Snapchat for Venues: How to Market a Bar, Restaurant or Nightclub on Snapchat
Snapchat for venues can seem daunting and an absolute minefield.
Here are some common questions amongst venue owners and marketers:
What exactly is Snapchat?
Should my venue be on Snapchat?
How can I leverage Snapchat for my venue?
These are just some questions this article will help answer.
The first question that needs answering is… ‘Should my venue be on Snapchat? And should I bother reading the rest of this article’.
The short answer is yes, snapchat for venues does work.
Unless your venue is strictly aimed to over 35’s, your venue should be on Snapchat and you should read on.
Even if your venue is aimed at the over 35’s, remember that the younger generation will be your future customers, so it might be worth it still.
Why should you be on Snapchat?
Snapchat has 200 million users and has over 3 billion snaps posted every day (according to Omnicore).
This is a marketing opportunity for sure.
So, what is Snapchat exactly?
Snapchat was created back in 2011 and started off as an app where users could send a ‘snap’ that would then disappear after a certain time (seconds even).
It became largely popular with millennials, but since 2014 Snapchat has gone through some real rough patches in terms of retaining users and getting new ones.
Snapchat was the first to introduce ‘Stories’ to the world where ‘Snaps’ could be added to a story and viewed for 24 hours.
Mark Zuckerberg took this idea and added it to pretty much everything he owned, but adding it to Instagram especially hit Snapchat hard.
Snapchat’s userbase has now levelled out and it’s definitely not going anywhere.
Snapchat’s userbase is mainly made up of Gen Z and Millennials. They use it to chat to friends, connect with brands and to read the news.
The White House even uses Snapchat to share news stories, which pretty much sums out how big this social network is.
Now we’ve answered whether your venue should be on Snapchat or not, it’s now time to look at how you can leverage your venue on the popular social platform.
There are 4 ways you can use Snapchat for your venue. You should try each one to see whether they work for your business.
– Set up an account for free, start snapping and get followers
– Become a publishing partner and get featured in the ‘Discover’ section
– Connect with influencers to promote your venue
– Pay for advertising
Set up an account for free, start snapping and get followers
This placement of Snapchat is very similar to Instagram stories.
You can upload content and add it to your story. This can then be viewed by your followers within 24 hours.
Unlike Instagram, Snapchat doesn’t have a public newsfeed, so stories are far more likely to be seen.
Like Instagram stories, people want to see unique, fun and behind the scenes content.
It’s an excellent way to ‘humanise’ your venue so you can retain customers and keep them loyal.
To get followers you can share your username across all of your other social platforms and marketing.
For example, if you’re a restaurant you could share footage of your chefs cooking the food. If you’re a bar or nightclub you can film your best mixologists curating a perfect cocktail.
Snapchat for venues is all about storytelling. So, you could even ‘Snap’ what 24 hours look like at your venue.
As the target audience is 18-24 mainly, you need to keep the content light and fun.
As well as showing behind the scenes content, you can also run Snapchat related competitions from your own account.
User-generated content comes into its own here. Ask your followers to Snapchat to enter. This is a really fun way of engaging with your followers and also gives something back in return.
Become a publishing partner and get featured in the ‘Discover’ section
The ‘Discover’ section is the like the holy grail of placements for marketers.
When users open Snapchat one of the main buttons (found bottom right) is ‘Discover’.
This shows a deck of stories from different brands, news outlets and influencers.
It’s programmed to showcase stories based on the user’s demographic and history. So, it’s highly targeted marketing, that if you can get featured there, can do wonders for your brand.
Although Snapchat is secretive about how to become a publisher, it’s as simple as following Snapchat’s community guidelines and consistently uploading high quality, high budget and engaging content to your story.
Over time you can become a publisher and be featured on ‘Discover’.
Connect with influencers to promote your venue on Snapchat
Your bar, nightclub or restaurant should have an influencer strategy.
Influencers have a large following on social platforms, and many have a huge following on Snapchat.
You can leverage influencers by making sure they ‘Snap’ in your venue.
First, make sure there are plenty of ‘Snapchatting’ opportunities in your venue. Also called ‘photo ops’.
For example, if your venue is a bar or nightclub, invest in some unique cocktail glasses that your customers won’t be able to resist taking a photo with.
If you’re a restaurant, make sure your foods presented beautifully and use crockery that stands out.
Also think about the interior of your venue. Are there photo ops? For example, you could implement a flower wall or use a rowing boat as a table.
If it stands out, people will take pictures of it.
Your bar, nightclub or restaurant could also host events that attracts influencers and celebrities.
These types of people are usually hanging around charity functions and product launches, so open up your venue to be booked for these types of events.
Once you have one booked, make sure the organisers are marketing certain hashtags to encourage people to Snapchat.
Failing all of those ideas you could pay or invite influencers for a free night so you can feature on their Snapchats.
Pay for advertising
Snapchat for venues can work brilliantly, especially if you pay for advertising on the platform.
When you pay for Snapchat’s advertising you can target exactly who you want with your best advertisements and feature in Snapchat’s best placements.
Your ads will appear when users are viewing stories, within a user’s chats with friend’s and advertisements are also pushed from within the ‘Discover’ section.
To get started all you need to do is set up a Snapchat for Business account.
There are different types of ads that you can use once you have access to the platform:
These are the most basic ads, where you can choose a photo or video and lead users to your website all within a single swipe.
These appear in chats and within the stories section of Snapchat.
These types of ad are perfect for generally showing off your bar, nightclub or restaurant.
In 2018, Snapchat allowed brands to create 6 second ads that are like TV commercials.
They work brilliantly because like some YouTube ads, they can’t be skipped by the user.
You will have the (semi) full attention for a full 6 seconds. Make sure the ads are fun and light otherwise the young userbase won’t be impressed.
Geo-filters are fun overlays that a user can use if they’re within a certain radius.
They’re seriously clever because when you set up this type of ad, you can setup the radius of the filter to be exactly within your venue.
So, when someone takes a Snap in your venue, they will have the option to add your cool filter overlay.
This will then be seen by all of their followers who view their story.
It’s localised branding at its best.
Sponsored AR Lenses
If Snapchat is a medium that’s working incredibly well for your venue, then you can consider AR lenses.
AR lenses aren’t cheap, as you need to find someone to create a unique lens for your business.
AR lenses are overlays that can use the users face and include it within the filter. They can be super creative and increase the chances of a Snap going viral.
Story ads are 3-20 photos or videos that Snapchat allow to tell your venues story.
They are only placed within the ‘Discover’ section so you can reach your target audience perfectly.
Storytelling is incredibly powerful when it comes to marketing, so this type of ad is our favourite.
Like any marketing medium you need to implement, test and analyse the results.
Snapchat might not be right for your venue, but if you’re targeting a young audience, then it should work with bringing in more customers and retaining them.
Your future customers will always be 18-24 and Snapchat is one of the most popular networks for this audience.
Assign someone in your team to be ‘Head of Snapchat’ and see. If you don’t try, you’ll never know.