4 Ways Brands Can Leverage Snapchat

21 October 2016


We get it. There’s an overwhelming number of social platforms out there, and each of them come with their own unique interfaces, concepts, and scripts to adhere to. The thought of introducing a third, fourth, or even fifth social platform might sound about as fun as going to the dentist. We can practically hear you sighing uncertainly at your phone as you touch the purple, rune-like symbols on Snapchat’s interface, wondering, why even am I doing this?


Having a well-rounded social media presence. That’s why.


As the most popular social media platform for youth, after Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat sees 65% of users contributing content on a daily basis; that’s a massive amount of user-generated quantity, with Snapchat receiving 4 billion video content views per day. That’s the same as Facebook.


Snapchat began with a singular proposition from two college guys in their dorm (because that’s where everything cultural and revolutionary comes from these days). That idea was simple: allow users to create and send photos to one another that could disappear after 10 seconds.


It sounds simple. And it is. Users send snaps that can be viewed within a specific timeframe, (the message self-destructing after the maximum 10 second window is up). But what is simple in concept is actually quite ingenuous. Snapchat, since it’s sweatpants/dorm room/procrastination-station conception, has grown into a $10 billion company and evolved its audience from cool kids in high school sending Snaps to brands embracing their inner dog filter self.


Snapchat offers a glimpse into the future of mobile marketing. It’s an outlet that holds the power to strategically position brands. The good news? We’re social media experts. So you can go to the dentist and we’ll optimize Snapchat for your brand. Deal?


To give you an idea of its effectiveness, and because everyone loves a nice, sectioned off breakdown of thoughts, here are four good reasons for how brands can leverage Snapchat’s popularity amongst consumers.


Ephemeral Contentscreen-shot-2015-02-27-at-5-38-51-am

Snapchat’s platform is built on a time sensitive/self-destruct theme, one that is extremely effective for brands to promote a sense of urgency (a cornerstone of sales) while providing consumers a cushioned sense of exclusivity. Have you ever scrolled past a post on your feed that caught your attention and thought, “I’ll come back to this later”? It would make sense if you do: we’re a consumer culture.


We’re inundated with so much content (we’re inundating you right now!). What’s different about Snapchat is that created content expires after 24 hours. Which creates a drive for your consumer and erases the “later” mentality, encouraging them to consume the content when they see it, since it won’t be there tomorrow.


Not to mention you have an opportunity to promote your company culture, to humanize your brand with creative insights in your team’s day-to-day at the office. Bonus points for letting multiple team members build the story throughout the day.


Pro tip? Take advantage of the ephemerality of Snapchat by creating contests or promos that utilize a 24-hour coupon code, or implement hashtag campaigns, to makes your consumer feel like they’re getting insider info or exclusive access to deals that’s not publicly available.


Partner With Influencers


It’s exactly how it sounds. You align your social with a person whose personality and essence emulates your brand. The more followers and engagement they have, the better! You’ll be able to expand your reach with influential personalities that already have a built in following on the platform.


Not to mention that referrals by influencers carry a stamp of approval for the audience, significantly expanding the following and reach of your brand. It’s a completely authentic and organic way of telling your brands story without feeling like you’re constantly spamming your followers with content.


Pro tip: Try an influencer takeover campaign. That way they can cross promote to their existing loyal fan base. Handing over the keys to your Snapchat account to a complete, albeit famous, stranger may sound scary, but the trick here is find the “right” completely famous stranger, someone who you and your audience



Geofilters and Lensessnapchat

Snapchat has an entire toolbox of fun and engaging ways to create content for your audience. And it expands beyond your text, drawing pen, emojis, and filters. Adding a layer of these creative elements helps your content to stand out. But there’s more to Snapchat than just poop emojis and face swapping. Geofilters are special overlays that communicate the “where and when” of a Snap in fun ways and is a unique way to create custom branded filters and gain brand-name recognition. Which is cool because your custom logo filter can be made available to anyone who takes a snap in a specific area or event.


Another Snapchat sponsored opportunity is through lenses, which allows consumers to send animated selfies to their friends. Lenses, or filters, pop up automatically when a user’s camera is in selfie mode. You’re familiar with the dog lenses, the floral crown lenses. Gatorade recently took advantage of this one-of-a-kind marketing opportunity by allowing consumers to send selfie videos in a Gatorade dunk during the Super Bowl, which had a then record 165 million views. Consumers love to use new lenses.


Pro tip: Create lenses or geofilters as a way to market an event, game, sale, or other time specific things. You’d be surprised how willing your consumer is to interact and share branded content, regardless. So long as it’s engaging and doing something different, your audience will still consume.


Q&A Sessions


Taking into account that Snapchat is an incredibly interactive platform, many brands are turning to Q&A series to engage with their follows. Not only is it a great way for your audience to get to know your brand more, but it’s a chance to show some humour, since it’s a cheekier platform. The disappearing nature of the content encourages quick replies and provides a unique way to interact with a younger fan base.


Pro tip: Keep it fun and casual. Questions don’t always have to be on brand; your followers want to know what the humans behind the brand are. Show them your personality, what you’re like, and most of all, be genuine.


There’s a myriad of ways to create unique content on Snapchat for your audience. And with its urgency, experience, and channel of delivery, this platform is a hat trick social media must for amplifying your brand.


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