Snapchat — once an app used by college students to send mindless pictures to one another — has now become a powerhouse of a social media tool for individuals and companies alike. For restaurants, the app provides a unique opportunity to take customers behind the scenes in the kitchen and reach a broader — and often younger — audience. But how does it work, exactly?
What is Snapchat?
Snapchat allows users to send and receive photos or videos that disappear after a certain period of time. It’s like being able to give real-time updates and reveal quick moments from your life, but in image (or video) form.
A quick primer on how to use it: once you sign up, you can add friends, or friends can add you, either via searching your username or snapping your Snapcode (more on Snapcodes in a second). To take a snap, press down on the circular button on the center (like you are taking a photo); to take a video, just hold down on that same button until you are done recording. You can embellish your Snapchat with a caption, plus various features like lenses (fun images placed over people’s faces) or geo-filters (designed, location-based tags).
Once you’re done, you can post the snap to your Story, which allows anyone who follows you to see your snap. You can post multiple snaps to your Story — which disappears after 24 hours — allowing you to create a unique, multi-faceted log of the day.
The best metric for viewing the success of your Snapchat is not necessarily the number of people that follow your restaurant on the platform, but rather the number of people that view your Snap Story –this is because Snap Stories can be picked up by local stories, exposing them to a brand-new audience not necessarily encompassed in your own following. Track how many views each of your stories gets, and note when you see a big spike. That means your local Snapchat team saw something they liked.