It wasn’t all too long ago, when Facebook was the new social site on the scene. Back then, people were quick to discount the addictive social network as nothing more than a time-waster for kids. Well flash-forward to 2016, and everyone (including even your grandma) is on the network – and those cool kids who started it all, have moved on to the next big thing.
As far as online marketing is concerned, that next big thing is Snapchat. What’s different about it? It’s a mobile-only social network where users send each other images that disappear after a few seconds (unless you should happen to take a screenshot.)
Intrigued? If you’re brave enough to give Snapchat a try, here are some of the top stunts that marketers have already pulled on the social media channel.
The Basics of Snapchat
- Snapchat is a mobile-only app that allows users to send photos or videos to friends and followers that can last up to 10 seconds at a time.
- Alternatively, users can choose to give their content a little more staying power by adding their images to their personal ‘Snapchat story’ that collects all the photos that they’ve taken in the last 24 hours.
- Screen-grabbing. We know what you’re thinking – but Snapchat isn’t so naive. Any time someone takes a screen grab of a snap, the sender is notified of the action.
Why people love it
- Immediacy. One of the biggest benefits of Snapchat is that it gives users and followers a privileged inside look into each other’s lives, without having the entirety of their phone’s photo memory being consumed by hundreds of selfies.
- Filters! Who doesn’t love a fun filter? It’s arguably the reason why Instagram was made famous, so surely Snapchat was smart enough to follow suit. But unlike Instagram’s editing filters, Snapchat’s filters are animated creations that most notably include:
- Geofilters – a cool overlay that stamp a user’s photo or video with a tribute to their current location
- Animated Lenses – face recognition animation that makes anyone perform fun actions, like turning them into a one-man rainbow dispenser.
How brands are using it
Like we mentioned above – if people are flocking to a new place in the cyber-sphere, then it never takes too long for brands to follow the lead. Here are just some of the clever ways that brands have made their mark on this social network.
The New York ice cream chain ‘16 Handles’ is widely regarded as one of the first brands to turn to Snapchat for their marketing (and nail it!) The brand ran a promotion on Snapchat where they asked store visitors to send a Snapchat of them enjoying their ice cream to the brand’s dedicated Snapchat handle, in order to receive a coupon code reply in return. The catch? Users could only open the coupon when they were ready to pay for their next ice cream before the code would disappear.
Behind the Scenes:
Big brands are not strangers to the event and festival circuit, and many have turned to Snapchat to give viewers a taste of the behind the scenes action. From sports franchises like The Philadelphia Eagles, to events like the Oscars, to daily behind the scenes clips of your favorite shows like Ellen – Snapchat has become an all-access pass to build viewership and brand loyalty long beyond prime time hours.
Behind the scenes pics aren’t exclusive to events of course. They’re also a great way to build hype for an upcoming product launch – and many brands even give Snapchat viewers sneak peeks of not-yet-released products for some added exposure (so long as you’re not scared of any screen grabs!)
Brands willing to shell out big bucks can include their own branded filter as part of Snapchat’s offerings. One great example of this is Covergirl, who created geo-targeted filters that give their followers the opportunity to use cool branded stamps when they were in the proximity of one of their ULTA stores.
These days celebrities are better known for their antics online than… whatever they were meant to be famous for in the first place. With fans glued to their favorite star’s Snapchat stories, it’s no surprise that brands have followed up by asking celebrities with big followings to oh so causally name-drop their products.