Snapchat Guide

The College Edition

August 2017

Since the initial launch of Snapchat in 2011 the platform has continued to grow and now more marketers and specifically, Education marketers are making full use of this social platform. In its simplest form, Snapchat is a platform for sharing quick, raw pictures and videos, or “snaps” that only last 10 seconds before disappearing. Since its launch, Snapchat has continued to add more features including Snapchat stories, much like regular snaps these only appear on screen for up to 10 seconds but can be rewatched over a 24 hour period before they disappear for good.

Snapchat has over 300 million monthly active users with 173 million of these using Snapchat every day. Snapchat is extremely popular with the younger audience with 70% of its users under 34.


Snapchat can be used effectively in many different ways for education marketing to promote, connect and engage with their audience and students. We are going to explore some of the options available for Education based Snapchat users.


BTS and Live Events

Snapchat is great for giving that behind scenes feel, take the camera behind the polished images that appear across other social media platforms and use this to make your followers feel like they’re part of something more personal, creating a stronger bond between you and your students. You can use your other social media platforms to build your following on Snapchat and build excitement across all platforms, for example, tease some news on your university twitter and end it with “Follow our Snapchat to hear the rest” this can really help build hype and buzz around any behind the scenes content you share. It’s also worth noting that because of how Snapchat works the pictures and videos don’t have to be perfect, as they won’t appear on your social media page forever.

As well as sharing things from the behind the scenes Snapchat can be great for broadcasting live events, a series of 10-second videos strung together on your Snapchat story will create excitement and your followers can feel involved wherever they are. For example Snapchatting a sporting event or fundraising event, complete the Snapchats with stickers or even a geofilter (which we’ll talk about more later) and you’ve got an exciting live broadcast for everyone who couldn’t make it to that event or for students who are at the events and want to see what else is going on. There are endless options for creating behind the scenes content on Snapchat, the important thing is to be creative and keep it fresh and interesting to ensure you keep your students engaged.


Live Q&A

Another option for using Snapchat to engage with your followers and students is to run a Q&A, ask students to send in their questions and either ask other students to answer them as part of a takeover or whoever is running the Snapchat account can answer, this would depend on the topic of the Q&A. There are a few different ways of doing this kind of thing; you can ask students to send their questions using Snapchat itself either sending pictures or a video asking their question. You can alternatively ask for the questions to be sent to you via Twitter or Facebook and then answer them on Snapchat helping to reach different students across platforms and linking the two together.

If you’re going to ask students to Snapchat your account firstly you need to make sure your settings in “who can contact me” are set to everyone so their questions via Snapchat will come through. Answer random questions or ask for questions on a specific topic. It’s also a great way to get feedback and opinions from the students and reply to these via Snapchat while others watch if another student was thinking the same question they will be able to get the answer via Snapchat.


Contests and promotions

Use your Snapchat account to give back to your students, run competitions or offer your students promotion codes that are exclusive to Snapchat. This is just another way to make your Snapchat followers feel like they are an exclusive group of people. Give your students the chance to win something they will be interested in, a prize or tickets of some sort and ask them to send a snap entry of why they should win for example. Running a “snap competition” will also encourage more students to follow and keep up with your Snapchat. 


Paperclip Snaps

Snapchat added a new update to its platform that makes it possible to add links to snaps, this feature is especially helpful for colleges who are using Snapchat daily to communicate with their students. Being able to send your followers straight to a page with a simple swipe is a lot more convenient than having to remember a link. To do these simply take a snap how you usually would, click on the paperclip symbol and add your link! You could use this to send your students anywhere from a college event page for more information or tickets to sending them to another social media page you want to promote.


Measuring engagement

Snapchat is more difficult to measure engagement compared to other platforms like Facebook or Instagram, there are no “likes” or comments but you can see how many people are viewing each snap you post to your story, this is shown by a small eye and next to each snap in your story and a number. It is also likely that people will screenshot your Snapchats, as Snapchat stories only last for 24 hours people often screenshot so they have the information or picture saved. Snapchat will tell you how many screenshots a story got next to the eye with the number of views. You could use this to your advantage, for example, you could ask your Snapchat followers to screenshot the next snap if you want to see a certain regular takeover person back, this will show you how popular that persons take over with your account are. The best way to ensure people are engaging with your Snapchat account is to promote it, include your Snapchat username in the bio of all your social media profiles. Ensure people know you’re on Snapchat and that you’re active so all your new content ideas aren’t wasted. 



A Snapchat geofilter is a filter overlay that you can put over your snap that gives you location. Most cities have geofilters designed by Snapchat, they’re always colourful, often have some sort of related design and then will say the town name. They are a fun way to show your followers what town you’re in or if you’re on holiday where you’re visiting. Geofilters can also be designed for events or special occasions as well as locations. For example an open day could have a geofilter specifically for those days, anyone attending the open day can then use their own Snapchat to take a picture or video and put your geofilter over the top showing all their followers where they are.


If you have any questions about how to use Snapchat or how to get started with geofilters and Snap Ads please contact us.