It’s no surprise that the number of brands using Snapchat is increasing. As the time-sensitive, image-based social app becomes more popular among consumers, marketers are finding new ways of integrating it into their strategies. Plus, the introduction of stories, which lets users stitch together a narrative of photos or videos, and the geofilters feature have made the app all the more attractive to brands.
Content creators today are used to operating within strict time limits. Services like Vine and Instagram have forced marketers to think creatively and concisely. Part of the appeal of Snapchat is the fact that viewers only have one chance to view a Snap. The viewer is required to give that content his or her full attention and be ready to engage instantly.
With that in mind, brands have turned to Snapchat for promotions, product announcements, sneak-peeks, and even brand stories and trivia. Here are more creative examples of how brands are using Snapchat to engage audiences and entertain fans.
The food delivery service has been experimenting on Snapchat for about a year, and in that time it has rewarded followers with promo codes, giveaways, and surprises. More recently, however, the brand leveraged the platform for recruiting purposes. This past May, GrubHub uploaded a six-image slideshow which called for a new intern with some “Snapchat Skillz.”
The two-step process asked interested individuals to snap back their best doodle and then head over to its careers page where they could find more details on the social media intern position and submit an application. While this method might not work if you’re looking for a new CFO, it was a great way to get potential interns to show of their creative sides and social media savviness.
During Super Bowl 2014, Audi became the first major brand to achieve substantial Snapchat success. In partnering with Huge and The Onion, the brand garnered one of the fastest-growing followings on the platform. As part of the campaign, Audi published humorous photos and captions that “poked fun at the banality of the typical Sunday and joked about real-time aspects of the game and the halftime show.”
— B. Scott Smith (@ScottSmithSonic) February 3, 2014
As a result, Audi grew its Snapchat following by more than 5,500 over the course of the game. The campaign ended up receiving 100,000 total views on Snapchat and generated 2,400 mentions on Twitter. Audi decided to stick with the platform after the success of that campaign. Most recently, it partnered with ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars to offer exclusive bonus content from the show.
During another live event, this time Coachella Music Festival, Heineken turned to Snapchat to engage attendees with behind-the-scenes content. People that followed the brand at HeinekenSnapWho received clues about artists making guest appearances. If fans snapped back a correct guess, the brand would reveal the time they could catch them on stage.
Exclusive content is always a win-win strategy. Through this Snapchat campaign, Heineken was able to connect with its target audience in a unique way while providing something of value. The brand reached more customers, while music fans got to experience a memorable moment with their favorite bands. Everybody wins.
While general engagement rules apply, keep in mind that Snapchat might not be the best platform for every campaign. Snapped content has a very short lifespan, so it’s best used to create fast awareness and excitement around an announcement or real-time event. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t experiment. Since content disappears quickly, there’s not a lot of risk in wanting to try something new.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.