With its unique filters and timely content, Snapchat boasts over 7 billion daily video views, according to Fortune. It's clear that what began as a niche network for young people has grown into one of today's most trendy social media sites.

Brands are catching on: The NBA, McDonald's and BuzzFeed are all promoting their content on this platform. But even small businesses with limited marketing budgets can use Snapchat for business purposes.

Here are four tips on how to best connect with your customers through the social app:

1. Learn How to Use All of Snapchat's Features

If you don't know how to take advantage of everything that Snapchat has to offer, your efforts may fall flat. You should be able to use and navigate the app with ease, even if you're just going behind the scenes and showing uncut, funny content. After all, you want to make sure that you're well aware of the coolest filters and that you don't accidentally share the wrong thing.

In addition, it's crucial for you to understand all the relevant terminology. "Snaps" are photos or videos that you send directly to your audience. Once someone opens up a particular snap, it disappears. However, you can also post a snap to your "story," which your audience can view repeatedly over a 24-hour period.

2. Create Content for a Millennial Audience

As Business Insider reports, comScore data shows that 45 percent of adult Snapchat users are between the ages of 18 and 24. Therefore, in order to make your Snapchat account as powerful as possible, you need to strive to create content that resonates with this younger crowd.

3. Showcase Live Events

One of the best ways to use Snapchat for business purposes is to showcase live events. You can leverage the social media app to give a valuable insider look into a trade show, conference or workshop.

Snapchat even has a feature known as "Our Story," which allows you to submit your snaps to a live event's main feed. These snaps can then be viewed by anyone, no matter where they are. By using this strategy, you can get your business involved in conversations surrounding events in your industry.

4. Let Customers in on Your Secrets

Snapchat isn't meant to be perfectly polished: Snaps are uncut, allowing you to offer up a behind-the-scenes look at the way you do business. You can send snaps that depict anything from your employees working hard at the office to a video of how your products are made in the factory. After all, Snapchat is the perfect outlet for exclusive pictures and videos: content that your customers and fans can't see anywhere else.

Some of the most successful businesses are those that are working to develop deliberate, well-thought-out strategies for using Snapchat to their advantage. At all times, these brands remember what Snapchat is best for: exclusive, behind-the-scenes content that resonates well with a millennial audience. When developing a Snapchat strategy, check to make sure your content aligns with the platform's Terms of Service; if in doubt, consult with a legal professional.

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Tags: mobile Marketing Campaigns social media Sales