Luxury-Marketing-SnapChatHow fine jewelers and brands can use Snapchat for customer engagement and loyalty.

What started as an app for millennials to send racy “snaps” to each other is now one of the most powerful social media networks for fine jewelers to target a key consumer demographic.

Snapchat boasts nearly 150 million users per day and just surpassed Twitter in daily usage. And according to comScore, roughly one third of Americans ages 18 to 34 use the app on a monthly basis—that’s a higher engagement rate than Instagram alone! Since this app is frequently used by millennials, several luxury brands including Cartier, David Yurman, Jemma Wynne and Spinelli Kilcollin created accounts and are quickly gaining traction.

How it works: Snapchat has gamified communication by allowing users to send annotated pictures or videos to their followers. Imaging software within the app also lets users swap faces or add a beautifying filter with branded designs to encourage user engagement. The hook? Content “self-destructs” automatically after 10 seconds after viewing.

This trendy social media tool doesn’t come without limitations, though. There’s a lack of analytics making it a tough understand what your true ROI is. Also, there’s no draft functionality to allow you to draft or schedule content in advance. However, these slight drawbacks haven’t deterred fine jewelers from sending effective snaps to customersCheck out these three ways your jewelry business can leverage the app today:

#1:Grow your follower base.

Snapchat lacks a lookup tool (à la Instagram), so customers can only find your business by typing-in the exact username. Snapchat realized this limitation and created Snapcode as a way for users to scan codes and instantly follow brands.  Tiffany & Co. did a great job creating a custom Snapcode. The brand uploaded a sparkly diamond gif and changed background color to it’s iconic Tiffany blue. Tiffany & Co. took it one step further and uploaded the Snapcode image as its branded Twitter page avatar to encourage follows.  And don’t stop there. Provide incentive for customers to follow you on Snapchat: market that you’ll tease new products exclusively on this channel or provide unique offers via Snapchat.

#2: Humanize your brand.

Customers are craving an emotional connection. Cater to this desire by showing the people behind your company and the values you stand for.  Do you have a dynamite sales staff? Send snaps highlighting your team discussing their favorite in-store pieces or trends. Are your materials ethically sourced? Take them behind the scenes and show them how you source materials. Does your store host trunk shows or guest appearances at your flagship? Give your followers a behind-the-scenes experience by sharing snaps from these in-store events. You can also invite influencers to “take over” your Snapchat for a day. David Yurman recently teamed up with Olivia Culpo who took followers on her journey throughout New York wearing various jewelry pieces.

#3:Create unique and engaging content.

Because of the playful nature of the app, opt for light-hearted content rather than forceful product pushes. For instance, creating an interactive quiz that asks, “what diamond cut are you?” is a clever way to entertain and expose your products to your followers.

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Another unique idea is to allow users to create their own content with custom filters. For example, Tiffany & Co. launched a digital campaign, #LoveNotLike, with a Snapchat component. This was the first luxury brand to launch a Snapchat filter and allowed users to “beautify” themselves by uploading a selfie. This summer, the jewelry brand also released a geo-filter for all the Tiffany & Co. stores across the U.S. and was live until the end of August.

While Snapchat is thought of as a millennial marketing tool, fine jewelers and brands have to remember that the most successful lines start getting into their customers minds early in order to build lifelong loyalty. Don’t be afraid to Snapchat for your line immediately.

Written by Laura Kudia, Edited by Macala Wright.