The Social Florist

It’s a Snap: Engage Teens on Their Smartphones

Prom season will be starting soon, and that means teens (or their parents) will be ordering corsages and boutonnières. Or, maybe they’ll want that perfect bouquet for a promposal (which is teen-speak for an elaborate request that someone be your prom date).

For florists, the question arises: how do you reach teens during prom season so that they buy their flowers from your shop? Answer: Teens spend a great deal of time on social media, and on one platform in particular.

We know that name can strike fear in adults. Relax. We’ll break down how this app works and how you can use it to reach teens during prom season. You’ll be fluent in Snapchat in no time!

Snapchat 101

If you’re unfamiliar with Snapchat, here’s a primer.
Snapchat is a photo and video-sharing app for smartphones. Users can send content to a select group of friends. The catch is that the content is only available for a matter of seconds. In addition, you can also have video conversations with friends (à la Skype).

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Now that you know what Snapchat is, here’s why it matters. It has more than 100 million active daily users. During 2015, the last year for which there’s data, Snapchat was among the top 13 apps downloaded overall. And if you want to target teens, Snapchat is perfect: 71 percent of its users are under the age of 25. In addition, fewer businesses have taken advantage of Snapchat’s advertising potential than on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which means less competition for users’ attention.

How Do You Use Snapchat?

To use Snapchat, you’ll need to create an account. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll see your profile page by tapping on the ghost icon at the top of the screen. You can see who’s added you, which users you’ve added, and who your contacts are. There’s also a number indicating your “score,” which tells you how many snaps you’ve sent and received.
As with other social media platforms, Snapchat works on the basis of your ability to discover and be discovered – that is to say, you find people to follow and people find you. Finding people and being found on Snapchat is a bit different than other social networks. Users have to know another user’s exact handle to add him or her as a contact.

There’s an easy way to get teens to add your brand to their contact list. Post a screenshot of your ghost (which is in your profile) to another social media feed so users can take a photo of it. After they upload the photo, the app will automatically add your account to their contact list. You can add your logo inside the ghost to help your brand stand out.

Taking pictures and videos is fairly simple. You tap on the circle button at the bottom of the home screen to take a photo, and hold it down if you want to take a video. To add text, tap on the image and a box will pop up that allows you to type. After you’ve created your snap, you can share it by clicking on the arrow in the bottom far right corner of the screen.

Be sure to make your account public, so everyone can see what you post.

How Can You Reach Teens through Snapchat?

Snapchat offers users (including brands) some nifty features to personalize their snaps. You can add stickers (check out the flower crown version!), geo filters (borders that are based on your geographical locations), and emojis.

There are some creative ways you can reach teens before prom season is in full force. You could hold a contest, with the lucky user winning free prom flowers. Because the text limit on a snap is 31 characters, use a URL shortening service such as to post the link to the contest rules.

Social media experts recommend using social media networks to ask followers questions and start a conversation, and the same principle applies to Snapchat. Try this: Post a video asking teens what they want to know about buying a corsage or boutonnière, or how to find the right flower for your date’s dress or bowtie.

The visual nature of Snapchat means that it’s a great platform to highlight pictures of your merchandise. Showcase some of your favourite designs, or take a snap of the bouquet one student used for an epic promposal.

Whichever method you use to reach teens, there are a few best practices. First, Snapchat is about being impromptu, so you’ll turn off users if they think you’re trying too hard. Have fun with your snaps while staying professional – you want to make an impression for the right reasons.

Rachel Levy Sarfin is a Toronto-based freelancer who has written about technology for a variety of publications and blogs.

Rachel Levy Sarfin
Rachel Levy Sarfin is a Toronto-based freelancer who has written about technology for a variety of publications and blogs.

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