Social Media’s Best-Kept Secret: Why More Brands Should Be Using Snapchat
in Digital Marketing Strategy & Trends | by McKenna Foster
In 2016, every top brand knows how crucial it is to connect with customers online by delivering content on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. What many don’t know, however, is that there’s another platform with growing potential for businesses, and they should be taking advantage of it.
While most may know what Snapchat is, they likely don’t know how to use it to enhance their brand, or even that this a possibility. While it may not be the most obvious platform for most brands to utilize, if used in the right way, Snapchat can add a dynamic and engaging new dimension to any brand’s online presence.
Giving Customers a Personal Inside Look
For those who don’t know, the way Snapchat users (or companies) post short pictures and videos to their followers is by adding it to their “Story,” which is available to view for 24 hours. Stories can be used by brands in a variety of ways but one of the easiest, and most popular, is to post “exclusive” or “personal” content.
This can be useful for the promotion of events, where companies can give users an inside perspective that they will not be able to see anywhere else. This content draws people to these events, and the exclusivity of the content attracts additional followers. This also strengthens the connection users feel to the brands they follow.
Even if a brand doesn’t have high-profile events to document via Snapchat Story, there is still value in giving an inside “personal” look at the company itself, including its employees. Showing the culture and personality of a team shows customers the authentic, human side of business that customers can relate to. The New York Times successfully did this, and even though the brand is established as a traditional media company, it has been able to utilize Snapchat to showcase the personalities of its journalists in charming and entertaining snippets.
Engaging an Audience in New Ways
One thing that makes Snapchat so unique is the endless possibilities for customer engagement. Brands like Sour Patch Kids and Taco Bell have lead interactive activities that successfully yield responses from their audiences. Sour Patch once received direct engagement from tens of thousands of followers by simply asking them to take a screenshot of their favorite Halloween costume doodle:
In another campaign, Taco Bell challenged users to screenshot a photo of a box of tacos and cover it with doodles, promising to repost their favorites.
Both of these campaigns, and countless others, used Snapchat to turn passive social media users into an engaged audience that directly interacts with a brand. This, again, adds new levels to the relationship between the brands and their customers.
With Snapchat, the marketing opportunities are not limited to posting on an account and building a connection with an audience. Snapchat’s “Geofilter” feature allows users to swipe overlays onto their photo based on their location, and last year Snapchat began allowing businesses to create sponsored filters for use in specific locations at certain times.
Here at Sparxoo, for example, we created a sponsored Geofilter for one of our clients, Signature Lacrosse. The company implemented this overlay during a lacrosse tournament to promote their brand as well as their marketing tent at the tournament. Since Signature Lacrosse knew exactly what type of audience would be at the event, they were able to perfectly target this campaign to lacrosse players, coaches, and fans. Snapchat users at the tournament applied these filters to their selfies and shots of the event, which lead to more brand awareness among the attendees and their followers on the app.
Snapchat provides a platform for a company to deliver a unique set of content and, in return, receive a unique type of engagement. The opportunity to connect with customers in a more meaningful way as well as the ability to target advertisements to specific audiences has led more and more brands to add Snapchat to their social media lineup.