Social media marketing: Not on Snapchat? Time to think about that

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It’s a global phenomenon that has taken the social media world by storm. But can a platform focused on images that ‘self-destruct’ once posted really serve a purpose for digital and social media marketing?

Snapchat, if you aren’t already aware, has been a runaway success since its launch. By last summer, it had hit the top three in the App Store chart in several territories with significant spending power; including the U.S., U.K., Canada, Norway, Australia, Sweden, and France. Some Snapchat Stories- series of photos or videos posted as one, which stay live for 24-hours- are now viewed 1billion times. And 760million disappearing photos are sent every day.

Those figures are impressive, and what’s even more exciting to marketers is the demographic in question. Far more than any other group, millennials have been quick to pick up the network thanks to its promise of greater privacy. In comparison with Facebook and Twitter, there is no digital trace left once a post has vanished, which means no embarrassing evidence for future bosses to stumble upon. As a result, brands from BMW to McDonalds have been experimenting with Snapchat in unique and innovative ways. Here are a few that caught our attention, which in turn could inspire you.

 

Lynx

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Sexting- sending suggestive or explicit messages to others- is popular on Snapchat. That sounds alarming when it comes to business, and you definitely need to be careful in terms of your campaign approach – so no possible innuendos, please. For antiperspirant giant Lynx, though, this represented an opportunity. Launching a new fragrance, Deep Space, the public was asked to respond to content featuring pin-up TV host Charlie Webster. When responses were too blue, an image of Deep Space shower gel and instructions to take a cold shower were sent back.

 

Audi, NFL, and The Onion

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As Superbowl XLVIII played out, car manufacturer Audi decided to get involved via Snapchat. Partnering with The Onion, the firm’s agency-of-record, Huge, created a series of witty photos with captions designed to show typical behaviour people, and their pets, may exhibit during the game. A massive hit with users, Audi saw a staggering 5,500 new Snapchat followers join their burgeoning list on the night of the match, which is apparently one of the largest ever spikes in user numbers seen on the network to date.

 

Southampton F.C. 

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Fitting with last month’s Smoking Gun newsletter story on the way millennials prefer to talk about experiences rather than purchases, Southampton F.C. launched a treasure hunt by placing hundreds of oversized footballs around the city. Fans had to locate the props, take a selfie with them, and tag it #EarnYourStripes for a chance of winning a new shirt. The campaign incorporated Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, and is a great example of multi-platform marketing.

 

16 Handles 

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One of the first companies to get involved in Snapchat, New York-based frozen yogurt pedlar 16 Handles showed how simple a campaign could be way, way back in January 2013. Fans were asked to snap a picture of themselves at one of the firm’s stores, and in return received a snap back with a New Year’s promo coupon for 16, 50 or 100% discounts. Needless to say, it went well.

 

Acura 

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The luxury division of Honda Motor Company offers a great example of how Snapchat can be used to reward early-uptake fans. Using Twitter to increase reach (the two networks can be linked together), Acura sent a six-second clip of the brand new NSX Prototype supercar to the first 100 people who added the brand on Snapchat, thus rewarding the public for loyalty and getting the Acura_Insider account seen by an increased number of social media users.