Snapchat is the odd little brother out of all the major social media networks these days. Popular mostly among the younger generation, it reaches a 100 million active daily users. The largest share of which are 18 to 24 years old making up 37%. Because of their younger users it has its own unique style, tone and lingo. It sets itself apart from your run-of-the-mill social media platforms. You could say Snapchat is turning into a Dennis the Menace, outsmarting everybody with its own rules. Gaining a marketing foothold can be though if you're not sure what you're getting into. Besides setting up a marketing campaigns through Snapchat are costly. If you're considering to invest efficient time in Snapchat, perhaps a Brand Ambassadors community is the missing link?

Rewarding the office clown

With Snapchat's unique app your are able to communicate with your followers through 24-hours image and video captures. After this period all your content will be removed and you can envision a new story the next day. The popularity of this app is unlike Instagram where the catalog of your pictures adds to your personal remembrance. Snapchat focuses on living in the moment and leaves nothing behind.

Many Brands use the app option “My Story” to generate daily adventures. This is the most common way to directly communicate with your followers. Users enjoy witty and authentic Snapchat stories that put your brand in a humanized light. Some brands use it to feature the behind the scenes office environment in a comical way. Others use it to roll out sneak-peaks or promote give-away challenges. Keeping up with these escapades does take work and time.

Finding the balance between regularly making stories and upholding entertaining content is a pickle. Letting an enthusiastic employee be the trusty face of your company is a great starting point. Employees are excellent brand ambassadors to promote your brand. Plus it's a rewarding role for an insiders that really understands what your brand is about. Snapchatters react strongly to charismatic personalities.

One thing to keep in mind is the app only works when it's logged into one device. Assigning multiple employees access to the account demands some organization. Planning out your narrative beforehand is the key to success. If you have a trusted brand ambassador who isn't an employee, granting them access to your account for one day is something many brands do as well.

The price you pay for a short stay

When you're looking for multiple users to contribute to your brand marketing, Snapchat has an option. Instead of “My Story” it is called “Live Story” and let's you crowd source pictures and videos from your fans. Live story is bound to a geographical location. Users within the boundaries of your event or space can upload content and interact with your brand's festivities. Snapchatters that are not attending can still access your live story and it will be visible at the top of their friends list.

These Live stories have been used for example during the GRAMMYs, Real Madrid football matches or promoting tourism in Mexico city. In a similar Snapchat style these events also vanish after 24-hours. Companies running the show can feature advertisements in between content. Meanwhile behind the scenes Snapchat curators hand pick quality pictures and videos that fit your narrative.

Being able to directly involve your audience in a shareable “ad” environment gives your brand an original feel. Unlocking your most enthusiastic and creative brand ambassadors is off course the cherry on top. For any company there is a valuable intensive to uncover the faces and creativity behind your brand.

Before you start warming yourself up to your potential live stories, they do come at a price. One reason they are currently only associated with large than life brands is due to their costly nature. In 2015 they were priced at 100,000 to 400,000 dollars. Currently Snapchat changed their pricing policy to a two cents per view for the advertisement in between content. Depending on your negotiation with Snapchat – in terms of event and location – it seems feasible that the 100,000 dollar option no longer exists. It's up for discussion if the costs matches the 24-hour exposure.

Forever young

The Snapchat audience distinguishes itself from other social media platforms. It has in own mode of conduct and inside jokes. Twitter is all about making an impact with 140 characters, Facebook is the home screen of friends world and Instagram is the app that makes ordinary look stunning. Snapchat is about spontaneity and creative quickness.

Users take a lot of pictures, on average Snapchat publishes 9000 snaps per second. Most photo's aren't neatly stylized but receive rudimentary touch ups. A lot of popular snapchatters edit their photos with hurried Microsoft-Paint-like brush strokes. Or add an emoji that represents their current mood. Sometimes a trashy design is better than a well thought out one.

What seems silly or insignificant for some people, within the Snapchat community these features have their own language. Depending on your picture, for example; the emoji with the nerdy glasses could mean you are studying, you figured something out, you're being geeky or you did something completely stupid.

For young people these small details are instantly recognizable. As a brand you want to be well versed in their lingo. Not taking yourself seriously is a must and knowing your way around the emoji trends is favored. Recently the last running gag among Snapchat users was the new Face Swap lens that lets you trade faces with another person in your photo. New features are always being rolled out. In this young online space it's better to take fun risks than be boring.

Let your ambassadors community do the talking

Once you figured out how to keep an entertaining Snapchat account there are basic tips on how to do Snapchat marketing. Many brands interact with fans by sharing pictures and videos of sweepstakes, shared fan content, unveiled products and exclusive deals. Unfortunately there is no direct two-way-interaction that offers the same engagement as the Live Story option.

An alternative to having a more interaction among fans is working with an Ambassadors community. Through an Ambassadors community you can plan out larger strategies that extends the option of My Story. Having a directory of fans at your disposal who are willing to promote your brand gives you more creative marketing freedom.

When setting up a campaign you are also able to to include your ambassadors beforehand.

Letting them have their own input taps right in the heart of the Snapchats authenticity. Especially when you have younger ambassadors that are very savvy in this online space.

Snapchat is a powerful medium to express your brand these day. It has great tools to resonate an original message to your fans. Unfortunately using the standard format can be limiting. If you are considering efficiently investigating your time in Snapchat than having brand community will help you out. Users on Snapchat don't want to be looking at your brand from the sidelines they want to play along. Having an ambassadors community is an effective asset that provides this freedom.