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A Comprehensive Guide to Snapchat for Campus Bookstores

Posted by T.A. Nathan on 1/22/20 6:00 AM
Topics: campus bookstore, bookstore social media, snapchat marketing for campus bookstores

For an audience of young millennials and Gen Z, Snapchat is a great way to advertise. Snapchat gives students a seemingly more private way to stay connected. Built on instant gratification, a greater sense of privacy and whimsical filters, it quickly became a favorite social platform for students. For campus bookstores, it can be a fun way to interact with your audience. To enhance your bookstore social media, we’ve created this comprehensive guide to Snapchat specifically for college stores.

A Comprehensive Guide to Snapchat for Campus Bookstores

Snapchat harbors 210 million active users every day. Most of these users are between the ages of 18 and 24. Up to 38 percent of its user base isn’t on Instagram or Facebook, making it worthwhile to invest in Snapchat for your digital marketing.

Create marketing goals for your campus bookstore

Just as your business needs a detailed plan, so does your approach to Snapchat. If you want to boost foot traffic, then you’ll want your marketing to promote in-store visits. If you want to increase online sales, use Snapchat to drive customers straight to your website.  

To get started:

  1. Evaluate your store’s greatest need.
  2. Develop a digital marketing strategy to support your overall efforts to meet this need.
  3. Develop specific Snapchat story ideas that will address this area.

Although a single story won’t create a line out your door, a well-focused message could guide more customers your way. These goals may change monthly, so revise your Snapchat goals as often as necessary. Once you’ve written out a list of several goals, you’re ready for the next step.

Snapchat users on average use Snapchat up to 11 times a day.

Snapchat marketing and posting guidelines

Snapchat differs from Instagram and Facebook in that your posts disappear after a set length of time. Person-to-person snaps can be viewed for 10 seconds. Stories can be viewed for up to 24 hours. A college store will want to focus its Snapchat marketing efforts on creating compelling stories that entice viewers to check out what the store has to offer.

Post to stories often

With a short window of screen time, you will want to stay relevant by posting frequently to your story. We suggest posting two to three snaps to your story a day. User engagement drops about 36 percent after the fourth snap according to Snapalytics.   

Promote your Snapchat profile on other mediums

Building a community of followers across multiple platforms helps with brand awareness. To do this, make it easy for followers to find you on whatever app they use most. 

Offer discounts and promo codes

A great way to promote following your store is to provide special discounts and promotional codes that can be used on your website or in your store. This will give followers a reason to keep up to speed with all of your snap stories.  

Promote new products

Stories are essentially just fun photos or videos with text. Why not use this channel to promote new products and merchandise while strengthening your brand image? Take photos of that new article of sportswear or alumni hoodie and share it to your story. 

Post relevant content

Engage your audience with timely, relevant content. Emphasize new student trends, important campus events and other interests. If you need help with this, ask students what subjects they’re interested in lately or speak to your campus staff to find out about upcoming events.

Promote upcoming events

Harbor student engagement and interest by promoting upcoming events. Say you have a new student scavenger hunt happening next session, post snaps about the upcoming event and highlight the prizes. You could also promote things like sporting events and suggest that fans of your school’s team show their pride by wearing team merchandise. 

Drive traffic to your website

To link to your website, tap the digital paperclip on the right side of the screen when you create a snap. This connects followers directly to your site. 

Use Snapchat’s paid ads

Snapchat provides several ways to advertise on their application. However, some of them aren’t particularly suitable to campus bookstores, so we will focus on the options that will best fulfill your needs.  

Top story ads

These ads last from 5 to 10 seconds and are a single image, gif or video that is displayed at the top of a user’s feed. Most businesses use a short video to capture their audience quickly. These ads have a vertical orientation and audio. 

Long-form video ads

Lasting up to 10 minutes, these ads are more in depth than top story ads and give viewers a call-to-action. These ads are used by businesses with the means to create a higher production level video. Depending on your store’s capabilities, this may be a useful way to promote campus events. 

Web view ads

Web view ads are very similar to top story ads except they let you attach a URL for viewers to follow to your website. 

App install ads

This ad links directly to the download page for an application. If your store is larger and has an app, such as MBS’ On-The-Go, it will make it easy for your audience to download it. 

Snapchat ads manager

Snapchat’s free ad manager collects analytics for you and displays them in an easy-to-use platform. To use ads, you will first need to set up a Snapchat ads account. Here you will find insightful statistics on your ads like: impressions, swipe-ups, app conversions and campaign performance.

Snapchat marketing strategy

Now that you know how to market your campus bookstore effectively on Snapchat, it’s time to put it to good use:

  1. Create a Snapchat account through the Snapchat application on your smartphone.
  2. Write out marketing goals for your Snapchat snaps.
  3. Make a content calendar and add posts to your schedule.
  4. Prepare ads to target a specific audience.
  5. Assess your analytics and find which posts work better than others.
  6. Create new snaps based on these findings and return to step 3-4.

Remember to have fun with Snapchat. And don’t worry if you feel your photography skills aren’t up to par with professionals. Snapchat is a relaxed medium meant to be fun and enjoyable. If your store has had success promoting events through Snapchat, we would love to share your success. Let us know in the comments below.

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