Today, Danielle Lauren shares her experience of using Snapchat for brands.
Danielle Lauren worked as a multi-platform creator and strategist for over 16 years. From traditional TV projects to innovative digital concepts. she has used her love of authentic storytelling, creative thinking and lateral problem solving to add her fingerprint to each project she works on. Her credentials include MTV, Sony, United Nations High Commission For Refugees, Sydney Opera House, Bacardi, Disney and Microsoft.
I recently completed the Social Media strategy and implementation for Sky’s first Asian Reality Drama Series Desi Rascals. Our narrative played across multiple social media platforms but one of our most successful was Snapchat. Every time we would release a SnapChat Story it would receive thousands of views, our audience loved it and it was by far our biggest growth area for Social Media Engagement. So the question is why?
Firstly, you need to think about what Snapchat is. For those still discovering this medium, Snapchat is a collection of short Snaps aka photos / videos / texts which are only live for a 24 hour period before they vanish into the internet ether. It’s immediacy makes it an alluring space to play in because if you don’t catch the feed early enough, you’ll miss it entirely. It’s particularly great if you’re working on a project that has daily updates or is based on an event that requires constant updating to be relevant. It’s an excellent social media tool but not every brand needs to use it. Depending where you are placed in the market will dictate whether or not you should be on Snapchat. Below are some things to think about when choosing to implement snapchat as part of your social strategy.
1. Know your demographic - Aim Low
Snapchat is not for everyone. According to TechInsider’s breakdown of Social Media Demographics, 45% of SnapChat users are aged between 18-24 in comparison to Facebook’s 16%.
What does this mean? Well SnapChat targets a younger audience. If you’re looking to get a tick of approval from teenagers and early twenties then you’ll most likely find them snapping away. If you’re representing a more sophisticated brand with an older skew, I’d recommend one of the other Social Networks.
Luckily for us, Sky 1 / Desi Rascals targeted families. Our ideal audience for Sky 1 were both parents and teenagers. What was wonderful about using Snapchat for our messaging, was that we knew there was a greater chance that the content we put out would most likely only be seen by our younger viewers, giving them a sense of exclusivity that they were slightly ahead of their parents when it came to Desi Rascals gossip. For teenagers who like to “know it all” it was a wonderful space to dabble because it provided them with an exclusive talking point with their friends where they could share with their parents content that wasn’t available anywhere else online.
2. Work with natural behaviour
When it comes to your brand, think honestly about whether it is a “natural” fit for SnapChat. What would be the daily stories? Why should people tune in? Are there already Snapchat users within your team who get the medium and can take advantage of it’s elements?
The majority of the Desi Rascals cast had their own Snapchat accounts before we started filming. Once we went to air, their Snapchat account followers sky rocketed significantly more than their Twitter and Instagram. It was becoming very clear that there was a natural audience who loved being able to access their instant stories. So we launched the “Desi Rascals Snapchat TakeOvers”. Instead of us curating the content, we allowed our show cast to “takeover” the accounts. We gave them the login details and guidelines and let them play. The by-product was our Snapchat accounts grew dramatically. Each time a fan tuned in for a story, they received a new cast member with an entirely new perspective. It was fun and intimate and paid dividends for us in terms of Social Media engagement. The best part was our cast didn’t need any training, they were naturals. We tried building the same level of engagement through Twitter and it wasn’t as successful because it wasn’t a space that felt “natural” for our cast to communicate on. Snapchat felt more intimate and private and allowed the Desi Rascals to feel they were opening up without as much public scrutiny as they would receive on Twitter. Of course this was an illusion but it worked well.
On the day of our final episode we did a Snapchat free for all, where we gave all our cast members the Snapchat takeover and let them login whenever they wanted to upload stories. The results were fantastic. It was a “day in the life” of our Desi Rascals told by each of them chronologically throughout the day. It was a dynamic piece of Social Media which our fans LOVED that built significant amount of hype for our final episode. Social Media is meant to be fun, so I strongly suggest you play. One login does not equate to only one person holding the entire power over the account. Our most successful Snapchat days were when we handed over the keys to a group of people and let them use their creativity to tell their stories. It was profoundly brilliant as they drove the narrative and gave our audience a unique piece of content which they loved. This type of social media strategy would be particularly brilliant for an event as you could see all the elements come together on one timeline.
4. Cross Pollinate your messaging
On Desi Rascals we used our other platforms to promote our Snapchat. As our Snapchat methodology was “Snapchat Takeovers”, we would announce on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram who was taking over SnapChat for the day. This was useful because it guided our audience to tune in plus it encouraged a sense of missing out to those who weren’t already following us on Snapchat. Since our Desi Rascals community were highly engaged, they were very vocal about what they loved seeing and who was the best Snap Chatter. Nothing beats the personal marketing of your fans as their authenticity will resonate beyond any messaging you could provide. If you can win their approval you are set for success.
5. Leak your Snapchat
If a particularly brilliant piece of content was created for Snapchat, we would leak it onto YouTube and Facebook so that fans could see what they were missing out on. This should only be done occasionally if you want to get people tuning into Snapchat but it’s a brilliant way to maximise your content and its impact.
If you’re looking to implement Snapchat, set some time aside to explore the medium. Follow stories which resonate with your brand and borrow methods which will service your objectives. Most importantly have fun. Snapchat is a creative space to play and experiment so take the time to let your creative juices flow and get snapping.