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Here's how you could (and should) use Snapchat for brands

So January is finally drawing to a close, despite the fact it’s actually far, far colder now than it was two weeks ago. Whoever argued the toss over February being the new bleak midwinter here in Blighty obviously owes someone a pint- or compensatory item of equal value.
Digressions aside, this means that, in addition to loads of people running around panicking about tax returns, here at Manchester PR agency Smoking Gun we are approaching the end of our month-long series of predictions and help guides. If you missed the last few parts take a look at our Consumer Predictions here; the best types of Facebook post for engagement here; and 2017 Social Media Trends here.
For our next display of philanthropic knowledge-sharing we have decided to turn our attention to one of the fastest growing communication platforms in existence right now, the millennials choice of social media, with around 3/4 of users women, and a network of critical importance to companies keen to tap into the lucrative but evasive under-30s market. Without further ado, then, here’s how you could (and should) be using Snapchat for brands.
[Tweet “Great ideas on using #snapchat for #brands from @SmokingGunPR in Manchester”]

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Actually, before we begin- what is Snapchat?
It’s OK, don’t be embarrassed, we’re all friends here. Given the fact we’re a public relations and social media agency it’s probably not surprising that we know the ins and outs of all these platforms and channels. Given the fact you run a business that probably isn’t directly related to social media or PR, and have loads going on, nobody can really blame you for being a little, err, unsure. Hence us embedding this video to explain the ins and outs of why this is a thing, and why Snapchat is currently claiming 700million daily ‘snaps’.

Capiche? Cool, here’s a run down of how to join the party.
1. Competition Time
This is an obvious one, but amongst the most popular actions brands are taking on Snapchat. You can either use this as a tool to build up a following- for example give away a free whatever-it-is-you-sell to the first however-many-thousand people to start following you. Alternatively, if you already have a following, boost your engagement levels by asking for the public to send in their finest snaps, doodles or stories. Better yet, as you can screenshot Snapchat content before it disappears, this could then be used to create content such as a digital gallery to post on other networks, like Facebook… if anyone still remembers what that is.
2. The Exclusive
Snapchat is based on the principle of content being like sand in the wind- here one minute, gone the next. As such it offers an ideal way to reveal a new product to a select demographic, at a specific time. This is invaluable- let people know that something is happening at a certain point, on a certain date, and watch as the hype builds. Next comes the unveiling, then it’s gone. Some will likely store the image and begin sharing, and this combined with the level of mentions you’ll drum up as a result of this ‘one-off’ is the digital equivalent of gold dust.
[Tweet “The big reveal is best for #brands on #Snapchat according to @SmokingGunPR”]
3. Chat
It’s not just a clever name. Snapchat is designed for the exchange pictures, videos and brief words- 21st Century electronic conversations, as some may call them. As a brand it’s vital to understand that really you’re on the network to open up a new line of communication, so start opening it up. Ask questions, listen and fully hear the answers you receive and respond appropriately. In many ways Snapchat is actually more personal than the other networks- a secret shared with someone who will remember it, rather than simply find it again in their status history. Understanding this is vital to your success on the network.
4. Live posting
OK, so obviously the vast majority of the world’s social media posts happen in real time, but Snapchat is great for live posting as people know the only way to see this is by being there at that time- it’s not going to stick around for a recap later. A fantastic example of this is Audi. The car company decided to Snapchat the Superbowl live, adding in the all-important sense of humour- as the image here clearly shows. Now that’s how you put the brand in the story and keep people hanging on for more.

Looking for more advice on PR, social media, and marketing? Why not get in contact or submit a brief to inject a little ingeniousness into your brand.

Submit a brief

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