Tips For Getting Exposure on Snapchat

Now that Snapchat has announced it is planning to venture into eCommerce, the platform will likely attract even more interest from brands.

Since Snapchat doesn’t have a discovery or autosuggest feature, users need to know the exact username of the accounts they wish to follow. This hurdle can make it challenging for brands to grow their following on Snapchat compared to other social media platforms. That’s why it is especially important for brands to understand how to leverage the three ways of adding users on Snapchat:

1) Username

Following accounts by username requires some effort by the Snapchat user – they have to remember the brand’s exact username, load Snapchat, and type in the handle.

Brands should certainly promote their usernames – for example, they can be added to the bios of other social media accounts. However, promoting the profile’s unique Snapcode and URL may be more effective.

2) Snapcode

Taco Bell Nacho

Each Snapchat account has its own unique QR code called a Snapcode. Users can follow brands on Snapchat by scanning the Snapcode with their Snapchat camera or by taking a photo of the Snapcode and selecting it from their photo gallery within Snapchat.

Brands can share these Snapcodes anywhere they’d like to promote their account. For example, they may share the Snapcode:

  • as their profile image on other social media accounts
  • in content published to blogs or social media
  • on promotional print materials (e.g. movie posters or business cards)
  • on product packaging

Last year, Sprite ran a campaign in Brazil, placing Snapcodes on millions of Sprite cans. Fifteen different Snapcodes were used, linking to accounts of online and local celebrities that shared Sprite-related stories. The campaign resulted in more than 2 million Snapchat views within two days.

Sprite Snapchat

A vector version of the code can be downloaded here and branded with a tagline or logo.

The inside of the white Ghost outline can then be customized as desired, but coloring outside the lines so to speak will make the QR Code unscannable, as will changing the Snapcode’s dimensions or proportions and removing the frame border. The detailed brand guidelines can be found here. It’s important to test the custom Snapcode before sending it out into the world!


3) Profile URL

The newest and perhaps simplest way to promote a brand’s profile is by sharing its profile URL. Snapchat added this feature at the end of January 2016. Users can open the profile URL on their smartphones to instantly follow the brand.

Brands may find their profile by following these steps within Snapchat:

1) Swipe down from the camera to the profile screen

2) Select “Add Friends”

3) Choose “Share Username”

4) Choose an application to share the URL with (SMS, Email, etc.). For the purpose of simply copying the URL, it doesn’t matter which application is chosen.

The URL format is always the same:

The profile URL can be used to promote the Snapchat account across all marketing materials – e.g. social media and blog posts, email updates and newsletters.

Bringing it all together

As with growing an audience on any platform, it all comes down to providing valuable content, worthy of followers. Snapchat content should be created specifically for Snapchat, to align with the platform’s unique culture. That content can then be shared across other social media channels, to give fans a taste of what they’re missing, and entice them to follow the brand directly on Snapchat.

Bottom line – combine great content, a strong call to action, and your brand’s Snapchat username, Snapcode, or better yet URL, to “up” your game on Snapchat.