5 Ways Snapchat Can Boost Your Visibility and Engagement with Supporters

As social media continues to grow, it will become increasingly difficult for nonprofits to get their message out without tapping into this resource. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, a strong social media presence can help nonprofit organizations reach a broader audience and expand their marketing opportunities.

Yet, one social media platform that doesn’t get nearly enough recognition for its marketing potential is Snapchat. This little yellow ghost application functions similarly to texting, but people send messages through photos, videos and drawings. Users can click on direct messages from their friends and see the text within a picture or video of themselves and their surroundings. The really fun part? These “Snaps” only last for a maximum of 10 seconds before disappearing.

Despite being just founded in 2011, Snapchat has a massive platform of 100 million users and 10+ billion video views every day. Eighty-six percent of these Snapchatters fall into the 13–37 age range (Socialbrite).

So, what does this all this have to do with your nonprofit organization? Actually, quite a bit. Here are a few stats from Mashableto get the big picture:

  • In 2014, 77% of college students reported using Snapchat daily.
  • 73% of these students said they would open a Snap from a brand they already knew, and almost half said they would open one from a brand they’d never even heard of.
  • Close to 70% of students said they would add a brand as a friend if they also followed it on a separate social media site like Facebook or Twitter.

For nonprofits, this market has a huge potential to drive engagement and build your support base particularly if your constituent demographic consists of 13–25-year-olds. Even if your nonprofit organization already takes advantage of the major social media platforms, Snapchat offers another channel to help you tell your story.

Here are 5 ways Snapchat can benefit your nonprofit organization:

1. Promote events and fundraisers.

Snapchat offers a quick and easy way to reach out to followers and promote events your nonprofit organization hosts. If you already utilize text messages or emails to send reminders to volunteers and donors, you can use Snapchat as a more creative outlet for the same function. Snapchat gives you the potential to provide immediate, up-to-date information right at your followers’ fingertips. You can share pictures or videos related to the upcoming event with individual followers or update them on your Story.

Try using the Snapchat Story function in event promotion. Think of stories as a profile page. Your nonprofit would post a series of photos and videos that remain active for 24 hours and then clear chronologically after the time expires. Promote fundraisers by employing the Story feature to share pre-event fun facts, reminders, exciting updates and photo or video teasers.

2. Provide a “behind the scenes” look.

Once your event is underway, your nonprofit can use Snapchat to provide a “behind the scenes” look to followers. People love feeling included in exclusive content, and offering this feature is a great way to involve your audience. Showcase fun happenings most constituents wouldn’t be able to see, personal interviews with the heads of your nonprofit and even mishaps or challenges you’re facing along the way.

Personalizing events and fundraisers through Snapchat causes constituents to feel more connected with your organization. Volunteers and donors can watch your Snapchat activity whether they’re in attendance at the event or not, and can even request additional donations throughout the fundraiser. Promote events in a fun and imaginative way, then encourage followers to share their Snaps with you after the function.

3. Encourage constituent interaction.

Direct interaction with users, volunteers and donors is a useful resource Snapchat provides for your nonprofit organization. This is anything from mass “end homelessness” Snap Stories to one-on-one communication. Two main examples of constituent interaction are offering fun options for followers to vote on during an event and sending Snaps with calls to action asking for constituent involvement. These messages can go directly to your volunteers and donors or through your Snap Story to illicit an immediate response.

Nonprofits like World Wildlife Fund have already utilized these awesome components Snapchat has to offer.

Using Snapchat to encourage constituent interaction not only keeps your nonprofit fresh and at the forefront of followers’ minds, but also makes volunteers and donors feel heard, motivated and valued. One-on-one personal interaction such as this is hard to come by on other social media.

4. Solidify your nonprofit’s brand.

Snapchat Stories also give your nonprofit the opportunity to promote your organization’s brand and solidify your voice. The application offers an even more personal sense of communication for volunteers and donors to be involved in. Followers can literally see the faces of your organization—who’s involved, what they’re doing and why it’s beneficial to your cause.

Is your nonprofit working to give animals safe shelter? Send Snaps of puppies that have come through your doors. Are you trying to end homelessness in the community? Send a video of volunteers going through donation items. These unique, one-on-one Snaps solidify your nonprofit’s name, brand and voice to those following your cause.

5. Utilize Snapchat’s features.

Beyond the Story function, Snapchat has a multitude of different features your nonprofit can take advantage of to promote your mission.

  • Geofilters: These location-based filters allow followers to locate your organization or an event you may be hosting and create related Snaps to further your cause. They can be turned on or off in your Snapchat settings and are a creative way to promote your location. On Giving Tuesday in 2015, Snapchat created three filters that donated $3 to Bono’s AIDS-fighting organization (RED) whenever someone sent a Snap using one of these filters.
  • Snapcash: This feature allows users to send money through Snapchat, which can be a powerful fundraising tool for nonprofits with a goal to raise online donations.
  • Snapcodes: Create a custom Snapcode to grow your nonprofit organization’s following. Supporters can follow you by taking a screenshot of the Snapcode and adding your nonprofit as a friend. Think of this like a QR code that make it easy for constituents to connect with your organization.

For nonprofits, staying relevant on social media is critical to relaying your message to new audiences and furthering your cause among younger constituents. By staying informed and being active, social media for your nonprofit can be a snap!

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