Snap to it: How to Use Snapchat for Your Brand


In the ever-expanding world of Social Media, Snapchat has created a new way for brands to connect with consumers on an even more personalized level. Snapchat is a time-sensitive image and video-sharing app that allows users to take a photo or video, edit it with text, paint or a filter, before sending it to friends.

The receiver is then able to view the image or video for at most 10 seconds before it vanishes forever.

Since Snapchat’s initial release in 2011, it has acquired more than 26 million users, and sees roughly 400 million snaps per day. These increasing numbers have created great opportunities for brands to reach even more consumers, and form deeper relationships with fans.

Snapchat is used to send personal photos and videos between friends. Unlike social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, Snapchat allows users to share content directly to specific friends without it being seen by every connection. The time-sensitivity of each photo and video implies messages are private and only for the receivers’ eyes. It also creates a sense of urgency and excitement as the receiver knows they will only be able to view the message once and for a certain amount of time, which is great for engagement when thought of from a marketing standpoint. These factors are important for brands to recognize and keep in mind when connecting and sharing with fans.

As Snapchat cements itself as an addictive social media tool for the younger demographics, more and more brands are beginning to implement Snapchat into their social media strategies. But how can your brand leverage Snapchat?

Exclusive Product Introductions

Because Snapchat enables brands to connect with a smaller yet more engaged audience, it creates a great opportunity to build excitement for an upcoming product release. Fans are happy to know they are amongst an exclusive few who are able to view this new product, and as a result feel closer to the brand.

Last year, Taco Bell used Snapchat to re-introduce their Beefy Crunchy Burrito. They urged Twitter followers to connect with them on Snapchat to receive a “secret announcement.” Those who were connected to Taco Bell were the first of fans to learn what Taco Bell’s new product was, and the campaign generated great social buzz for the brand.


Coupons and Special Offers

One of the top reasons a consumer follows and engages with a brand on social media, is the possibility of incentives. Snapchat is now another outlet for brands to provide their consumers with even more exclusive coupons and offers.

One of the earliest adopters of Snapchat, 16 Handles, rolled out a promotion that presented users with a coupon that would provide fans with up to 100% off on their purchase. Because “snaps” are time-sensitive, the coupon would vanish in 10 seconds, persuading customers to visit the store, create their frozen yogurt, and take the risk to wait until they reached the register to see if they received a special offer.


Behind the Scenes

The intimacy associated with Snapchat provides brands with a great opportunity to share behind the scenes looks into their brand.

At New York Fashion Week in September 2013, Rebecca Minkoff used Snapchat to debut 10 looks from her spring 2014 collection before they walked the runway. This not only created a deeper relationship with fans as they were rewarded for connecting on Snapchat, but also created excitement as fans waited for their phone to buzz with the next look.


Contests and Giveaways

Snapchat contests and giveaways are not only a great way to engage with fans and reward them for their loyalty, but also allow a brand to quickly gain followers. Last year, Chat Sports unrolled a Snapchat ticket giveaway that required fans to have five of their friends add Chat Sports on Snapchat, and have them send a unique “snap” with their friend’s username and the hashtag #gimmietickets.


Between product introductions, coupons, behind the scenes imagery, and contests, Snapchat provides a wide range of initiatives any brand can incorporate into their social media strategy.

Should your brand take the plunge? Think about it this way:


How will your brand take advantage of its capabilities?

Samantha Gorin

Samantha is a social media strategy manager at 451 Marketing. Follow her @sammygorin!

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