Anyone who works in social media will tell you that it doesn’t matter how much you like (or don’t like) change. It’s inevitable in our industry. Even if you’ve developed the most successful social media strategy on the planet, you’ll need to rethink and optimize in a matter of months.
With Instagram’s latest algorithm update, for example, brands and customers are reevaluating their social strategies and deciding where to focus their time and resources. What’s the next big thing? I’d venture to say that it’s Snapchat, ladies and gentlemen.
“If you rest, you rust.”
What started out as a social platform for you and your closest friends to share disappearing photo and video messages has now evolved into so much more.
Created with millennials in mind, Snapchat is quickly becoming the “it” platform not only for consumers but for celebrities, influencers and brands. Are there distinguished analytics? No. Are there sophisticated dashboards and post performance metrics? Nope. Are there outbound links for products and direct response marketing? Not even close.
So, why should brands choose to be on Snapchat?
Because both Gen Y (i.e. millennials) and Gen Z consumers are telling you to be there. As the saying goes, “If you rest, you rust.” You need to keep moving and evolving to be where your customers are.
Building a Snapchat Strategy
Snapchat shares many similarities to Instagram and mobile messaging services such as LINE, Skype and WhatsApp. And with new features added constantly—such as video chat and funny “lenses” (because who wouldn’t want to vomit rainbows?)—it’s easy to see why millennials and Gen Zers are flocking to Snapchat. It’s random. It’s fun. And there are no traditional social media ads (e.g. sponsored content, newsfeed posts, etc.). Yet.
Another differentiator is that, in order for a consumer to follow your stories and view your content, they have to opt in to your brand and engage with your post within 24 hours.
So, how can you drive engagement, community and brand love on Snapchat? Below, I highlight five pieces of Snapchat content your brand should consider as well as tips for creating it.
1. Behind the Scenes Footage
Your followers and fans don’t just want to engage with your brand; they also want to be a part of your brand story. With that in mind, Snapchat is the perfect place to give your audience a sneak peek at new collections or products or even to take them along to photoshoots. Think of the Victoria’s Secret fashion show for a moment. Part of the experience isn’t just the models on the runway; it’s the models getting their hair and makeup done, being silly backstage, eating salads. This is the kind of content people want to see. Show your audience what exciting and buzz-worthy things go on behind the scenes.
Remember, content only lasts for 24 hours on Snapchat. While whatever you tease may get screenshotted, there is limited risk in you showing something too soon or for people to learn the ins and outs of your business. Don’t be scared. Experiment!
2. Product Content
People love seeing new products. They also love to be the first to give feedback. By snapping your products and asking for your customers’ feedback when possible (e.g.: “Screenshot your favorite dress in our next snaps! We want to know which one you love.”), you involve your customers and make their consumption of your social presence a fun experience worth sharing.
The more variety you can show in your snaps, the better. You can do this by showing off new collections or even buzz-worthy stand-alone pieces. Although you will want to see a direct conversion lift, you can also attribute this exposure and engagement through views and screenshot engagement.
Use the text and emoji tool on Snapchat to add some cute graphics and copy to your product snaps. Make your story fun and engaging so that consumers want to follow along each day.
3. Show Off Your Employees
Aside from branded content from behind the scenes snaps, people also love to see what a day in the life of your brand looks like. Gen Y and Z want access to new products and upcoming events, but they’re also curious about the vibe and tone of your organization. Who better to tell this story than the people who work for and with your brand? Here are a few ideas:
- Team activities;
- Show off your employees’ style;
- In-store activations and events;
- New store openings;
- Key stakeholder interviews;
- Messages from the CEO;
- Even what Spotify playlist you’re streaming during a shoot.
Followers love this type of content. The ‘insider’ view helps them get to know your brand.
Additionally, this type of content provides a fun way to involve different members of your organization in your social presence and establishes your unified brand voice as one that celebrates employees in creative ways.
Ditch the ‘corporate’ vibe for fun, creative content. Remember that customers come to get an insider’s perspective, so involve different members of the team and spotlight a variety of events, products and employees.
Everyone under the sun has worked with influencers and celebrities to create content for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and brand blogs. It makes sense. Influencer collaborations are a great way to show your audience who your brand associates itself with, while adding an external layer of authority and personality to your brand’s story.
Unsurprisingly, influencer takeovers are becoming increasingly common as a way to create Snapchat content. What’s a good way to do so?
Here’s a thought: Send a blogger to a music festival, or work with them in a new market for a store opening. And remember to ask that they highlight the event with your brand in mind. It’s important that the influencer strikes a balance between individuality and maintaining your voice.
Create Snapchat guidelines and best practices, and review them with your influencers before they get started. Make sure they know how to speak about your brand as well as what type of content to capture – while keeping the story fresh and entertaining!
5. Lifestyle Content
Recruit people from across your company that do cool things in your area to Snapchat for you! Music concerts, weekend brunches, beach trips, and globetrotting adventures are a great way to keep the stories varied and compelling. If it’s cool and matches the identity of your brand, snap it! Followers are attracted to your account because they are curious about what makes your brand unique, so they turn to you for inspiration that goes well beyond your products.
Have fun with Snapchat’s editing tools. Use geo-location filters and effects to make your content fun and playful.
All in all, variety is the key here. You want to make sure you’re generating content—on a regular basis—that speaks to who you are as a brand and showcases your products in creative, flattering ways. Instagram and the other mobile platforms have made their mark as heavy hitters, but be sure to balance your strategy to include Snapchat as well. Now, snap to it!