5 Steps to Snapchat Success

When a social media channel is rivalling Facebook for daily video views, it’s time to take notice.

So how can brands get their share of Snapchat success?

1. Create great content

Re-purposing super-polished campaign posters won’t fly with your Snapchat audience.

Content should show fans something they haven’t seen before in an honest, open way, so create a Snapchat story from a live event, or show a behind-the-scenes glimpse of your company’s creative process. Once snaps expire, there’s no record, so you can prioritise quality over quantity without your account appearing inactive.

Consumers have flocked to Snapchat because of its fun photo-editing features, so use them. Doodle, use emojis and add geo-filters or lenses to give snaps personality & drive fan interactions in a more imaginative way. Grubhub offered fans prizes for the best food doodle snaps, for example, while Delta ran a real-world scavenger hunt making use of branded geo-filters.

2. Spread the word

It’s tricky for fans to find you on Snapchat; they need to know your exact username as Snapchat offers no similar spelling suggestions. Instead, Snapchat assigns each user a snapcode – a unique ghost icon users can scan to follow you, which can be personalized for added recognition. Savvy brands use these as their profile pictures on other social accounts to gain followers, and Burberry even incorporates Snapcodes onto product labels.

3. Leverage influencers

Getting people to add your brand on Snapchat can be complex, so make use of someone who already has a dedicated following.

Adidas generated over 3 million views by creating a custom branded geo-filter to help Stormzy celebrate his birthday at Thorpe Park; a partnership that worked because of the clear fit between the brand and the influencer. Always stay true to the individual’s style for influencer snaps – it’s what their followers signed up for.

4. Understand ads

Snapchat offers innovative ad formats to boost reach and shares, but these vary dramatically in cost.

Starting at $5, custom geo-filters are a hyper-local branded frame anyone nearby can add to their snaps. To maximise usage & reach, design filters to add something extra to fan photos, not just slap on branding, and target events where people are already sharing snaps, though large events like Glastonbury may be off limits.

Branded lenses are animated overlays users can apply to selfies, such as a Taco Bell lens transforming the snapper’s face into a giant moving taco. Gatorade generated 160 million impressions for its Superbowl lens, but this comes at a hefty cost, with six figure price tags for 24 hours of country-wide availability.

Brands can also run sponsored video ads within community stories, with recommended spends starting around £30k. Snapchat is likely to develop this format further in future, with behavioural targeting coming in Q4.

5. Measure success

Measuring Snapchat success can be difficult. For organic formats like Snapchat stories, metrics are only available for 24 hours, so brands must document story views, screenshot numbers & fan responses daily. Worse still, there’s no way to view stats for competitors or influencers.

Despite this, brands have found resourceful ways to assess performance, including Dominos hiding Snapchat discount codes in stories to track redemption rates. Paid formats also offer better tracking, with view rates and usage statistics available indefinitely for branded lenses, geo-filters and sponsored posts.