Reach a younger audience using Snapchat social marketing

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Why use Snapchat to target Gen Zers?

78% of those between the ages of 18 and 24 use Snapchat, which is generally accepted as the Generation Z age bracket.

Not yet saturated by advertising, only 5% of companies are currently using the platform. But that’s all about to change.

So, if companies are not diving into this well of marketing potential, then you’ve got to be asking: what’s the catch?

Well up until now, Snapchat didn’t create a channel that was easy to market. Although engagement was high there was nowhere for these prospects to go with the absence of any outbound links. It was a social media cul de sac.

Another big problem for eCommerce stores looking to market their brand was the lack of any analytics. We are now so used to having metrics for all our strategic content, that investing in a campaign blindfolded is difficult to justify.

All of this changed this year as Snapchat’s introduced professional analytics for their users.

A Quick look at Snapchat analytics

Here are the metrics you can now use on Snapchat to measure your campaign’s success:

  • Total Story views - you can filter this by past week, month or year
  • Time spent viewing stories (in minutes) - again filter this by past week, month, or year
  • Daily unique story viewers
  • Average time unique viewers spent watching,
  • Completion rates
  • Audience demographics - includes gender breakdown, the most prominent age bracket, and most prominent geographic location
  • Audience interests - this breaks down into categories such as film and TV, food, fashion, and sports

Compared to 2017, this gives Shopify merchants a lot more power to direct their campaign strategy to find and connect with their Gen Z’s.

Marketing successfully on Snapchat

To market successfully on Snapchat, knowing how to interact with the Gen Z audience on the platform is essential. This generation has a distinct preference for personalization to streamline their shopping experience from discovery to delivery.

Compared to their younger millennial counterparts, Gen Z’ers are much heavier users of the app and spend roughly 40 minutes of their day on the app.

There’s also research that reassures brands that this particular cohort is a-okay with the presence of brands and ad content on the platform. Over half of the respondents had no strong feelings towards brands; a further 25% said it was okay, and 10% liked/loved brand’s activity on Snapchat.

It’s better to market through channels where you know brand marketing is well received. The alternative is pushing your audience away by delivering unwanted content to which viewers roll their eyes.

Compared to millennials Gen Zers check into Snapchat more frequently throughout the day. The average Snapchat user spends between 25 and 30 minutes per day using the app and Gen Z tune into the app an average of 11 times per day!

Top tips for eCommerce merchants using Snapchat

Viewing settings

Snapchat automatically sets your viewing settings so that only your Snpachat friends can see your content. Obviously, as a store looking to broaden your reach, this needs to change.

If you haven’t done so already, head over to Settings> Who can > View my Story.

From here, go ahead and change Friends to Everyone.

And there you have it!

Branded hashtags

Having a branded hashtag is essential if you plan on using any of your user-generated content. To create one all you have to do is include it consistently in a couple of posts. Provide giveaways for users that post using the branded hashtags.

Ideas to capture attention on Snapchat

Behind the scenes content

Snapchat is a playful app and users are looking for an authentic portrayal of life. The app set up in 2011 as a backlash to the polished, unrealistic snapshots of life that users displayed on Facebook and Instagram accounts. Keep to this formula to connect with your audience and try to avoid anything overly scripted.


Here is a fun idea and a revamp of the behind-the-scenes footage if you’re looking for something a bit different. Give employees charge of the account for a day to show off your company culture, creation processes and the teamwork-based approach of your business. The more lighthearted and fun, the better!

Coupons and discounts

58% of college students, your Gen Z’ers, are likely to buy a brand’s product or service if they receive a coupon from Snapchat. Also, think about offering sneak peaks into flash sales as Snapchatters are 68% more likely to make impulse purchases than other social media users.

How-to videos

Are there any questions that continually crop up in your FAQs that you can address in a quick Snapchat video? Well, here’s your chance to upload an instructional video. It could be how to use or take care of your new product or perhaps a bit of upselling by showing how your product works in conjunction with another that you’re currently selling.

Run competitions

Competitions and giveaways are a great way to drive user-generated content. People, no matter their age, get a rush at the chance of getting a desirable product for free. A knock-on benefit of this is that even if a Snapchat user doesn’t win the prize, they are likely to snoop around your site to check out the product and buy it anyway.

Announce product launches

Hear ye! Hear ye! Announce thy product launches on Snapchat to create a sense of urgency. Give glimpses of what’s to offer and a countdown on each daily snap of the number of days left until the product launch.

Snapchat ads

As part of Snapchat’s efforts to entice brands to their platform, they have introduced Snapchat ads. These ads attain 5x the click rates of comparable video ads on other social platforms.

And here’s another stat that will get your marketing team scrambling for their smartphones to download the app. Where 25% of your email list will open your newsletter, 90% of your Snpachat followers will watch your video.

You can also integrate the Snapchat pixel to track traffic to your Shopify store. You can install the pixel installer app via the Shopify theme store to monitor the traffic coming through your via Snapchat ads. You can view this data through Snapchat Ad Manager.

Brands who show us how it’s done on Snapchat

Everlane (@Everlane)

Undoubtedly, Everlane is the cool kid of Snapchat. Their business’ ethos perfectly slots into Snapchat’s authentic, real-life vibes. For instance, they have a #transparencytuesday hashtag that gives their viewers an insight into their ethical, sustainable processes. An example of this is a tour of their factories.

They also give life updates and sneak peaks of product line releases and have amassed a very loyal following on the platform. They’rere a great company to check out for inspiration.


I’ve chosen to include Benefit’s campaign to show how you can incorporate influencer marketing into your Snapchat campaign.

Here they’ve collaborated with two influencers, LustreLux and Heart Defensor, to gain traction for their new filter.

The filter shows potential customers how Benefit’s brows collection fits in with their current look. This marketing fosters curiosity around a product as users of this filter can see the tangible features of the product displayed on their own face. It’s also playful and instantly recognizable for makeup lovers as Benefit’s branding and shareable.

Starbucks (@starbucks)

Snapchat users are very fond of their filters. Check out the Starbucks festive editions with the iconic green-tasseled mermaid:

Now that you’ve got insider knowledge on how to set up an amazing Snapchat account for your Shopify store, it’s time to grow your brand awareness in the Gen Z market. If you need extra help setting up a social media calendar that will boost conversions and drive profits, then why not get in touch for a consultation?

Our blog also gives you the latest on managing and marketing your Shopify store.