Launched in 2011, Snapchat is one of the relatively new kids on the block when it comes to social media platforms, although this does not mean it is any less popular. The channel sees 100 million daily active users all across the world, meaning that an average 8.8 photos are shared on Snapchat every single second.
Although it started out as a somewhat obscure digital experiment, it has now captured the attention of countless international brands and rival social media platforms, even attracting interest from social media magnate, Facebook, which reportedly offered to buy the up-and-coming channel for the hefty sum of $3 billion.
Facebook isn’t the only conglomerate to see the perks of Snapchat though; countless brands are now beginning to use the channel to reach a large and varied audience. And it seems to be working, with the majority of its user database being connected, not only to their friends, but also to their favourite brands and corporations. More and more people are beginning to use Snapchat to follow their favourite designers, teams and manufacturers in order to keep up to date on their day to day lives and important updates.
In addition to this, in January 2015, Snapchat launched its ‘Discover’ capability to enable its users to catch up on the latest news and developments from popular channels such as Sky News and the Mail Online. Snapchat claims it is the ‘result of collaboration with world-class leaders in media to build a storytelling format that puts the narrative first.’ Basically, it’s a new way of exploring ‘Stories’ from different perspectives and editorial teams all combined into the same channel – a great way of experiencing different viewpoints in a more relaxed and informal way.
How can brands use Snapchat?
There’s a variety of ways that brands can use Snapchat profiles to increase engagement from their target community, in addition to their existing social platforms, in order to achieve general brand awareness and resonance with the company. Some of our favourites are listed below.
- Providing access to live events is one of the key ways in which brands are captivating audiences around the world. Making people feel as though they are a part of a major event is a great way of engaging audiences through offering them an insight in a different, more authentic way. Events like the Victoria Secret fashion show, Bastille Day in Paris and NFL games are always popular, and allow the average Joe the opportunity to see what goes on at occasions they’d only be able to dream of attending, causing high volumes of engagement in addition to on and offline buzz.
- Delivering ‘private content’ is another way of engaging with audiences and gives them access to special content that they wouldn’t ordinarily receive on other platforms. An excellent example of this is when very highly esteemed fashion designers, like Michael Kors and Burberry, choose to debut their new collections to the world via Snapchat. This allows their audience to feel valued and included in such an exclusive event, making them more likely to engage with the brand – through a variety of channels.
- As with other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, offers and competitions are a sure fire way of boosting engagement and awareness of a brand. An extremely clever example of this was seen through GrubHub in the US. GrubHub was the first ever brand to successfully execute a Snapchat scavenger hunt – asking their followers to reply with a snap to GrubHub’s new Story, which was posted every day. This campaign was the perfect example of creating two-way communication between the brand and its consumers, allowing it to capture user-generated content, whilst increasing loyalty through an innovative idea.
- Another way that brands could use Snapchat to their full potential is by showing them behind the scenes of their company. This type of pared-down content really appeals to the self-confessed nosy parker (which happens to be more of us than you’d think) and causes the audience to want to know more about the brand and what happens behind its’ closed doors. McDonald’s is a brand that uses the behind the scenes element to its advantage, by posting pictures and videos of its adverts being filmed, as well as well-known celebrities.
- A simple way of making the most of your presence on Snapchat is to partner with influencers on social media. Just as with YouTube and Instagram, the perks of teaming up with a well-known face are phenomenal, (just like some of the costs!) If you have the budget, working with an influential figure on social can bring endless benefits to your business, providing they are on-brand and convey your key messages appropriately. Some of our favourite top influencers are Jenna Marbles of YouTube fame and Fuck Jerry – the notorious Instagram account, which has turned its influence to the world of Snapchat.
What are your thoughts on using Snapchat as a brand? Do you believe in the benefits, or is it just a passing craze that will fade away in time? We’d love to know what you think!
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