Advance your social media skills and career


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Course Introduction

Take the Hootsuite Social Marketing course and develop foundational social marketing skills to grow followers, engagement, and business results.

Video Transcript | Intro

Snapchat is no longer a niche platform for the teenage demographic; half of all new users signing up for Snapchat now are over the age of 25. And while ads can be purchased on Snapchat to reach target audiences, there are also many free ways for organizations to engage with people.

Snapchat Story

Snapchat Stories are compilations of images and short videos called ‘snaps’, that can be viewed for 24 hours. Although Snapchat is designed to be a platform for spontaneous real-time content, be sure to plan your snaps ahead of time to ensure they convey a cohesive narrative. Just like regular stories, your Snapchat Story should have a beginning, middle, and an end; rather than an assortment of standalone images or videos. 

For example, Starbucks created a series of snaps that showcased a behind the scenes look at baristas making a variety of Starbucks’ signature drinks.  This fun content elevated an everyday experience and was an easy way for Starbucks to create content that told a simple and engaging story - the creation of a beverage from order to delivery.


To gain engagement with the Stories you post, consider sharing exclusive behind-the-scenes content. For example, fashion brand Rebecca Minkoff revealed their Spring 2013 collection exclusively on Snapchat - even before it hit the runway at New York Fashion week. These sorts of special perks are a great way for businesses to show appreciation for their customers.

Snapchat Stories can be downloaded, saved and archived - or even reposted to another channel, like Instagram. If you want to pre-record content for your stories, you can do this by using Snapchat’s memories feature. Be sure to enable the “save to memories” function in Snapchat’s settings, and keep in mind that if you decide to share content that is more than 24 hours old, Snapchat will automatically add a large white border around your snap as well as a timestamp showing when it was taken. For this reason, social media professionals generally avoid using the memories feature, unless they’re able to share within 24 hours. 


Snapchat allows users to design image overlays referred to as Geofilters. Geofilters can generate buzz and encourage your followers to amplify your brand on other social channels, particularly during special events. Geofilters can be created by following the design instructions on Snapchat’s website and specifying the time and place you’d like your geo-filter to appear. While Geofilters do cost money to launch, they can be relatively inexpensive depending on the amount of space you’d like your filter to be available within.


Sharing coupons on Snapchat is a brilliant way to build brand loyalty. Businesses can use the text feature to add a coupon code or deal to a snap, and users can screenshot it to ensure they remember to use the code. Because content disappears so quickly on Snapchat, your followers will have to vigilantly follow your Stories and act quickly if they want the coupon or deal you’re offering. 

Fun Features

As you snap, make sure you’re capitalizing on all the fun features that Snapchat has to offer. When taking a photo, try using one of Snapchat’s fun selfie lenses - these are always changing so it’s worth checking back often to see what’s new and trendy. Once your image or video has been taken, you can continue editing your photograph by swiping to apply filters and geotags if they’re available. You can also decorate your snap with stickers, draw directly onto the image or type text to overlay. 

Looking for more? Check out our blog and learn how to create a social media strategy in 8 easy steps!