How to use Snapchat Memories
Image via jarmoluk under CC0 1.0

How to Use Snapchat Memories to Grow and Engage Your Audience

Snapchat’s 173 million daily active users open the app on average more than 18 times per day, spending at least 30 minutes with it daily. And just in case you think those users are all kids who don’t matter to your brand, consider that a full 42 percent of Snapchatters are over the age of 24.

While Snapchat got its start as a self-destructing photo-sharing app, it has evolved into a unique social network that offers staying power in the form of Snapchat Memories. While you can still use the more ethereal aspects of Snapchat to showcase in-the-moment interactions with your brand and products, you can also invest the time to create more polished brand resources for Snapchat sharing, or even share brand assets that are already performing well on other social networks.

Using Snapchat Memories allows you to create a more professional brand image on Snapchat, opening up the network even to brands that didn’t feel comfortable with the on-the-fly nature of the original Snapchat universe.

Bonus: Download a free guide that reveals the steps to create custom Snapchat geofilters and lenses, plus tips on how to use them to promote your business.

What are Snapchat Memories?

Snapchat Memories are simply Snaps and Stories that you choose to save for later rather than allowing them to self-destruct. They’re saved within Snapchat for easy access, and you can open Memories at any time to view, edit, send, or repost this saved content.

Benefits of Snapchat Memories

Snapchat reaches 40.8 percent of U.S. social media users, according to eMarketer. If your brand is not incorporating Snapchat in your marketing strategy, you’re missing out on unique ways to interact with that large audience.

But while self-destructing content may be fun for sharing with friends, it can be more challenging for brands. It can be tough to prove the ROI of work that disappears 24 hours after it was created.

Snapchat Memories allows brands to reach Snapchat’s audience using content created outside of Snapchat, or, conversely, to save content created within Snapchat for reuse in the future either on Snapchat or on other social channels. Snapchat content now has a much longer shelf-life, making it much more appealing for brands to get in on the action.

How to use Snapchat Memories for business

How to set up Snapchat Memories

Snapchat Memories is available on all accounts without any setup required, but there’s one key change you should make to your settings when sharing content.

By default, Memories are saved within Snapchat only. But for brands, it’s a good idea to change this setting to save to both Memories and your camera roll. This not only creates an extra backup, but also saves your Snaps and Stories on your device so you can easily share them to other social networks.

  1. From the camera screen, tap the ghost icon in the top left to go to your profile page.
  2. Tap the gear icon in the top right to open the settings screen.
  3. Scroll down and tap Memories.
  4. Scroll down to Save To … and select Memories & Camera Roll.

If you’re already using Snapchat Memories but have not been saving them to your camera roll—or if you choose not to save all Memories to camera roll in order to conserve space on your device—you can export individual Snaps and Stories to camera roll manually. Follow the instructions below to open a Snap or Story in Memories, then tap the header, then Export.

How to save Snaps and Stories to Snapchat Memories

Now that you know why you might want to make your Snaps a little more permanent, how do you actually go about saving them to Memories? It just takes a few taps.

For Snaps (when posting):

  1. Take your Snap.
  2. Tap the Save button on the bottom left.

For Snaps (from a Story):

If you don’t save your Snap at the time you post, you can still save it within 24 hours by accessing it from your Story.

  1. From the camera screen, tap the Stories icon on the bottom right.
  2. Tap the three-dot menu.
  3. Tap the Snap you want to save.
  4. Tap the download button on the bottom right.

For Stories:

  1. From the camera screen, tap the Stories icon on the bottom right.
  2. Tap the download button.

How to repost Snaps and Stories from Snapchat Memories

Once you’ve got all your great Snaps and Stories saved to Snapchat Memories, here’s how to go about reusing them.

1. Open Memories

From the camera screen, either swipe up or tap the circle under the capture button. You’ll see all the Snaps and Stories you’ve saved, with Snaps appearing in rectangles and Stories in circles.

2. Find the right Snap or Story to re-share

If you’re looking for a particular type of content to share, the Snapchat Memories search feature can help. Start by tapping the magnifying glass icon at the top left of the Memories screen. Snapchat will automatically show you show suggested searches, like photos taken nearby, or all the Snaps with glasses filters. Tap one of the suggested categories, or enter your own search term.

You can also use the scrollbar on the right of your screen to browse saved Stories and Snaps, or hold down the bar and drag it to quickly skip back further in time.

3. Select your Snap or Story

Tap on any saved item to open it.

4. Edit and post

If your Snap or Story is ready to go as-is, just tap the arrow icon. If you’d like to edit a Snap or add text or emoji before posting, tap the pencil icon, complete your edits, and then tap the arrow icon to post. If you’d like to add Snaps to a Story before posting, tap the hamburger icon on the top right of the screen, then tap Add Snaps to Story and choose your additional Snaps.

How to post content created outside Snapchat from Memories

In addition to reusing content created within Snapchat, Memories also allows you to share content created outside of the app. That means you can create content using professional photography and design tools, or share existing content created for other networks. Just save your external content to your camera roll and you can post it from Memories. Here’s how.

1. Open Camera Roll within Memories

From the camera screen, either swipe up or tap the circle under the capture button to open Memories, then tap the Camera Roll tab at the top of the screen.

2. Select the content to share

Tap on any photo or video to expand it to full-screen view, then press and hold to open it for editing or to send as-is.

Keep in mind that content shared from your camera roll will have a large white border around it when you post to Snapchat, indicating when it was created and that it was uploaded from your camera roll, as seen in this Snap from DJ Khlaled.

How to use Snapchat Memories for Business

If you’d prefer to make your external content native to Snapchat, check out our post on how to repurpose existing content for Snapchat. And if you’re interested in emulating DJ Khaled and other celebrities using Snapchat to maximum effect, check out our post What Celebrities Get About Snapchat That Brands Don’t.

How to create new Stories from Snapchat Memories

You can also build entirely new Stories out of the Snaps saved to Memories.

1. Select your Snaps

Within Memories, tap the checkmark icon at the top right of your screen, then tap the Snaps you want to add to your new Story.

2. Choose to save or post

You can choose whether to simply save your new Story to Memories or post it right away. To save the Story to Memories, tap the circle icon at the bottom of your screen. To post the new story right away, tap the arrow icon, then select My Story and tap Send.

How to make Snapchat Memories private

Within Snapchat Memories, you’ll find a tab called My Eyes Only. This private tab is accessible only with a passcode, so you can ensure certain Snaps stay private, even if you hand your phone to a colleague so they can look at Stories you’ve saved. Here’s how:

  1. Within Memories, tap the checkmark icon at the top right of your screen.
  2. Tap the Snaps you want to make private.
  3. Tap the lock icon to move them to My Eyes Only.

If you would prefer all of your Snapchat Memories to be private, you can set this to be the default. On the Memories settings screen, toggle Save to My Eyes Only by Default to on.

Snapchat Memories hacks and tips

Create Stories from user-generated content

Before the advent of Snapchat Memories, there was no easy way for brands to share user-generated content on Snapchat like they do on other social networks. Now, you can collect user-generated content by saving or screencapping images your Snapchat friends send to you, or through hashtags on other social networks. Then, use Memories to upload this content to your story by following the instructions above for uploading from camera roll.

Create, save, and reuse promotional offers

Brands like 16 Handles and GrubHub use Snapchat to post promotional coupons that Snapchatters can screencap and redeem for discounts. Once you’ve put in the work to create those promotional Snaps, save them to Memories so you can share them again the next time you want to drive sales. Use unique codes in each of your coupons so you can track which ones perform best, and delete the poor performers from Snapchat Memories so you only re-share the ones that work best for your brand.

Access location-based geofilters

Snaps you save to Memories maintain their location data, including most location-based geofilters. When you post a Snap from Memories, you can access those geofilters even if you’re nowhere near where the Snap was taken. So, if you’ve got a series of Snaps from, say, an event that you want to post from Snapchat Memories once you return to your office, you can edit the Snaps before posting to add a city- or event-based geofilter that unifies your Story from that event.

When following the instructions above to edit your Snap in Memories, swipe left to access the geofilters available at the time you took the Snap.

Get creative with paintbrush

Here’s a creative tool you can only use on Snaps saved to Memories, not on Snaps you post in real time. Paintbrush turns your Snap into a piece of art.

To access paintbrush, follow the instructions above for editing you Snap in Memories, and click the paintbrush icon to bring up the artistic styles. The styles totally change the look of your Snap, so you can reuse previous shares without looking repetitive. For example, we used Paintbrush to take Owly from this:

How to use Snapchat Memories

To this:

How to use Snapchat Memories for business

Create automatic stickers

Snapchat’s scissors tool lets you copy and paste to create stickers from any Snap. You can then use these stickers in future snaps—but all that tracing can be a lot of work. If you turn on Auto-Stickers, Snapchat will automatically create stickers from the Snaps you save to Snapchat Memories (and your camera roll), so you can build a custom set of stickers without having to trace a thing.

To access Auto-Stickers, just take a Snap and tap on the sticker icon on the preview screen. From there, turn on Auto-Stickers and you will start to see auto-generated stickers from your Memories in your sticker drawer.

Make sure your Snapchat Memories are saved

If you log out of Snapchat, log in on another device, or uninstall Snapchat from your device before your Snapchat Memories finish saving, you will lose them permanently. Yikes! To avoid this type of disaster, go to the Memories screen and make sure the backing up icon (two arrows moving in a circle) does not appear. If those arrows are still there and moving, your Memories are still backing up to Snapchat. Once the icon is gone, you’re all backed up.

Free up space by clearing your cache

If you’re saving a lot of Snaps and Stories to Memories, you may start to take up too much room on your device. Clearing your cache can free up space without deleting any of your Memories—they will still be saved in the cloud, just not locally on your device. This just means it will take them slightly longer to load when you want to use them.

From your profile screen, tap the gear icon and scroll down to Clear Cache, where you’ll see how much space your cache is taking up on your device. Tapping Clear Cache opens a screen with more information about how much each of your Snapchat caches—Memories, Stories, and so on—is taking up on your device. You can choose to clear all caches or just your Snapchat Memories cache from this screen.

And there you have it, you’re now growing and engaging your Snapchat audience with Memories.

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With files from Emily Copp.