Snapchat has come of age. No longer seen as the domain of teens and preteens flashing their private parts to each other, brands are now clambering over themselves to innovate on this channel. Over the last few years Snapchat has been wooing brands to come and engage with the 100 million active millennial users it claims to have. A word of warning, this isn’t the channel to publish polished and airbrushed content. What users love about it is the raw and scrappy nature of the content found here.
We’ve picked three our most favourite brands using Snapchat and identified ways you can use this channel to have fun and engage with your audience too. Enjoy!
Domino’s Pizza: @Dominos_UK
Domino’s is an innovator in the social space. Last year it was one of the first brands to allow fans to use Twitter to place an order from them in their ‘Tweet to Eat’ campaign. This year, since January, the brand has been having fun with its fans on Snapchat, which has led to a boost in pizza sales in the first quarter for them too. Its Snapchat story, ‘Dough to Door’, is a film that follows the journey of a pizza delivery driver overcoming obstacles, like an alien invasion, on his mission to get pizza to a customer. Observant fans will have seen a sequence of random letters throughout the film that gave them an exclusive discount code to use online.
Top tip: Snapchat doesn’t offer brands any analytics (unless you’re using it for paid ads). Domino’s cleverly incorporated a unique discount code within its film so it could track the number of orders taken once the campaign went live as well enabling it to gauge the number of fans who’d watched the film from beginning to end.
The online US fashion retailer was an early adopter of Snapchat. But the brand made a bold statement on its blog back in November 2014 calling Snapchat ‘the platform for the modern generation’. It said that from then on it was going to be its defacto social channel. Its rationale for using Snapchat, over other popular social channels, was to ‘explore transparency in a completely new way. No fancy cameras. No editing. Just raw, live footage.’ And they’ve not looked back. The brand’s marketing team use the channel as a way of giving their fans a back-stage pass into their business, to let them be present at exclusive events and as a way of showcasing their up and coming collections. On #TransparencyTuesday they use Snapchat to give a guided tour of one of their stores or factories.
Top tip: Rather than use Facebook, which Everlane said was for ‘updating their community’ or Instagram for ‘being a beautiful place to curate its aesthetic’ it uses Snapchat to create an authentic and real connection with its audience, showing the real faces and places behind the brand.
The New York Times: @thenytimes
The intellectual heavyweight, The New York Times, has even got-down-with-the-kids lately and been dabbling with Snapchat. Its writers have been experimenting with ways of using the channel to report the news. Some of its stories are light-hearted, like the one written and created by Nick Bilton, which show’s Bilton’s comedic friend teaching him how to use the medium. Others, like the story created by the social editor for the Times Talya Minsberg, who asked journalists to take part in a mobile challenge: how to create an objectively sound SnapChat Story that would adhere to the stringent NYTs editorial code. She said of her experiment that the ‘best Snapchat Stories are the ones that tell a narrative in a personal, visual way that pulls in and keeps the viewer’. The NYT also allowed one of its journalists to use SnapChat as a way of reporting on last year’s Met Gala. It allowed the paper to broadcast a warts ’n’ all insight into the event in real time, and gave readers an opportunity to ask the reporter questions whilst she was there too.
Top tip: Snapchat’s a great way to show the unfiltered, unedited view of your world. No need for expensive cameras, editing equipment or airbrushing techniques. It’s a cheap and democratic way to produce video content, something which fans are crying out for and Google is rewarding in its algorithms.