Snapchat’s growth is staggering. From May 2015 to May 2016, Snapchat video views grew from 2 billion a day to 10 billion. This tops Facebook’s 8 billion daily video views, despite Snapchat having far fewer active users. Snapchat recently surpassed Twitter with a reported 150 million daily active users compared to Twitter’s 140 million. As I type this, Snapchat is the number one free app in the App Store.
Although the social network is popular, many people are still struggling to figure it out for their brand and even personally. Therefore, it can help to gain an understanding of what brands are doing on Snapchat.
A few notes for people who aren’t familiar with Snapchat:
– A Snapchat Story consists of videos and or images that are viewable to followers for up to 24 hours.
– A “takeover” is when a brand gives access to their account to an individual for a specific period of time. Generally, access is for less than a day or for a specific event.
What are brands doing on Snapchat?
The very first Snapchat takeover I watched was Casey Neistat doing a Snapchat story for Marriott Hotels. Since then, countless brands have partnered with Snapchat influencers for content creation. In the example below, Zillow partnered with Snapchat influencer Harris Markowitz to create a Snapchat Story.
Behind-the-Scenes Brands frequently take followers behind-the-scenes to show them how the “sausage is made.” Going behind-the-scenes feels exclusive and enables brands to show the effort behind their products in an entertaining way.
Taco Bell is one of several companies that have given their Snapchat followers a sneak peek at a new product.
Events are a natural fit for Snapchat Stories. PBR has taken followers along for the ride at music festivals. If you follow The Social Lights, you got to attend our 5-year party via Snapchat.
Sour Patch Kids frequently has teens takeover their account and answer questions about a specific theme. Q&A sessions can provide an easy way for brands to create content that users want (since it’s users asking the questions).
Day-in-the-Life The White House does a great job at showing a day-in-the-life of the President and events around the White House. Another notable account is GE, which often features subject matter experts who share about their profession.
Brands can use Snapchat to gain feedback by asking a question and then requesting users screenshot their vote. This feature can be used for serious product feedback or something silly like voting for your favorite donut, which Amazon did on National Donut Day.
For a hefty price, select brands can be featured on Snapchat’s Discover section or get their own custom filter. The movie X-Men: Apocalypse had several custom filters available on the day the movie opened in theaters.
How should brands use Snapchat?
The answer to this question depends on the brand. Whatever type of content you end up producing, remember that Snapchat is about authenticity. Facebook and Instagram make it easy to see the highlights and polished moments, while Snapchat is about experiencing the moment as it happened.
There is no doubt that Snapchat offers brands an opportunity to connect with customers in a way that’s fun, humanizing, and creates a deeper bond. As Snapchat’s growth shows no signs of slowing down, brands should figure out a Snapchat strategy if they haven’t already.
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