promote internal culture and to show all the interesting things we’re doing at OP.

We’ve done this a few times, like when the sourcing team had a boat day, when recruiters attend interesting events, and most notably when we kicked off OP yoga. These stories disappear after 24 hours, leaving us to constantly post new photos of other new and interesting things that we’re doing. However, here’s a peek at some of our saved snaps:

A few recruiters have asked me if we could find a way to keep the images permanently posted. Which leads me to say, ‘that is not what Snapchat is for.’ Snapchat is all about the fleeting. It’s a tool to show off our internal culture in the moment with authenticity.

We’ve especially had success using Snapchat’s geofilters* feature to promote events and create a fun atmosphere at networking events or career fairs.

*Geofilters are slides that can be added to a photo if and only if that photo is taken within a defined geographic area.

When we use geofilters, we activate them for the location of the event and the company logo or something about the content of the event. We’ve used them at career fairs and panels, as well as other speaking engagements. Geofilters are incredibly cheap, yet amazingly effective advertising tools – this topic deserves its’ own post, stay tuned!

DO: Know your audience and purpose.

DO: Use geofilters.

DON’T: Worry about keeping the images up for more than 24 hours – there are other channels for that.

In short; when trying to use social media in new and exciting ways, keep in mind that it’ll take time and effort. DO be clear about your goals, your expectations, and your processes. You’ll stumble and make mistakes, but as long as you keep learning and exploring you’ll succeed.

robynsnapopRobyn Carney grew up in Rochester N.Y. before spending her college years in Syracuse, where she got her Bachelors in Social Studies education and traveled to Europe and the Middle East. After she got her first degree, she decided on another and ended up at the University of Chicago for her Masters before starting on a path in research. It was her love of research that made her explore the possibilities of a social media app beyond snapping photos of her cats to her twin in Japan. Her love of research and new experiences drove her to join Objective Paradigm’s team as a Research and Sourcing Team member.

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