With the summer holidays now in full swing, the chances are that you’re planning your back to school season, and coming up with new ways to target your millennial and Gen Z audience.

While Instagram is now the Queen B of social media thanks to its Instagram Stories feature and new IGTV, which allows users to upload their own one-hour ‘TV shows’, Snapchat still holds its place as one of the most popular networks for young people, with 191 million daily users around the world.

77% of them are aged between 18-24, although figures for under-18s aren’t reported.

Whether you work in student accommodation, fashion, retail or education, Snapchat is one of the best ways to connect with back-to-schoolers and take your business to the next level.

In this post, we show you some of the ways in which you can use the network to your advantage.


Create a custom filter

Filters and Lenses are amongst Snapchat’s most popular filters, with millions of users checking out the app every day just to see the latest filters.

While the majority of these are designed in-house by Snapchat, users can create their own filters and lenses to use with friends and for special events – and businesses like yours can take advantage of this functionality to become part of the ‘back to school’ story.

You could design a geofilter, only available to students in your town, that celebrates the new school year and gives students a way to show off their return to campus.

By hiring a graphic designer to create an attractive Back to School design, you can attract the attention of students, and incorporate your branding into the filter so that every time it’s used, your brand is being sent to people’s smartphones. It’s a simple, effective technique that works.

Cadbury created their own humorous Creme Egg filter that allowed users to turn into a Creme Egg. Creating your own based off of this idea could help your business go ‘viral’ in the local area – or if you’re prepared to pay to become a Sponsored Filter, create a nationwide filter sensation!


Get in on the freshers’ action

The key to being a successful brand and catering to your target audience is to create content (in this case, Snaps) that users really want to engage with.

There’s no point in joining Snapchat to get in on the student action if you’re not going to act like a student, so let down your hair and speak with students who are new to the local area or returning to campus for the new year.

Make sure that a representative from your brand attends student events, asks students to submit questions which you can answer on your profile, and become part of the student conversation.

You could even consider opening a stall during freshers week, and getting students to film their own messages, like ‘Looking to make new friends who are interested in World of Warcraft’.

That way, you’ll become a vital part of a students journey, and a resource for newbies and oldtimers.

Of course, before you do any of that, it’s important that you get permission from the school, college or university.

If you’re filming in public spaces, be mindful of the general public, and always ask for permission before filming someone, especially for commercial purposes.

Travel company Ylink celebrated the start of the season with students , and used a custom filter to boot


Launch a Snapchat campaign

Another way to take advantage of Snapchat during this back to school season is to launch your own campaign, asking students to get involved and submit their own content that you can use as part of your marketing.

We’ve talked at length about the benefits of user-generated content for your business; not only does it save you time, but it creates more meaningful and relatable content that your target audience will want to interact with, so give it a go if you have the time!

There are so many ways that you can launch a Snapchat campaign for your business.

Fashion brands could ask new students to submit snaps of their outfits and offer advice and guidance; health brands could offer free products in exchange for a shoutout on the social network, and charities could launch a campaign raising awareness of mental health problems during their study.

Remember that you can take your campaign further by creating your own filters and lenses using your campaign’s branding to boost engagement and brand awareness.

Oh, and don’t forget to add your Snapchat code to promotional materials and your website so users can find your account and follow your Story!

Create a custom Snapchat code, which can be scanned using Snapchat


Use Snap Ads for guaranteed engagement

Perhaps the simplest and most effective way to take your business to the next level using Snapchat is through Snap Ads.

The platform allows you to put your product in front of local or national users and raise awareness.

You can include links back to your Snapchat channel to grow your audience, or you could send users away from the app to a buy-now page instead.

Story Ads is a new advertising format launched by the network, allowing you to create a collection of Snaps to showcase your products.

Users than then swipe up to be taken to your website, and the Snap Pixel can be used to track users behaviour and remarket your products and services if they’re not ready to buy from you immediately.


Wrapping up

While Snapchat may have fallen out of favour for some, it’s still one of the most effective social networks for tapping into a student market and selling more of your products and services to students and freshers.

The key to a successful Snapchat marketing campaign is creating great content that students will want to view, share with friends and interact with, so get your thinking cap on and use the summer to prepare for your Snapchat marketing campaign.

If you’re looking for help targeting your products to students and want to incorporate Snapchat into your campaign, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the experts here at Muffin Marketing.

We can’t wait to hear from you soon and help to transform the fortunes of your business.