2020 was a big year for Snapchat, and 2021 is poised to accelerate that growth. Snapchat's rise in stock price, improvements in advertising offerings, and the recent release of brand profiles have businesses of all sizes buzzing about Snapchat. The hotly anticipated Brand Profiles represent a major step in Snapchat's ability to build features that can be used effectively by small and medium-sized businesses.
Without Brand Profiles, businesses have only a couple of ways to engage on Snapchat. The first is to build and operate an organic profile, which is the same type of profile available to anyone on Snapchat. Organic profiles can be an effective tool for businesses, if maintained and updated regularly, but are notoriously difficult to grow, as discovery options are limited within the app. Most businesses that operate successful organic Snapchat profiles have grown them by cross-promoting from other social networks, collaborating with influencers, or posting their Snapchat Code in a brick-and-mortar location.
Another way for businesses to engage with Snapchat is to create a business account. This type of account provides options for businesses to create various paid advertising campaigns within Snapchat Ad Manager.
The newest option for businesses is Snapchat Brand Profiles, which is expected to roll out beta and be available widely later in 2021. With this option, brands can have a more complete presence on the app, similar to other social networks. Because this new addition is so compelling, here's what you need to know about Snapchat Brand Profiles.
What are Brand Profiles?
Brand Profiles offer a permanent home to brands on Snapchat and give businesses the ability to display and showcase all their unique investments into Snapchat in one place. This includes created AR Lenses, native commerce stores, and content highlights. Think of Brand Profiles as your own website and storefront inside the Snapchat app.
Brand Profiles are also verified on Snapchat, which allows them to be featured prominently on the For You page, alongside verified creators and Discover Shows.
What are Snapchat AR Lenses?
Snapchat Lenses AR experiences can be created to augment videos taken inside the app in a variety of ways. Lenses can add 3D effects, objects, characters, and transformations to snaps. The Snapchat Lens Studio is available for any brand or business Once you've created a lens and uploaded via Lens Studio, it is automatically added to your Brand Profile.
What is a native commerce store on Snapchat?
One of the most exciting parts of the Brand Profile is the ability to host an online store within the app. Snapchatters can view and purchase items directly within the Snapchat app, which can be reached via the brand's profile page. The interface, which is powered by Shopify, creates a seamless buying experience for the user without forcing them to leave the app.
What are Content Highlights?
Content Highlights allow businesses to select which videos to highlight on their Brand Profile. Highlight product videos for items you are selling in your store, or just post your favorite snaps and videos for all to view.
To add to Highlights:
- Tap on your profile under the Profile Management section, and go to the Highlights tab.
- Tap Create New Highlight.
- Tap the + button to add new content to your Highlight and tap Import.
- Review and edit your Highlight.
- Select your title and cover photo, and tap Finish to publish your Highlight to your public profile.
How do you get a brand profile?
Before businesses attempt to get a brand profile, they should sign up for a business account. Brand profiles are currently in beta while Snapchat continues to analyze what features will provide the most value to businesses. Snapchat is onboarding brands on a by-request basis, with a priority given to brands who opt to create AR lenses.
To request a brand profile, brands should work with their account teams to request to be included in the beta. If the brand in question doesn't have an account team, they should request one through a support ticket, which can then be routed appropriately.
Once accepted into the program what can you expect?
Once a brand is approved to be in the beta, a Public Profiles section will appear in the business manager, where brands can complete set up. For brands that are accepted into this learning phase, Snapchat offers an onboarding guide.
Once you have access to the public profile, you can edit it by:
- Tapping your Bitmoji or Story icon at the top to go to My Profile
- Tapping your public profile card under Profile Management
- Tapping Edit
Public profiles also give brands numerous features that are not traditionally available to most Snapchat accounts by default. One important feature is the ability to assign different roles to people managing the account. As a business, this feature will be tremendously important, as you can allow employees access to certain functions of the account without them having to leave their own personal Snapchat account. Roles included in public brand profiles include:
Admins can manage a public profile, add, or remove any snaps from your public story, assign roles, and view insights. Admins cannot remove access to your own public profile.
Collaborators can view your account insights and add or remove any snaps from your public story.
Contributors can view all of your past snaps. They can also add, remove, and view Insights on their own snaps.
Viewers can only view your insights. Public profiles are also given access to Insights and analytics that allow businesses to understand the reach, engagement, demographics, and psychographics of your profile and followers.
What are the advantages of being verified on Snapchat?
When a business is approved and given the ability to set up a brand profile, they are also given a verified Snapchat profile. While brands have been allowed to create organic profiles for a number of years, they have never had the opportunity to be verified, with the exception of various sports teams and leagues.
Verified profiles have the ability to show up in the exclusive For You section of the app, alongside other verified creators and Discover shows. The For You page is the best place to grow organic subscribers on Snapchat, as your content can be shown to people who are not currently subscribers.
What other features should small and medium businesses know about Snapchat or brand profiles?
Businesses should be aware they can sign up for Places (place listings), to be showcased on the Snap Map. Businesses are also encouraged to create location stickers that Snapchatters can add to their snaps when they are physically at a business location.
With the addition of brand profiles, Snapchat offers businesses more opportunities than ever to reach their audiences on social media. When considering jumping into a new platform, it is critical to understand how it fits into your overall social media strategy to invest the time and effort to do it right.
Snapchat expects brand profiles to roll out to businesses and brands of any size broadly later this year.